We learn to speak to get in on the conversation. It’s hard to pick up on speech if no one engages with you.

The Environment plays a crucial role in speech and language development. Abuse, neglect, or lack of verbal stimulation can keep a child from reaching developmental milestones.


  • Echolalia, repeating phrases
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Impaired verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Impaired social interaction
  • Speech and language regression


  • Certain neurological disorders can affect muscles necessary for speech. These include:
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Muscular Dystrophy


Speech can be delayed due to an intellectual disability. If your child isn’t speaking, it may be a cognitive issue rather than an inability to form words.


A 2 year old are late to develop language, with males three times more likely to fall into this group. Most actually don’t have a speech or language disorder and are caught up by age 3.

Your pediatrician will ask questions about your toddler’s speech and language capabilities as well as other developmental milestones and behaviors.

They’ll examine your child’s mouth, palate, and tongue. They may also want to have your toddler’s hearing checked Even if your child seems responsive to sound, there could be hearing loss that makes words sound muddled.

Depending on initial findings, your pediatrician may refer you to other specialists for more thorough evaluation. These may include:

  • Audiologist
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Neurologist
  • Early intervention services


With early intervention, your child may have normal speech by the time they enter school.

Speech-language therapy can also be effective as part of the overall treatment plan when there’s another diagnosis. The speech language therapist will work directly with your child, as well as instruct you on how to help.


Speech and language delays at 2 1/2 to 5 years of age can lead to difficulty with reading in elementary school.

Speech delay can also lead to problems with behavior and socialization. With a doctor’s diagnosis, your 3-year-old may qualify for early intervention services before they start school


Here are some ways you can encourage your toddler’s speech:

  • Talk directly to your toddler, even if just to narrate what you’re doing.
  • Use gestures and point to objects as you say the corresponding words. You can do this with body parts, people, toys, colors, or things you see on a walk around the block.
  • Read to your toddler. Talk about the pictures as you go.
  • Sing simple songs that are easy to repeat.
  • Give your full attention when talking to them. Be patient when your toddler tries to talk to you.
  • When someone asks them a question, don’t answer them.
  • Even if you anticipate their needs, give them a chance to say it themselves.
  • Repeat the words correctly rather than directly criticizing errors.
  • Let your toddler interact with children who have good language skills.
  • Ask questions and give choices, allowing plenty of time for response.

We are Social beings. Mix children at Strong Start / Play School.

Discuss with your Physician

Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji
MD,FRCP ( C ) Consultant Pediatrician Surrery BC