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Does my child need Speech Therapy?

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Welcome… you’re here because you are wondering if you should seek the help of a Speech Language Pathologist.

At this point, you may believe you have a “late talker”... are you wondering what your child should be saying at 18 or 24 months old?

Let's break it down and take a look:

18 month olds should

  • Use at least 20 different types of words such as “mommy” (noun), “jump” (verb), “up” (preposition), “sad” (feeling), and “cold” (adjective)

24 month olds should

  • Use at least 100 words AND combine two words together. These should be novel productions such as “big doggie” or “ look tree”, as opposed to rote phrases such as “run away” or “fall down”

If your child has not reached these milestones and has associated risk factors, the “wait and see” approach may not be appropriate for you. See the following risk factors* and examples.

  • quiet during infancy/little babbling: limited or no cooing as a baby

  • a history of ear infections: keep track of recurring ear infections, medications used, and how long infections persisted.

  • limited number of early developing consonant sounds: p, b, m, n, k, g, etc.

  • not combining imaginative ideas and actions together during playing: i.e. pretending to be a superhero, jumping, soaring arms, saying, “I’ll save you!”

  • not imitating words: i.e. “up, no, bye, etc.

  • uses mostly nouns (names of people, places, things like mom, school, dog), and few verbs (like going, run, fall)

  • difficulty with social skills: playing with friends, engaging in play, appropriate turn-taking

  • a family history of speech, developmental, or learning delays: learning disabilities, ADHD, “late talkers”, language disorders, sensory deficits, etc.

  • Comprehension delays: difficulty with understanding language

  • Using little or no gestures to communicate

If after reading this, you feel like your child may need the support of a Speech Language Pathologist, do not hesitate to reach out to a local SLP. It is always better to ask then to wait and see.

*The Hanen Centre:


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