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I'm a mom and speech therapist here to share the strategies I use in speech therapy and at home, with my own toddler.
Receptive Language has to do with our understanding of language. It’s skills like understanding vocabulary, following directions, and understanding concepts
Expressive Language has to do with how we express ourselves with language. It includes things like how many words we say, how we put words together, and how we use grammar.
“Late-Talkers” (toddlers with an Expressive Language Delay) have specific difficulty with expressive language or spoken language. That’s why we see a gap between what they understand and what they say. When I do a Late-Talker Evaluation, I see a discrepancy in scores between what they are understanding and what they are saying. Late-Talkers are on track with all of their developmental milestones except for the words they are saying. This is different than a child that is having difficulty understanding language or a child with a Developmental Delay.
18 month olds should use least 20 words, including different types of words, such as nouns (“baby”, “cookie”), verbs (“eat”, “go”), prepositions (“up”, “down”), adjectives (“hot”, “sleepy”), and social words (“hi”, “bye”)
24 month olds should use at least 100 words and combine 2 words together. These word combinations should be generated by the child, and not be combinations that are “memorized chunks” of language, such as “thank you”, “bye bye”, “all gone”, or “What’s that?”. Examples of true word combinations would be “doggie gone”, “eat cookie”, or “dirty hands”.
Source: The Hanen Center
While many children do “grow out of it” and are considered “late bloomers,” many do not. We know
that about 20-30% of Late Talkers will continue to have difficulty with language. There are several risk factors that suggest a child is more likely to have difficulty with language, such as difficulty with reading and writing when they enter school (Olswang et. al, 1998). They are:
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I'm a pediatric speech therapist, but most importantly, I'm a mom. I know how busy and messy toddler life can be! I'm here to show you the simple things you can do during small, everyday moments that add up that make a big difference for your child's speech and language development.
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