Possible Signs of Speech and Language Difficulty or Delay

Little boy playing with toy car

CHILDREN June 2, 2016

A child may be experiencing a speech and language delay if: By 12 months
  • does not babble with using alternating tone – e.g. dadaDADADAdadada
  • does not use gestures such as waving “bye bye” or shaking head for “no”,
  • does not respond to her/his name
  • does not communicate in some way when s/he needs help (i.e. cry etc.)
By 15 months
  • does not understand and respond to words like “no” and “up”
  • says no words
  • does not point to objects or pictures when asked “Where’s the…?
  • does not point to things of interest as if to say “Look at that!”  and then look right at you
By 18 months
  • does not understand simple commands like “Don’t touch”
  • isn’t using at least 20 single words like “Mammy” or “up”
  • does not respond with a word or gesture to a question such as “What’s that? or “Where’s your shoe?”
  • can’t point to two or three major body parts such as head, nose, eyes, feet
By age 2
  • says fewer than 100 words
  • isn’t consistently joining two words together like “Daddy go” or “ shoes on”
  • does not imitate actions or words
  • does not use pretend play, such as feeding doll or making toy man drive toy car
By age 2 and a half
  • says fewer than 300 words
  • isn’t using verbs such as “run”, “eat”, “fall”
  • isn’t using some adult grammar, such as “two babies” and “teddy sleeping
3-4 years
  • does not ask questions by 3 years
  • isn’t using sentences (e.g., “I don’t want that” or “My truck is broken”)  by three year