Toddlers: 24 Months+

2.5 Year Old & Speech

DS is 2.5 years old and for the past few months, I've been getting more and more concerned about his language development.
He uses and knows a LOT of words. He can label things and ask for things he wants. He can talk about things in the past or future. However, when he talks about things he typically only uses one word at a time. For instance, he may say "balloon" and then say "sky" a few seconds later when he's trying to tell me "the balloon flew into the sky". He waits for confirmation after every word he says, to make sure we understand what he's saying.
He goes on a lot of rants, but in completely incomprenhensible language.
He knows his colors, some numbers and knows how to label hundreds of different things...

He had a check-up a couple months ago and the doctor was pleased with his development but did seem concerned that he wasn't using a lot of two-word sentences.
Since his check-up, he has started using more 2-word sentences such as "all done" or "there it is!" but not much more than that.

All the fellow mommies I know who have children his age are using 3-4 word sentences, singing complete songs, etc.

Should I be worried??
I know he's behind in language development, but is he TOO far behind?

Re: 2.5 Year Old & Speech

  • I'm an SLP, and I do preschool language assessments pretty often with tests that can be given to children under 3. It sounds like he has a strong single word vocabulary which is of course fantastic. He very well could just start combining more words on his own. On the other hand, language development and rate can be hard to predict and if he were say, turning 3, a language assessment may be warranted.

    Can he repeat 2 word phrases? Even just something like "Hi Daddy"? By keeping language simple when describing things (which maybe you already do), it will naturally make it easier for him to imitate and he just may need that practice and frequent models from adults. Phrases like "More juice," "Car go!", "Bye block" when cleaning up, etc. When I worked in early intervention, I frequently recommended to parents adding just 1 word to the single words in their child's repertoire. So if a boy loves apples but doesn't have the vocabulary just yet, he can work on repeating that word (or even something like "ah" initially) and once he has it, add onto it for him to repeat when requesting (More apple, apple please, I want apple, etc.).
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We try to encourage him to repeat new 2 word phrases, but he rarely does it. We try and get him to say things like "bite please!" or "more milk" but he usually just picks one word to say at a time, no matter how hard we try.
    But if we incorporate things like this everyday, he seems to pick it up with time...For instance, he learned "clean it up!", "here it is." and "all done" through a few weeks of saying them EVERY day to him, multiple times a day.
    So he can repeat 2-word phrases, but he needs to hear it frequently and for an extended period of time before actually learning it (or even attempting it).

    He has rarely had interaction with other children and is very shy, so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it...He seems embarrassed or too shy to say things sometimes, even just with me. Like I said, I NEVER put him down for not saying something correctly....He seems to be opening up & trying harder with every day that passes, it just seems like it's taken a lot of effort & time to get him even this far.

    I appreciate your feedback so much!
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  • I second the recommendation to call EI.  I would be concerned.
  • It'll be okay.  May as well nip it in the bud if need be! :]
    Little Man 1.8.11
    Freshie Girl 9.29.12
  • My DD is 34 mos and has been in speech therapy since 17 mos.  She is sort of the opposite.  She can easily use 6 or 7 word sentences but still has a very limited vocabulary (at least that anyone can understand).  I'd recommend calling and getting an evaluation.  Keep in mind if he qualifies for services at this age the therapy is all play based.  And the therapist gives me things to work on with her each week.  It's been super helpful.  Good luck!!!
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