It is normal for parents, especially first-timers, to have many doubts and concerns and that this will easily lead them to constantly compare whether their child’s behavior and development is like that of others. It is true that there are standards in everything, but these are usually very general, so we can not always guide ourselves solely by these. One of the doubts that usually arise more usually is related to the development of speech and language . When your child does babble and speak gibberish for months then parents do get concerned. Having doubts about whether it is usual for a young child not to speak is quite frequent and, above all, not sure if there is to worry about or not. If this is your case, keep reading this article and find out if it is normal for a two-year-old child not to speak and whether you need to worry or not.
Normal development of speech and language in children
Before being alarmed and wondering if it is normal for a two-year-old child not to speak, because our 2-year-old son barely speaks or does not speak and the child next door is already speaking well enough, we will have to stop and think what it is, as a reference , the most common in children’s speech and language development :
- Before turning 1 year: babies in this age only make a sound, babble in an attempt to imitate others and communicate and that is how they begin to express themselves in a more conscious way than a cry. The best thing is that in the months before the year we look at whether our child responds to the sounds he hears in his surroundings, that is, if he shows symptoms of listening to them and of being noticed. In addition, the usual thing is that he only babbles/ speak gibberish and says something very easy to pronounce as “mama”, although it will only be a repetition of what we say and not because he really understands its meaning yet. Normally, babies begin to pronounce this type of simple words between 10 and 13 months of age.
- From 1 to 2 years old:Babies already begin to say their first words, repeat and imitate sounds and words they hear frequently and spend the day babbling syllables and loose letters. They can begin to recognize some words related to everyday objects for them, such as “ball”, “bottle” or “pacifier”, and although some will say them correctly, others will probably pronounce them incorrectly just by saying some of the syllables they identify in the words . It is even easy for the baby to already understand things like “catch the ball”, that is, phrases that imply a single activity or movement. After a year and a half or 18 months, they begin to move faster in the amount of words they are able to recognize and say, over two years they already identify and use at least 50 words. At this age they begin to combine words to communicate, usually they put together only two words to say something, for example, to say their name and the name of a toy of theirs to let us know that this toy belongs to them or that they want it at that moment. Therefore, children of 2 years old already recognize words related to common things in their environment and they will be able to tell you which image belongs to an object and which does not in addition to understanding sentences that imply more than one request, usually only of 2 requests as per example “take the ball and pass it to me”.
- From 2 to 3 years: if in the previous stage it could seem that our son had advanced a lot with speech and communication, in the period of 2 to 3 years we will see that his progress is even greater. Normally, the number of words that you recognize and can use is already very wide and you can make long sentences, with at least 3 words. At this age they also begin to learn concepts such as the size of things, colors, distances, etc. The indications and requests that comprise are already more complex, phrases such as “keep the toys inside the box” will understand perfectly. From here, the child will progressively improve the construction of his sentences and the vocabulary he uses, among other things.
When to worry because a 2-year-old does not speak
Everything commented so far is about the progress that most children follow in a very general way, therefore this does not mean that a child who starts much earlier to do things or who, on the contrary, takes a long time to start making them is something strange. Sometimes children are more observant, which leads them to spend time doing something and observing how others do it until they decide to try to do it themselves.
If your 2-year-old does not talk like other children of his age or if he does not say anything at all, nothing serious should happen, but your task as a parent is to ask yourself if it is normal for a two-year-old child not to speak and Find out if everything is fine in your child’s health. These are some of the cases in which you have to worry when a 2 year old does not talk and visit pediatricians and medical specialists:
- If, in addition to not speaking, you have difficulty swallowing food well.
- With one year old he does not use simple gestures like pointing things out at any time.
- If with 18 months or a year and a half he prefers to communicate with gestures to say a few words.
- If from before 2 years old it seemed that he did not respond when they addressed him or when there were striking sounds nearby or well, he did not imitate any sound or had difficulty understanding what we asked in simple sentences.
- If you hear what little your two-year-old son says, his voice, both tone and pronunciation, sounds strange or nasal. Also, if it is difficult to understand more of the account for the age you have.
It is recommended that if you observe these behaviors and symptoms in your child, whether you are 2 years old or younger, you start to go to the pediatrician and to different specialists in the language disorder . They will make a complete evaluation with specific tests to detect what things the child can understand and what others can not, how much he hears and how much he talks, among other things. This way you can determine where this difficulty comes from in the development of your child’s speech and language and they can offer you the most appropriate treatment.
Causes of problems in speech development
The possible causes of a 2-year-old child not speaking can be diverse, since the symptoms that can be observed can indicate motor problems in the speech device, for example in the tongue or palate, or may be due to problems in hearing of different nature, such as deafness or hearing loss to varying degrees or it may be that our child has chronic otitis. In other cases, the fact that our child does not communicate by speaking may be that there is a speech problem such as stuttering , dysglossia, dysarthria or selective mutism .
Along with many other symptoms, the delay in speech and in the development of communication in general, can also be due to different types of disorders, such as autism in its different degrees.
The doctors will be able to tell you exactly what is the case of your son since, as you have already been able to read, there are many possibilities. The specialists will guide you on what can be done in any of these situations to improve the development of your child. In addition, we should think that the most usual, except in cases where speech delay and language development is very marked and is accompanied by other symptoms, is that the child simply takes more time to start talking to be more observer and, in these cases, they often surprise us by starting to talk quite well.