Late talkers are children that are between the age of 18-30 months and have an easier time understanding language but are not speaking as much as they should. They are also usually developing just fine in the play abilities, cognitive abilities and gross/fine motor skills.

But according to ASHA, there are definite risk factors that your child might not simply outgrow being the quiet child. The risk factors that may indicate a more serious language problem include:

  • Difficulty understanding what you are saying. Can she point to an object you name? Can she follow simple directions? If not, she may have a language delay.

  • Does she use gestures like waving "hi," point to objects or put his arms up to for you to pick him up?  When a child uses gestures it's an indication that he will more likely catch up to his peers. If your child is not using any gestures, he might require intervention.

  • Is your child trying to use new words? She should be attempting to use new vocabulary on a regular basis even if she is not speaking as much as her peers. She may also be putting two words together in short sentences. If so, she may not be delayed. If you do not hear new words regularly, your child may have a language problem.

Language Development Milestones Chart - Birth to 3

Researchers and clinicians have studied typical language development, which follows a predictable progression. Speech therapists often use these norms to determine if a child is using language adequately for their age or if they are behind. Use this helpful chart as a reference for how your child should be communicating.

Top 10 Strategies to Help a Late Talker

The best way to encourage your toddler's language development is during regular everyday activities at home. In the bath, around the dinner table and getting ready for bed are all great opportunities to improve language skills.


These are the top 10 strategies every speech therapist uses during early intervention.

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