Speech delay in 2-year-old toddlers has many factors. One of them is a disturbance in the part of the brain that regulates speech skills.
Usually, babies begin to be able to string together a few words between the ages of 18 months to 2 years. However, some toddlers cannot speak well even though they are 2 years old.
Although every child has a different development, you need to be vigilant as a parent. Children aged 2 years ideally can say two meaningful words, for example, “mama” and “eat”. The pronunciation is transparent so that others can understand it.
If you haven’t shown this ability, your child could be experiencing speech delay. So, what should parents do?
Danger signs of speech delay in 2-year-old toddlers
Children who cannot speak at all when they are 2 years old need to be wary. There are several signs of a speech delay that you can watch out for:
- Can only imitate the voice or behaviour exemplified by others (parroting)
- He can’t produce his own words
- Does not utter words that can be understood by parents or caregivers
- Vocabulary does not increase
- Unable to pronounce words except in a state of urgency (e.g. wanting to eat, drink, etc.)
- He Can’t understand simple instructions
If your child shows the above signs, try to consult a paediatrician to determine the cause of the child’s speech delay or other possible problems.
Causes of speech delay in children
One of the causes of speech delays in toddlers is usually disturbances in the part of the brain that regulates speech ability. This disorder causes the coordination of the lips, tongue, and jaw to make meaningful sounds more complicated. That’s why, even though they are 2 years old, children can’t talk yet.
In addition to disorders in certain brain parts, several other conditions can cause toddlers to experience speech delay.
Some of the causes of speech delays in children include:
- Lack of stimulation (children are rarely spoken to)
- Hearing problems in children
- Intellectual disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Elective mutism (children who don’t want to talk)
- Developmental disorders due to damage to the brain, for example, in children with cerebral palsy.
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
Children raised by bilingual parents or caregivers may also experience speech delays. If your child and husband make a parenting pattern like this, it’s better to focus on using one language in children.
How to train speech delay in toddlers 2 years
1. Often chat with children
Invite your toddler to talk, even if he can not communicate back. You can invite him to play with words.
Also, teach him to sing or imitate certain sounds as often as possible. Thus the child is more accustomed to listening to words. This method can train him to join the conversation as well.
2. Read a book
One of the things you can do to make your child chatter is to read a book to the child. In addition to bonding, this method is also helpful for training children’s speech skills.
Choose reading books with characters that toddlers like or their favourite colours. Now and then, ask the child to name the object in the book.
3. Teach the names of objects that are used every day
Toddlers 2 years who can not talk can be stimulated using everyday objects. For example, when in the kitchen, tell the child what you are holding: plates, spoons, forks, etc.
Use simple language, but avoid mispronouncing object names.
4. Show interest in what the child has to say.
When your toddler tries to get a word out, show your interest. Encourage children to talk, for example, by asking what and why.
Pay attention to what the child wants to convey and respond afterwards. This method can also help toddlers chatter.
5. Fix imperfect words
If your child says a bad word, such as “dink”, when he wants to drink, you can repeat it and say, “Oh, you want a drink, don’t you?”. It will help the child understand the correct pronunciation of words.
6. Introducing new vocabulary
The next tip to make toddlers talk fast is introducing a new language. Even if the child can’t speak yet, stimulate him by introducing words he doesn’t know.
For example, when walking with your child, you can point to an object while saying its name.
7. Respond using words
Sometimes, a 2-year-old child who is not yet able to speak may make specific movements to communicate with parents. For example, he will point to the cake you are eating because he wants it.
Respond using words. You can ask, “Would you like one?” This method helps the child respond and participate in the conversation.
8. Reduce the use of gadgets
A study shows a significant relationship between children who use devices to watch videos and speech delays. You should limit gadgets and invite your children to interact more with the world around them.
Your child’s developmental specialist may also suggest that you do speech therapy if the above methods don’t work.