How To Determine If My Toddler Has Speech Problems
Toddlers grow and develop at an alarming rate. Every new day brings new learning and new abilities. In terms of speech, this growth is very noticeable. It is important for parents to keep an eye on their toddler’s speech development, to determine if their toddler has any speech problems. Early intervention is the key to successfully dealing with speech problems.
A variety of factors can be responsible for speech problems in your toddler. They may have to do with problems of facial or tongue muscles. They can be caused by mental problems, as well. Even hearing problems can cause speech issues. For some children who have an older sibling that speaks for the child, speech may be delayed. Large tonsils can also cause problems with speech, as can allergies.
A parent of a toddler who is concerned that the toddler may have speech problems should be aware of specific speech milestones. At around 18 months of age, your toddler should be able to use nouns, such as cup or ball, and should be able to name important people, such as his parents. At this age, he will also be able to add physical gestures to his speech, and can follow commands that have two parts, such as go to the bedroom and get your stuffed animal. By the age of 2, your toddler should be using simple sentences, such as “we go.” By the age of three, your toddler’s sentences should be between two and four words long. He will be able to follow simple instructions, and might repeat overheard words. By the age of four, he should be able to understand spatial relationships, use pronouns, and can be understood by strangers.
It is also important to keep speech in perspective. That there are a variety of factors that go into speech development with your toddler. Girls, for example, tend to develop communication skills earlier than boys. Also, speech development may come gradually over time, or it might come in spurts. Regardless, it is important to keep from comparing your toddler’s speech with other toddlers.
There are some signs of speech problems that can help a parent determine if their toddler has speech problems. If a child is not talking enough for her age, there may be a speech problem. If the child’s speech isn’t clear as others her age, there may be a speech problem. Stuttering can be normal during the toddler period, but a toddler should cycle in and out of stuttering. Another problem to watch for is when a child regresses in terms of speech, losing rather than adding vocabulary.
If you believe that your toddler may have speech problems, you should contact your health care provider with your concerns.