Delayed Speech in Toddlers: From 10 to 200 Words in Just 10 Weeks!
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Ten Weeks! That’s how long it takes Tessa to get most toddlers to talk. Not 4 months, which is the time we need to get school-aged kids back on track. Just ten weeks! Because, at the toddler age, the gaps are smaller. So we can quickly close toddler’s gaps and, simultaneously, teach them the precursors to reading and written language and actually prevent future learning problems and social difficulties.
Case in point…..a 2 ½ – year old toddler named Megan. Here is her story:
Megan was Bright!
Megan was 28 months old and smart as a whip. She could follow 3-step directions better than many 3 year olds and play cooperatively with her family and friends. The only problem was….she barely spoke. “Less than 10 words,” her mother reported at our first meeting.
Children start to communicate on their very first day of life. Mothers learn to differentiate their baby’s different cries for their various needs. Babies smile at their parents, coo at them and gaze into their eyes. This is their communication during these first 3 months.
Between 4 and 6 months, babies begin combining vowels and consonants; they begin to babble. You may hear “mama”, “dada” and “baba”. These “words” are your babies experimenting with vocalization; moving their lips, palates, tongues and vocal cords to make all kinds of noises.
Between 7 and 12 months, babies begin to pair their vocalizations to patterns they hear in your speech, and by 13 to 18 months, if all is well, those first true words appear……one-year olds use 5 – 10 words to consistently label important people and objects. A huge language spurt occurs between 12 and 24 months of age; toddlers gradually speak 50-200 words, although they understand hundreds more. They learn new words every single day.
By age 2, children begin combining words. This is when we hear “Mommy come,” or “Car go!” By 2 ½ or 3, we expect three- and four- word combinations. And it’s not long after that when preschoolers begin speaking in adult-like grammatically correct sentences.
Megan Didn’t Talk!
At age 2 ½, Megan had less than 10 words, and they were all used for labeling. She had a moderate communication delay.
She was at risk for social challenges and school failure. Her parents weren’t going to let that happen. They enrolled her for therapy one time a week and worked with her at home every single day.
Progress quickly took place. After just one session, Megan had two new words, “key” and “doggy.” In just 10 weeks, Megan had about 200 words in her vocabulary, and after 4 months, she had met her 6-month goals!
We Dismissed Megan in 4 Short Months
She was ready to socialize with her family and friends, participate in preschool and start learning the precursors to reading and writing.
We are not exaggerating when we say Give us 4 months and we’ll give you a different child. We do not always close the gaps in 4 months, especially if your child is school-aged and already significantly behind. But we do make enough progress to bump your child up to the next reading group or to break his writer’s block. And, as our goals specify, our kids DO progress twice as fast as their peers are progressing during those 4- month periods, so eventually, with perseverance on your part, along with our research-based, aggressive, intensive therapy, the gaps will be closed.
The bottom line is this; prevention is more effective and less expensive than remediation. So, give us a toddler, and we’ll close the gaps in 4 months. If your child is a preschooler or kindergartner, it may take 4-8 months to get them caught up.
We have the expertise to address communication, social and academic difficulties at any age. But the younger, the better. If you know a child who is struggling developmentally, socially or academically, call us at 858.509.1131 TODAY!