Language: How to Tell the Difference Between a Late Bloomer and a More Serious Issueilanawiles
Some kids talk early, some don’t. Neither is an indication that you have or do not have a future rocket scientist on your hands.
I’ve heard that boys talk later than girls, that children of more talkative parents talk earlier, and that younger siblings often talk later because they can’t get a word in edgewise.
My daughter has always repeated new words out loud the second she hears them. But I have also heard of kids who don’t say anything at all until they can start forming actual thoughts and sentences.
A friend of mine was very worried about her non-verbal 2-year-old, until at 2 1/2, he practically started reciting a dissertation.
There are lots of online resources that give you basic rundowns of what language level your child should be at, by what age (for example: 18 months- using at least 20 words, 24 months- using at least 100 words, 30 months- using at least 300 words), but it continues to be very hard for parents to assess whether their child is a late bloomer or if there is a more serious issue.
That is why, it never hurts to seek professional help if you are concerned.
The result will either be reassurance that everything is fine or early intervention which has been proven to be incredibly successful with kids who are diagnosed with everything from a learning disability to hearing loss to autism.
Basically, in any case where there is a medical reason for the delay, the earlier a professional intervenes, the easier it will be to form new habits before old habits are ingrained.
How can these issues be detected early on?
There is now a test called the Language Use Inventory (LUI) that has shown great success in predicting whether children with language delays aged 18mo-47mo will have problems as they continue to grow.
The test is taken by the parents who answer questions about their child’s use of language in various situations, including interacting with others, playing, and communicating about the world around them. Therefore, there is no fear that your child will be having an off-day and underperform on the test.
The creators of the test claim that the LUI produces fewer ‘false positives’, meaning less children seeking additional language help when it is not necessary.
The LUI is offered in eight provinces in Canada, 30 states in the U.S., as well as in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
If you are worried about your child’s language progression, ask your pediatrician if they know where and how you can take the test.