Your child has hit the toddler stage, and this is an exciting time! It’s around the time when your child is learning how to speak, and you can be able to have simple conversations with your child.
However, you may notice that your toddler is not speaking as much as you expected them to. You may wonder if at 22 months, this is normal, or if it’s a sign of a speech development problem. Indeed, there are late bloomers, but is it more than that?
Why 22 Months?
You may think that 22 months is an oddly specific age to look at your toddler’s speech abilities, but it’s because the toddler stage hits around this time. This is when the infamous “terrible twos” tend to happen. While they’re known to have tantrums, they’re also known for when a toddler’s speech drastically improves.
Around this age, a toddler may be able to tell you what’s wrong, and if they can’t, then this is a sign that you may need to seek help. Being able to express their emotions can prevent a toddler from breaking down should they have a grievance.
Therefore, you may worry if a toddler just isn’t speaking enough, and you may wonder if it’s something bigger, such as a speech problem, autism, or anything else that may need treatment.
Should You Worry?
If your 22-month-old toddler isn’t saying that much, talking to a speech therapist may be recommended. Sometimes, they’re just late bloomers and will develop normally with time. However, there is also the possibility that they may start talking later than they should.
How many words does a toddler say? At 22 months, it varies between around 120-399. While you probably aren’t counting their words, if they are saying little, or anything at all, this may be the sign of something bigger. A toddler needs to talk with other people to develop their speech.
There are many reasons for this. It could be a speech problem, or autism. If you’re unsure, go to a speech therapist. This is a good reason to go to one, as the speech problems can worsen if untreated.
Autism may sound a little worrying for some parents, but a therapist can help rule it out. If they do possibly have it, early treatment may be able to help.
Toddlers Who Understand But Don’t Speak
There are some toddlers who do understand what you’re saying, but they just don’t speak to you for whatever reason. They may use nonsense noises and sounds to communicate, and you can break down their language with a little patience. These toddlers are called late talkers.
If a toddler is saying fewer than 120 words, they may be a late talker. If they are speaking 120-399, they are doing normal. More than that, and they are ahead for their age, which is always good.
How To Monitor Your Child’s Talking
Of course, you don’t have the time to count a child’s words. There are many word counters you can use, such as apps on your phone, to be able to record your toddler and see how many they are saying. This can get you a better idea as to whether or not your toddler is talking normally or needs help.
If you’re worried about your toddler not talking, don’t hesitate. Go see a speech therapist for advice. A professional can help you determine whether or not your toddler is fine or needs some looking at. They can help give you tips on how to improve your child’s speech delays, and help them catch up.
Even if it turns out that your toddler is speaking on average for their age, a child speech therapist can give you ways to improve their speech even more.
What If They’re Talking, But Not Enough?
At 22 months, your child won’t be having any deep conversations with you, but you should expect them to know what things are, what verbs to use, what adjectives to use to describe things, and other basic talking skills. You shouldn’t expect them to talk perfectly, but you should expect them to have a reasonable amount of words. If they aren’t doing that, you should monitor them and see what types of words are lacking.
Early Intervention Is Important
If a toddler is not talking, or not talking enough, some parents may delay seeking help. They may think their toddler will grow out of not talking, or they may be afraid of hearing some bad news like the child has a developmental disability.
Well, if they do have a disability, delaying treatment will make it worse. With early treatment, many speech problems can be successfully treated, or if your child has autism, managing it can be much better with early treatment.
If you don’t treat it early, you may have a worse problem on your hands, and treating it will be harder. It can be expensive, and frustrating for both you or the child. Many children with speech problems are aware of their problems, and may be frustrated because of that.
Often, a frustrated child makes the problem worse. It becomes a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Seeking help is always recommended for that reason. If you’re unsure, just talk to a therapist and they can help you.
So, to summarize, your child, at 22 months, should know about 120-399 words on average. If they know 119 words, this may not be anything to worry about, but if the amount of words they know is way lower than average, this may be a sign of something you should look at.
The toddler stage of development is filled with uncertainty. If you’re unsure if your child is developing properly, it’s wise for you to seek the help of a therapist who can help you determine if your toddler is developing well enough. This can help give you peace of mind or have an effective treatment plan.
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