All kids develop speech and language skills at their own pace. The fact that your child’s speech and communication skills don’t fall within the exact window as a textbook definition doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be alarmed. Still, speech therapists know that when a toddler is a late talker, it may be impossible without in-depth testing to determine whether a child is simply late bloomer or if there is a larger problem.
Research tells us there are numerous factors that can help us determine if a child’s late talking is part of a developmental delay. Some of those red flags include things like:
- Limited use of gestures
- Lack of pretend play skills
- Difficulty with joint attention (sharing the focus of another individuals, indicated with eye-gazing, pointing or other verbal/non-verbal cues)
- Delays in cognition
- Receptive language problem or delay
- Repetitive movements
- Unusual vocalizations
Perhaps the most overlooked among these is a receptive language problem or delay. And yet, in the opinion of our Akron speech therapists at Therapy & Wellness Connection, it’s one of the primary reasons many toddlers with otherwise unexplained language delays aren’t talking.