Is this normal for a two year old?(20 Posts)
My good friend was in tears yesterday as she's worried about her son and I wasn't quite sure what to say so I thought I'd look on here.
He's just turned two and barely speaks. He says things like 'Moo' for cow, and then just about can say car, pig and a handful of other very short nouns.
That's it. He has never said mummy or daddy or his brothers name.
He's not particularly interactive but he's quite smiley and reasonable eye contact.
I must admit I've been quietly surprised at his lack of vocabulary for a while but I haven't said anything to her as I didn't want to worry her...
I'd be tempted not to worry too much. If it's not much better at 2 1/2 then i'd worry a bit.
I think boys tend to develop speach a little slower than girls? so he might just be a bit slow on the uptake.
She could call her HV and arrange to have 'the two year check'? They might reassure her or pick up on any problems. Not good for her to get upset! They are all different and develop at different rates. I hope she's not worrying too much.
i just had a google about and it seems a lot of places say that 2 year olds should be able to understand a lot of words and use between 50 - 200 by 2. seems quite high to me?
My DD was a bit chatty mind when she was 2, can't shut her up now shes almost 3. lol
I don't know how good this is:
but it might be worth your friend taking a look.
Many DC are slow to speak, but at 2+ I'd be taking him to the GP to investigate why. My DS was referred for a hearing test when his vocab at 18m was poor and it turned out he had chronic glue ear. When we started SALT he was 10m delayed, but with intensive one-on-one treatment and a set of grommets he caught up.
Hearing is not the only reason though. My Dsis hardly spoke as a DC and it was eventually put down to her crippling shyness. This was eventually overcome, but your friend needs to follow this up and see if any action needs to be taken.
Has she asked for help? I disagree with the above poster as SALT in this area can easily have a year's waiting list, so the sooner you're on after realising there's a problem the better.
I think the expected level is 6-18 appropriate sounds at 18 months and 20-50 at 2yo. That isn't saying 50 words is brilliant, but that less than 20 is a cause for concern. However moo for cow etc. is fine, it's what's called an "appropriate sound".
If he is below that threshold, and as she's worried I would advise she goes and gets herself referred by the GP (or HV if she's decent). Ask for a hearing test-something like glue ear is common, and children compensate very well. I didn't realise for years that ds was lip reading, and I wouldn't have known his hearing was down if it wasn't that he was having infections. That is perfectly normal talking to ENT.
And also request he goes on the SALT list. If he doesn't need it when the appointment comes up, then that's fine, you can cancel it, nothing lost except someone else moves up the waiting list. If he does need it then that early intervention can make a great difference.
I have a soon to be two year old who doesn't say many clear words, I saw go recently who checked his ears for perforations, of which there were none, and has referred him for a hearing test with audiology dept, and they said they will take it from there.
I think it's not necessarily abnormal but in my opinion worth checking with hv or gp.
It might be absolutely nothing in the long run, but she should chat to her health visitor or GP if she's concerned. As a rule of thumb a two year old can begin to string two basic words together e.g. want biscuit. He sounds a bit behind that, but of course that doesn't mean he won't catch up. Best to get the ball rolling though in case he would benefit from some additional support. If it's not needed, it can at least put your friend's mind at ease.
Thanks everyone. I hadn't thought about his hearing that's a good one to check!
Very useful advice x
Gosh I wouldn't worry - my now 3.5year old was very like that. Had a handful of words, mainly animal noises.
He now doesn't shut up he had a massive jump forward aged about 2.5yrs.
His little brother is 24 months old now and seems to be going the same way. As long as he makes eye contact and understands and follows simple instructions and is smiley and happy i'd not give it a second thought.
I'm in a similar position with my DC3, barely any words, and the ones he does say are very unclear. I have pushed for SALT (on the waiting list now, with indeterminable waiting time...) and asked for him to be referred for a hearing test, as ear and hearing problems run in the family on DH's side.
I'd say 'better safe than sorry', she should get things in place and if he has magically caught up by the time an appointment comes through, she can always cancel it.
I think with speech delay, the earlier you catch it the better, as they can catch up quicker while they are still young.
Strictly speaking he should be using 2 words together as he turns 2, some of the time. This generally happens at about 50 words ('more juice', 'daddy shoe' kind of thing). Most areas accept self referrals for speech therapy I think, at the least it would no harm to ring up the speech therapy dept and ask what she should do. I would rule out hearing loss first though.
I was told in boys, one word by one, two words by two, sentences by three.
Get her to double check with her health visitor but I think it's within the bounds of normal.
at that point I would not be too concerned as long as his understanding of language and otherwise communication is fine. If also his understanding is delayed, I would actually be rather concerned (speech issue tend to resolve often but delayes in understanding very often have some other underlying cause and are less likely to just resolve). agree hearing test is a good idea to rule out hearing issues.
as you talk about eye contact I assume that autism is on of the things you consider. I would tell your friend to google M-chat. do it online and if it flags up an increased ASD risk to demand referral to paed.
she can also self refer to Salt and a chat with HV and/or GP may be useful.
I'd be more concerned about a lack of understanding than lack of words, esp as the words he has sound good. If his understanding is good, then I'd give him a little longer to pick up words. If he doesn't understand simple things, e.g. looking or pointing at his mum when somebody says "where's mummy?", then I'd definitely go now.
On the mummy, daddy thing, I made list of the first 20 words of my older 2 and neither was saying mummy at that point And had only just got daddy. My 3rd had both of these within his first 5 words but hasn't got either of his siblings yet.
My 25 month old DD says about 10 words.
She understands everything she's told and will babble but it makes no sense.
HV came out Monday and said as her understanding was good and she tries to talk then she doesn't meet the criteria to see anyone in our area and previously GP has refused to do anything including check hearing.
If she's worried then see GP and/or HV as area is going to be different and they might refer or at least they will advise on activities and what they can do to try and help encourage his speech a lot.
There's lots of great posters on the SN board if she ever wanted to join MN and talk to those with experience
Just another thought - is the family bilingual or is there only one language spoken at home?
Bertie, this shouldn't make any difference. research has actually shown that children who grow up with multiple languages don't speak later at all. all bi/trilingual children I know spoke as early or earlier than the only English speaking children of friends. this is such an old chestnut.
I'd have to say my experience massively differs from what you're saying. Living in a non English speaking country but having several friends on the English speaking circuit it's something I do have experience of, not just one or two friends but on a larger scale.
They tend to pick up words as usual but it's very common for them to have significantly fewer words in each language around the age of two. Some don't, some seem to be more in line with their monolingual peers (if only in total number of words - the same meaning word in two languages is counted as two) but generally there is a lot of variance and certainly slower language acquisition is not a cause for concern as they do catch up.
My son was slow to speak. He's fine now. Ms he should see HV and ask for salt referral if necessary.
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