Year Three – Post 1 | My child is 3-years old and not talking clearly!
Throughout my career, I’ve heard this concern from many parents. The truth is, your child should be saying approximately seven to eight words out of ten clearly (75 percent) for his caregivers and maybe a little less for strangers. As his parent, you are most familiar with his speech sounds, errors and the “special” names he attributes to objects, pets or family members.
He should understand approximately 900 words and speak approximately 500 words. Combining three to four words or more into phrases or sentences (even though the sentences may not be grammatically correct) is generally the norm. He should be using simple verbs such as: “want,” “eat,” “go,” “do,” “run” and “get” and helping verbs “is” and “am” as well as some simple past tense verbs such as “walked” and “played.” He uses pronouns: “I,” “me,” “you” and “mine” in conjunction with verbs (e.g. “I like cheese”).
Twenty percent of children will be delayed in their speech (like the infamous Einstein…though I am not sure speech pathologists existed at that time…so who really knows!) and half of those children will catch up on their own. The other half may need early intervention for them to catch up to their peers. Waiting and hoping he will catch up is a risk that I wouldn’t advise taking. Why? Because while your child is catching up, his peers are continuing to grow, potentially increasing the gap your child faces. It’s better to have your child checked out than to find out later that he should have been evaluated.
The second book in the My Baby Compass series provides you with checklists to track your toddler’s developmental milestones, including speech and language skills. Contact the American Speech and Hearing Association for more information about speech and language delays. If you are concerned, do something about it. You will be glad you did.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series