Most parents worry when their child does not start talking by a certain age. They typically compare their children to other children of the same age and wonder why their child does not speak as well as others. Scientists are now saying there are at least 10 words every child should be able to say by the time they are two-year-olds. Some of these words include mommy, daddy, and bye bye. If a child is slow to start talking, it can be a sign of some deeper, underlying problems, such as autism or deafness. Youngsters who do not start speaking by this time could possibly have a problem with speaking for years to come.
It is very important for parents to listen closely to their children when they speak so they know how they are developing. These top 10 words are a small part of a much larger list of 310 words that should be in the vocabulary of a toddler at this age. Parents should engage in conversation with their children on a daily basis and listen closely to how they interact with them.
The average child of this age should be able to speak at least 150 words, but if they can only speak 75 to 225 of these words, this is still considered to be within normal limits. You really can’t compare your child with another child of the same age, as all children develop differently. One child may speak way over the word limit, and another may speak below it.
If a toddler is only able to speak 50 or less words by the time they are this age, this is a huge warning sign for parents, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference. Make sure your child is not just shy, which is why it is best that you listen to him closely while he is at home when he is most comfortable.
The 10 words listed here are the most common words spoken by children, and are typically the first words they learn when learning how to speak. These words are in no particular order and your child may say Daddy way before theyhe says Mommy, etc.
The top 10 words that a two-year-old should be able to speak are:
Professor Leslie Rescorla, the person who conducted this research, stated, “If children don’t use most of these words by 24 months, they may be late talkers.”
Some children are just late bloomers if they are late talkers, and if they are developing normally in all other areas, parents should not start to panic. Your child may simply start talking later but talk as well as other children his age by that time. This is often the case, so you should not worry immediately about your child, or panic. Keep an eye on him and keep listening for those words to start coming out of his mouth.
If your child is two and a half and still struggling to speak, however, parents should consider obtaining help for their child, such as speech therapy. This help should be obtained by the time the child is three-years-old. Speech therapy can make a big difference in a child’s life, and help them with their speech problems. The speech therapist should be able to determine why your child is not speaking, and refer you to another specialist, if needed.
According to the Vancouver conference, up to 20 percent of all two-year-olds are behind their peers in speech. Of these children, half to three-quarters can possibly be late-bloomers. The children will more than likely catch up with the other children in time. In some cases, a child may have problems with their speech for their entire lifetime. In most cases, however, they will catch up and you will not even remember they started speaking so late when they are talking so much you cannot get them to stop.
If a child has a small vocabulary at the age of two-years-old, this is also a sign that they may have other health problems, including deafness, autism, and dyslexia. You should consult with your pediatrician or other specialist if you think your child is having other health problems that are causing his speech problems.
Professor Rescoria from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, has done a study with 78 two-year-olds over a span of 15 years. During this study, he tracked each child and when they started to speak. Out of the 78 children he tracked, half were slow to start speaking but did not show any other health problems. The other half of the children were not slow to start speaking and spoke normally.
When these children reached 17-years-old, their vocabulary was classified as good as average, but their vocabulary was not as good as the other half that started talking much earlier. The late talkers fared poor in verbal memory tests. They also did poorly in tests where they were asked to listen to words, sentences, and numbers and then asked to repeat them back to the doctor or therapist in the same order that they heard them.
The conference also stated that television and videos should not be used in place of a parent. A parent should always display affection to their child, and have real interaction with them, especially during the time when they are learning how to speak. A child learns much quicker and better when learning from an actual person instead of from a television or video. A parent should never use their television as a babysitter, and allow their child to sit in front of it too often. This can actually harm them and cause them to speak late. A video or favorite show is fine, but to sit in front of the television for an entire afternoon is not.
Watch your child closely and interact with them. Most parents know if their child is having other health problems. Your child very well may be a late bloomer, but make sure there are no other problems.