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Does my toddler have a speech problem?

My son is a month away from turning 2 years old. He knows about 15 words and uses only about 5-7 words on daily basis. Does he have a speech delay?

Submitted by peacekey

Children this age are quite diverse in their speech production. Some toddlers are chatting up a storm by this age, and others are simply quieter. It's likely reflective of their blossoming personalities. The more important thing is comprehension. Does your son seem to understand most everything you say? He should. But since I can't evaluate your son, it's important that you ask his pediatrician for an evaluation of his speech and language. In the meantime, encourage him to use his words to express his thoughts and needs -- but don't pressure him. Help him to have fun with sounds!

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I am concerned that answers to the various speech and language questions posted here are said to be "Expert Answers" but are answered by psychologists who are in fact, NOT the real speech-language experts. Speech-language pathologists have in-depth education and training in language and speech that goes well beyond a psychologist's training. Some of the information in these "expert answers" is incorrect. Please, Parents Magazine, consult with speech-language pathologists in the future!
Submitted by hope_dickinson
My son is 2 and half. He didnt have many words. About 10-15 good words. He also was leaving the end of the words off whn speaking. I took him to a speech pathologist and they adv me that because he was comprehensive and able to follow commands and answer questions, they were not worried. Every child is different.
Submitted by
There are definite milestones that speech-language pathologists use in assessing children. Believe it or not, we can evaluate children even younger than two if there are concerns. Typically, children have at least 30-40 expressive words by the age of 2. Children that age should also be able to follow two step directions with repetition. If you are concerned, share your toddler's skills with your pediatrician but also pursue an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist (ASHA.org).
Submitted by jerushachicoine
If you are concerned most school systems or parent infant programs (check with you county- it depends on state as to what age a school system starts serving a child) will evaluate your child for free. If your child qualifies for services most if not all of the services (i.e. speech therapy) will be provided to you for free. It is absolutely worth having a professional speech therapist evaluate- especially if it is little or no monetary cost to you. The school system I work for evaluates children starting on their 2nd birthday
Submitted by kathrynclark101
My son just turned 18 months old and I was very concerned about him having some sort of speech delay until I talked to his pediatrician. It seemed to me that my son didn't chat as well or as much as children about his age or even younger than him. My son's pediatrician told me about the same thing as Dr. Wittenberg, and after evaluating his speech and language told me to just have fun and work with him. Just remember that all children develop at their own pace.
Submitted by clan_riley