So when should your child start talking? There is a wide variety of normal because children are unique. In general most children say their first word by 12-13 months. However, some normally developing children may not say their first word until 18 months. By 24 months your child should have at least 50 words and be starting to put 2 words together like “ball go.” The age between 2 and 3 is a big year for language growth. By age 3 your child should have about 1000 words and be talking in 3 word sentences. Language development starts long before your child’s first word. It begins with the connection and interaction you have with your newborn baby.
How do I know if I should get my child help from a speech therapist? If you are concerned about your child’s development or if your child is showing frustration at not being able to communicate you should get your child tested to see if speech therapy services are necessary. A speech therapist is trained to look at all aspects of language and sound development. Testing in the USA is typically free through your local Early Intervention program or through your school district.
It is beneficial to get help earlier on rather than wait to see if your child catches up on his own. Some children do catch up on their own, but if your child is one who will not catch up on his own and your child reaches the preschool and school age years behind his peers it may affect his reading and writing skills. Younger children who do receive help from a therapist typically “catch up” quicker than older children.