My child is nearly 3, but is only saying a handful of words. Should I be concerned?

While every child is unique and will learn to use language at their own pace, there are some general milestones that can be used to help parents and professionals identify whether your child’s language and speech is developing at the expected pace.

Babies typically begin the journey to speech within the first few months of development, where they begin producing a range of sounds through babbling. By approximately 12-18 months, children begin saying some of their first words with intent.

By 18-24 months, a growth in language use can be observed in children, where they begin putting words together to make short sentences. They may also begin asking simple questions, such as “what’s that?”. By the end of 24 months, children are typically expected to use at least 50 words.

By 3 years of age, children begin speaking in longer and more complex sentences. They will even begin to start asking simple questions such as “Where milk?”. A growth in the number of words they know and use is also expected.

If your child is nearly 3 and is only saying a handful of words, it is recommended that you consult a Speech Pathologist, who will guide you with strategies to help support your child’s language development, as well as identify any other possible areas of concern that may be impacting your child’s language development.


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