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Is My Child A Late Talker or Do They Have A Language Delay?

One of the most highly anticipated milestones for children is starting to talk, right after learning to walk.

These helpful suggestions from our skilled speech therapist may be helpful if you are a parent or teacher concerned about the speech and language abilities of a toddler you adore.


How can we help a young child who is a late talker?

What does "Late Talker" mean?

Typically a 18 to 30 month old child that is growing normally for their age but has an unusually limited vocabulary is referred to as a "Late Talker."


Sometimes it's difficult to spot late talkers...

Despite appearing to comprehend what is being said to them, playing appropriately, and possessing good thinking and social abilities, your child may have very limited speaking abilities, or maybe none at all

Late talkers have particular difficulties using spoken language. Clinically, this is frequently referred to as a delay in their expressive language.


Warning signs to look for :

It's normal to think that your child will catch up on their own because late talkers often make good progress in other aspects of their development. Fortunately, many late talkers "grow out of it," but many do not, and it can be challenging to anticipate whether your child will be one of the fortunate ones who catch up to their peers.

Factors that suggest that a child is more likely to have continuing language difficulties:

  • Did not engage in babbling as an infant and were unusually quiet.

  • Uses a limited number of consonant sounds (eg. p, b, m, t, d, n, y, k, g, etc.)

  • Does not connect pretend play and actions together when engaged in play activities.

  • Have a history of ear infections

  • Use mostly nouns (names of people, places, things), and few verbs (action words)

  • Does not imitate words or sounds they hear others say.

  • They often have difficulty in playing with other children

  • They use very few gestures to communicate.

  • There is a family history of speech and language difficulties or learning difficulties.

  • Seems to have difficulty comprehending what others are saying for their age group.


If you feel your child may have a speech delay, please visit a speech therapist in your community to have your child evaluated.



Dr. Kawthar Hameed is an educational psychologist and a special educational specialist with over 25 years of experience working with children with different educational needs.


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