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Developing Language Skills

Toddler's minds are rapidly growing each day. Your little one reaches new milestones every time you turn around. Perhaps the most exciting one of them all is their ability to begin communicating with you and those around them. Your toddler's first words seems as if they are a miracle! How do children learn to speak and develop their language skills in order to be able to say "Momma" or "Daddy?" It seems to just happen out of nowhere. But the truth is that a lot is going on inside your child's brain. Every day your child learns something new, takes it in, lets it process and before you know it they are walking, talking, and asking for the keys to your car!  You may be worried that your toddler's language skills are developing as rapidly as they should or how you can help them increase their ability to understand others and communicate with them.

At what age should your child begin speaking?

The first thing to understand is that every child is different. One may begin speaking at 10 months while the other begins at 20 months. Below is a chart you can follow to see how your child is doing. This is an average estimate of what your child should be able to do during the ages listed below...





Birth-3 Months

*      Babies learn to turn to you when you speak.

*      Start to recognize your specific voice.

*      Respond to comforting tones.



4-12 Months

*      Begin responding to the word "No"

*      Enjoy toys that make sounds, music, and any other new noises.

*      Looks at you when called by name.

*      Recognizes small words like dad, car, house, eyes.


1-2 Years

*      Points to pictures in a book when you name them.

*      Follow simple instructions and understand simple questions.

*      Like to have the same story or rhyme repeated over and over.


3-4 Years



*      Able to understand two stage commands like, "Clean up the toys and then put your shoes on."

*      Recognizes the doorbell and telephone.

*      Able to answer simple questions.


How do you help your child Develop at a normal pace?

As stated before your children will learn at different paces. However, if your child seems to fall noticeably behind you may want to direct them to a specialist. Things you can do from birth to help them progress is to encourage them to interact with other children, treat them as if they are having a conversation with you even before they can talk, and encourage them to ask question while they are young. Each of these actions will help your child become acquainted with your language and learn how to converse with others appropriately from your example. Every area of education is affected by language making it very important to focus on during your child's early stages of development.