Since my son’s first birthday, I’ve wondered when do kids start talking. My daughter was a chatter box the minute she was born. She cooed and made noises from the very beginning (and, at four-years-old, she still hasn’t stopped!).
But, when my son turned one this year, I really started to notice his lack of sounds and words. Even though I was a preschooler teacher for years and I really knew what to look out for, I was starting to think that I was missing something.
So, we turned to our Facebook community to find out about other people’s experiences. We were really curious about when other kids started talking and when we should be worried!
How Old Are Kids When They Start Talking?
I think the most common reaction I heard from people when I told them that I was worried about my son’s language development was, “BUT, he’s only ONE!”
I remember thinking…yes, but something doesn’t seem right. He makes eye contact, he is a big mover, and everything seems on track in other areas of his development, but it just seemed like making sounds was really hard for him!
He has always been frustrated by communication and he has always been a screamer because of that deep frustration, so I was starting to feel like I couldn’t support him.
I just wanted to help him use his words!!
After stepping back, I realized that I needed to try to approach language differently with him.
I know my son is a big mover, so I was guessing he learned best through movement, or a kinesthetic learning. I started slowing my speech down when I talked with him and really articulated each sound.
Then, I learned a few more baby signs (although, he’s eighteen months now, I have to say that baby signs aren’t just for the first year!).
After a month, I’m thrilled to say my son is making a lot of progress! He’s language has exploded!
But, at what age should kids start talking?
That was a harder question to answer. Here’s what our Facebook community had to say:
Lots of people will tell you that it’s ‘normal’ or just ‘wait and see’, but the simple fact is that at this age it’s tricky to tell whether he is just a ‘late bloomer’ or whether he actually has a language disorder (difficulty learning and using words). With a child who is learning two languages, it’s not considered an issue if they are speaking well in one of the languages. If your son is not using many words in either Portugese OR English, then I recommend you contact your local speech pathologist. Early Intervention is best!
Be patient!!! A child has to hear a word hundreds of times before it’s retained.
Every child is different and speaks in his or her own time. My advice to you though is to keep speaking to him and to not give up!
I am a speech therapist. If he doesn’t have more than 50 words (both languages combined) I would get him evaluated by a licensed speech language pathologist to be safe.
Delayed Speech and Language Development
As I was researching about language development and speech delays, I can across some articles that were helpful:
Katie is a happy-at-home Mom who writes over at Happilyevermom. She has a feisty 4-year-old and an active 1-year-old. When she's not busy saving her cats from the kids and trying to figure out what's for dinner, she can be found crafting and playing the day away with her family. You can find her on her FB page, twitter @Happilyevermom, & Google +, too.