At this point, mild and temporary speech delays can occur in some children. Some children learn new words faster than others do. If your child is not saying words by now, or can say fewer than 50 words by 24 months, talk with your doctor. All children with a speech delay should have their hearing tested.
What you need to know
Keep in mind that many different things determine a child’s speech development. Be aware of the common misconceptions about what causes speech and language delays, such as laziness or developmental differences between boys and girls.
Even if some of these things contribute to a child’s speaking slightly later than others of the same age, they are not the cause of significant speech delays. True delays are related to developmental or health issues, such as some types of hearing loss or a family history of speech and language delay. Daily practice for speech and language developmental delays are generally based on established speech and language milestones. Talk to your child’s doctor any time you have concerns.
It is critical to identify speech and language delays early and rule out other conditions, such as difficulty hearing. Early diagnosis allows the doctor to recommend treatments that can help prevent long-term problems.