Late TalkerA “Late Talker” is a toddler (between 18–30 months) who has a good understanding of language, typically developing play skills, motor skills, and social skills, but has a limited spoken vocabulary for his or her age. The difficulty of late-talking kids has specifically with expressive language. This group of children can be challenging to understand because they have all of the building blocks for spoken language, yet they don’t talk or talk very limited. Researchers have yet to agree upon an explanation for this specific delay. They have determined that Late Talkers are more likely to be:
- Having a family history of early speech delay.
- To have been born at less than 85% of their optimal birth weight or less than 37 weeks gestation.
- Facing attention problems.
Does a kid who Is Late Talker Catch Up On his/her Own?Because this group of children is progressing so well in other areas of developmental milestones, parents may assume that they will catch up on their own. It is a fact that many late talkers do “grow out of it,” but many do not. It can be difficult to predict which kids will not catch up to their peers. However, a list of risk factors has been identified, which suggests that a kid is more likely to have continuing language difficulties. These include:
- A family history of speech delay.
- Little babbling (Quite) to His/Her age.
- A history of ear infections.
- No or little imitating to words from surroundings.
- He/She uses mostly nouns (names of people, places) and a few verbs (action words).
- A mild understanding ( Social skills ) delay for his or her age.
Causes of Late talking stageResearchers aren’t completely certain why some kids begin speaking later than others, but one theory is that these kids have a different learning style. It appears that the brains of late talkers spend their early years focusing on analytical development instead of verbal development. Once this Analytical Development slows down, verbal development has a chance to catch up. Even into adulthood, late-talkers tend to flourish in analytical fields but at times, fall behind in language-focused careers. Besides, brain scans show that a majority of late-talkers who are otherwise neurotypical use the right side of their brain for speech, instead of the more typical left side. Some often-noted observations of late-talkers include that they:
- Late potty trainers.
- Very good at puzzles and are curious about how things are put together.
- Are more likely to be left-handed.
1- Don’t Wait it OutSome parents hear that late-talking can be a stage and decide to take the “wait and see” approach. Unfortunately, if their kid is one of the 30–40% facing developmental delays, they may miss out on the appropriate treatment during the appropriate time. If a child isn’t speaking at 18 months, parents should go to their Family Doctor or Pediatrician for a hearing exam and rule out any physical causes. And from here, the child needs to be evaluated by a speech pathologist.
2- The Earlier therapy.. the Better Result!Studies state that most late-talkers catch up to their peers by age 5 or 6. In particular, late-talkers seem to struggle with grammar, spelling, classroom discussion, and at times with reading comprehension. By working with late-talkers early on, you can improve their language skills and long-term language-based outcomes.
3- Be Patient on a confirmed DiagnosisLet us face that diagnosing late-talkers can be difficult. They are well known for refusing to do things that don’t interest them. Therefore experts recommend regularly re-evaluating to discover the child’s actual ability. Though you need to be patient to have a confirmed diagnosis for a late talker. Experts in late-talking agree, though, that it’s worth taking the road to diagnosis slowly; a false diagnosis can be worse than no diagnosis.
4- Your Time with your Kid is PreciousYour time with a child can be limited by many things: family availability, finances, and other personal causes. Parents need to remain patient as they work with their toddlers on language development. You may notice that your kid is busy working on his/her motor skills, and maybe language has taken a second priority. Many times some motor skills are learned quickly, while others take a little more time. Shower your late talker with praise and love for little language achievement and keep the learning fun! In the meantime, to promote your kid’s language skills, label any sounds he/she uses for words. For example, if he/she says “Ca” for “Car,” you should say, “Yes, that’s a car.” Continue to talk and sing to him/her, ask him/her questions, point out and identify the people and things that fill his/her world, and read together with trying to slow down and make sure your toddler is watching you as you speak.
5- Read More BooksPick out books that fully engage your toddler. Whether it’s a book about their favourite stuffed animal, cartoon character or just one with colourful pictures, read to them as often as possible. Look for age-appropriate soft, board or picture books that encourage kids to look while you name the pictures. Later, let your child point to recognizable pictures and give him/her a try to name them.
6- Encouraging Two-way CommunicationEncouraging two-way communication is essential to improve speech delay in toddlers. Tell them what’s happening as you do something and wait for their response. Sometimes it takes a while for a toddler to respond. Give them time to formulate their words and don’t answer them. Ask siblings to not answer for them as well.
7- Try Not to Correct your kid’s wordsIt is important to build your toddler’s speech confidence. When working to improve speech delay, remember not to correct your child. No sound, word or response is wrong. Any Expression is good progress! If they point to a dog and say “woo,” you can encourage him/her by saying, ” It is a dog, says woof woof,” and so on.
8- Just talk moreTalk to your toddler throughout the day. Whether it’s bath time or you’re making them a snack, get their attention and tell them what you’re doing. For example, while you are shopping, name foods at the grocery store, explain what you’re doing as you cook a meal or clean a room, point out objects around the house.
The Panic Button!Let the panic button away! There’s a big chance your child could be a late talker. Toddlers who are late talkers do not necessarily have speech delays. Some kids do have developmental delays when it comes to language, and the sooner late talkers are identified and can get help, the better. So start by doing a little detective work and always trust your inner instinct.
- Watch how your child responds to what you say.
- Does he/she understand questions like, “Are you hungry?” ( Expressive Skills )
- Can he/she follow basic commands like, “Please bring me the bottle”? ( Communication Skills)
- Does he/she communicate nonverbally (by pointing, for example) when he/she wants something?
12 to 18 Months
- Look for and be able to find where a sound is coming.
- Respond to their names most of the time when you call it.
- Wave goodbye.
- Look where you point when you say, “Look at the —–”
- Babble with intonation (voice rises and falls as if they are speaking in sentences).
- Take turns “talking” with you—listen and pay attention to you when you speak and then resume babbling when you stop.
- Point to items they want that are out of reach or make sounds while pointing.
- Trying to copy your words or others.
- Imitating the talk sequences they hear.
18 to 24 Months
- Increasingly adding words to his/her vocabulary.
- Forming two-word phrases—although they won’t be grammatically correct (“no way,” “where go”)
- Using words to identify pictures in a book or surroundings.
- Get objects from another room when asked.
- Point to a few body parts when asked.
- Bring things to you to show you.
- Point to objects, waiting to name or bring it to them.
- Name a few everyday objects when asked.
- Enjoy pretending (pretend cooking).
- Learn about one new word per week.
- Say some 2‑word phrases like “Mom go,” and “All gone.”
2 to 3 Years
- Saying more words and picking up new words that he/she hears regularly.
- Combining three or more words into sentences like” I want juice.” or ” bus go round.”
- They begin to identify colours and shapes.
- They try to sing nursery rhymes and songs.
- Beginning to express feelings with words (“I hungry,” “Mom cry”)