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Speech Therapy for Late Talkers

We hear the question: “When should I be concerned that my toddler is not talking?” a lot. It’s a completely natural concern to have and be reassured that you’re not alone.


However, there isn't a simple answer. Every toddler is unique which is why we prioritise getting to know them, their unique needs, and their family before making a decision.


Generally speaking, a child starts using their first words at around 12 months of age. By their second birthday they should be starting to put two words together and have a vocabulary of around 250 words. But remember, kids develop at different rates. We’ve all heard a story of someone who didn’t say a word until they started at school and now they’re a lawyer or a novelist! A late talker is a toddler who has a small vocabulary for their age but is typically developing in all other areas.

Will my toddler's speech catch up?

Around 20-30% of late talkers will end up with ongoing language difficulties. They may eventually be diagnosed with a Developmental Language Disorder. 


One of our jobs as speech therapists is to figure out if your child may be at risk of these ongoing needs. There are several risk factors we might look for:

  • Reduced babbling

  • A history of ear infections

  • Limited pretend play

  • Does not imitate (copy) words

  • Uses mostly names of people, places, and things, rather than action words

  • Difficulty interacting with peers

  • A family history of communication delay, learning or academic difficulties

  • A mild comprehension (understanding) delay for his or her age

  • Uses few gestures to communicate

However, whatever your child’s profile of needs, early intervention is still important as it can be very hard to predict what might happen. Therapy intervention at this age and stage of development is very much parent led. We will work closely with you to help your child’s language development in everyday play situations.


Book an appointment today.

Book a speech therapy assessment to begin your journey with Hope Therapies.

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