What To Expect from Your Two-Year-Old
So much happens in the first two years of your child’s life. We know that all children grow and develop at different rates, but we also know there are some milestones that we expect most 2-year-olds to meet by the time they turn two. Please use the below five milestones to help navigate your child’s speech and language skills.
1. An increase in expressive vocabulary. At this age, your child is adding new words to his/her vocabulary all the time. At 2 years old, a toddler may produce around 200 words!! If your child is not there yet, he/she should have at least 50 words. We would also like to see a variety of words in his/her vocabulary. For example, nouns (e.g. ball, duck, car), actions (e.g. go, eat, walk), pronouns and basic concepts would comprise a well-rounded variety of words.
2. An ability to combine words. Some example phrases may be “more milk,” “no cookie,” “mama go” and “dada up.” In order for toddlers to combine words, they must have a solid number of words AND a variety of words. If the child has 100 nouns, for example, it’s going to be very difficult for him/her to combine words.
3. 50% Speech intelligibility. Two-year-olds are approximately 50% intelligible to unfamiliar listeners. This means that a person should understand at least half of what the child says. It’s very common for 2-year-olds to make speech sound errors (often called developmental errors). For example, a child may say “wuv” when meaning to say “love.”
4. Growth in receptive language. One sign of an increase in receptive language is a child’s ability to point to objects and pictures when named. For example, your child should be able to point to a few body parts or pictures in a picture book. They should also be able to follow directions. At 2 years old, we expect that the child can follow one-step directions consistently, as well as follow simple two-step related directions. For example, “Get your shoes and go to the door.”
5. Greater interest in socialization. At this age, children typically engage in parallel play, but they begin to show a greater interest in socializing with others. 2-year-olds enjoy participating in playgroups and classes. They may not know how to share or take turns, but they will imitate adults and older children so be sure to model these skills for them!
If your child has a smaller vocabulary or they are not able to follow directions consistently, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she needs help. It’s important to look at ALL of the above milestones to determine if your child is on the right track.
Research has shown that early detection of communication disorders plays a major role in shorter treatment plans and faster recovery! If you have questions about your 2-year-old’s speech and language development, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help!