I recently had the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with my now 22-month old grandson after a year of only visiting through FaceTime visits. Wow, how he had changed! It was so wonderful to see and hear him communicate with us. He uses a combination of words, phrases and gestures to request, label, protest and comment about all he sees and wants. Even the short time he was with us he learned to say his version of “green truck” a new favorite toy.
As a speech- language pathologist, I am often asked, “when should I be concerned if my child is not communicating like his friend or siblings”. I inform parents to speak with their pediatrician about their concerns and provide communication milestones.
Know the signs of common speech and language disorders in children between birth and 4 years of age, an important stage in early detection of communication disorders.
- Does not smile (begins 2 months)
- Does not babble (4-7 months)
- Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months)
- Does not understand what others say (7 months-2 years)
- Says only a few words (12-18 months)
- Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years)
- Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years)
- Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years)
- Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2.5-3 years)
Ways to Help with Language Disorders
- Listen and respond to your child
- Talk, read, and play with your child
- Talk with your child in the language you are most comfortable using
- Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing
- Use a lot of different words with your child
- Use longer sentences as your child gets older
Easter Seals Greater Houston’s Children’s Therapy and Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECI) offer early identification and early intervention for children birth through 21 years to assist children in becoming successful communicators. Easter Seals provides a free Ages and Stages Questionnaire to see if your child is on track for their milestones. The American Speech Language Association (ASHA) also provides information to assist families with knowing the signs.