Many children begin using first words by about one year of age. But many don’t start until 18 months or even later. The important thing is to seek answers right away whenever you think something may be amiss. The late talking may be a passing stage, or it may be a symptom of language disorder, speech disorder, more general slowed learning, or autism.

There are numerous sources of developmental timetables and milestones charts for language and development on the internet. If you are on this website, it is likely you have already been seeking information about late talking and have encountered the tidal wave of information “out there” to help parents and families. It can be overwhelming. Still, it is helpful to know what to expect generally. The American Speech and Hearing Association’s (ASHA) guidelines for early identification for speech, language, and hearing disorders. ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for speech language pathologists and audiologists. ASHA’s parent resources are sound and presented in a clear, parent-friendly manner. A checklist or well-presented milestones cannot answer your questions or concerns definitively. As a parent, you will require more information, mainly information that bears your individual child in mind.

As a parent, you know your child best. If you find yourself wondering if there could be a potential problem with the way your child speaks, plays, or acts, it is worth pursuing now. Bottom line: If you have concerns or are wondering if you should be concerned, you should seek assistance. Please don’t let fear stop you. You have power in the way things move forward. Speak with your pediatrician and share your thoughts or concerns and begin to educate yourself. (Read FAQ “What are the next steps if I am concerned about my child’s talking, playing, hearing, or the way they act at times?”)