When Should My Child Start Talking?
In my work with parents, the most common questions I am asked are related to when their child should start talking. They ask me, “what is developmentally appropriate for my child?” or, “is my child ok?” You will find a multitude of information on the internet about speech and language development. However, I have developed a quick rule of thumb called The 1, 2, 3 Rule. This rule applies to both components of language--expressive language and receptive language. Expressive language refers to what is said, and receptive language refers to what is understood.
If your child has not reached these milestones, then one of your first steps should be to speak with your pediatrician and contact a speech-language pathologist (SLP) like myself or one in your area. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s ProFind tool is an excellent resource to find a licensed professional. It’s never too early to begin intervention. Research indicates the importance of early intervention for increased outcomes and long-term success. A speech-language pathologist will work together with you and your child and teach you tools to incorporate language stimulation into your everyday routines and play. "It takes a village," so just remember it's ok to ask for help! That is what we are here for.
Emily Cohen, MA, CCC-SLP
Emily is the founder of the Tandem Speech Therapy, a pediatric speech therapy practice serving Austin, TX. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Indiana University-Bloomington. She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Eastern Michigan University. Emily spent three years working in special education classrooms and the last 8+ years working in a variety of pediatric therapy settings with children birth to 18 years. Emily provides play-based and family centered pediatric speech therapy for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as services for school-aged children.