Don’t panic if none of the above reflects your child’s current development. Milestones, funnily enough, are not actually set in stone. Your kid may just be a late bloomer, also known as a Late Talker.
As described by the Hanen Centre, a Late Talker is “a toddler between 18-30 months old who has a good understanding of language but has a limited spoken vocabulary for his or her age.” Other than that, everything else would seem normal, such as their play, motor, thinking and social skills. Most turn out to be perfectly able communicators in their adulthood.
Having said that, if you have a strong gut feeling that something is wrong, developmentally, with your child, follow it and seek the help of a Speech-Language Therapist (SLT) – especially if:
By 12 months your child doesn’t:
- babble with changes in tone
- use gestures like waving “bye-bye” or shaking head for “no”
- make eye contact or respond to his/her name
- communicate in some way when he/she needs help with something
By 18 months your child doesn’t:
- use at least 10 single words like “mummy” or “up”
- respond with a word or gesture to questions such as “What’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe?”
- point to major body parts like head, nose eyes and feet
By 24 months your child doesn’t:
- understand simple commands like “don’t touch”
- imitate actions or words
- say more than 100 words
- cnsistently join two words together like “daddy go” or “eat rice”
What to do if your child is a Late Talker.
If your toddler fits the criteria above, it’s never too early to consult a SLT about your concerns. The earlier your child can begin therapy, the better the results. It also wouldn’t hurt to have your child’s hearing checked. Even if you don’t suspect any hearing impairment, at such a young age, even a slight one can cause difficulties in his/her speech and language development.
Delivering paediatric healthcare the Ramsay Sime Darby Way.
Our experienced Paediatric Specialists are committed to delivering exceptional healthcare for children. Not only does this mean diagnosing and treating often complex medical conditions, but also offering support to deal with the added burden that healthcare treatment can take on vulnerable young people and their families.
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