Childhood Diseases

Posted by: R | 2013/02/19


Delay in talking

I have a 20 month old boy that seems to be taking his time when it comes to talking. He only says a few words (less than 10) and he is not putting words together. Also, he cuts of the first letter of words, so instead of saying skoen (shoes) he''ll say koen. He follows instructions very well. Another thing that might be delaying him is he is in a bilingual creche. When should I be taking him to an audiologist or speech therapist to be checked out?

Expert's Reply



Your son is doing reasonably well with his language development for his age. Children usually only start using 3 word sentences at 2 years. Dropping the first letter is also not uncommon in children who are learning to talk. If you remain concerned about his language development when he is 2 years old it would be a good idea to take him to an audiologist to be checked.Hopefully his hearing will be normal. If by 30 months he is still not progressing well with his speech you can take him to see a speech therapist.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2013/02/19

I think there is quite a big range of when children start speaking. He is saying some words.

Its normal to leave the first or last sound of a word off at this age, particularly the s sound which is hard to say. It does come right with time. Its too early for speech therapy, generally that''s only needed if your child lisps or there are still speech problems in the year before grade 1. Hearing testing may be a good idea if only to ease your mind that he''s fine. My son was an early talker and then around 20 months just stopped saying new words and didn''t talk nearly as much. This coincided with an ear infection (the fourth in 2 months). We put grommets in and later that same day he started saying new words and talking so much more again, as his hearing had been affected.

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