Language and Speech Development in a Child 12-18 months

Childhood Development 18-24months
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12-18 months – What speech and language development can you expect to see at this age? 

  • Your toddler points and names pictures of clothes, persons, toys and animals independently.
  • Follows simple instructions, especially with a gestural cue
  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
  • Uses a few single words at 12 months
  • Uses 50 different words at 18 months
  • Calls for attention
  • Protests by saying “no”18-24 months
  • Identifies some body parts
  • Begins to use 2-word utterances (e.g. “My car”)
  • Sings and likes rhyming games
  • Answers questions (e.g. “Where is the ball?”; “What is this?”and Yes/No questions)
  • Starts asking questions (e.g. “What is that?”) with rising intonation
  • Uses some pronouns (e.g. “I” and “it”)
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 200-300 words
  • Talks to self during play activities
  • Engages in simple pretend play, such as talking on a telephone
  • Refers to self by name

Activities to help stimulate your 1-2 year old child’s speech and language development

12-18 months

Teach your child to listen. If you would like your child to listen to a specific sound, cup your hand behind your ear and point to the object that is making the noise. Tell your child what it is and provide some more information about the object (e.g. “Listen to the dog. The dog is barking. It is a brown dog. The brown dog is barking, listen.”).

Teach your toddler to show. Ask your child to point out specific things to you. This could be pictures or characters in a favourite book, or toys lying on the carpet. Make sure a specific item is familiar before asking your child to point to it. Praise your child for correct responses!

Help your toddler learn language by imitating your actions. Name everything you do and comment on everything your child does when imitating.

18-24 months

Teach your toddler to listen. Give your child two simple instructions and give positive feedback if it is carried out correctly (e.g. “Fetch the apple and the banana.” or“Fetch the red and the blue crayon.”).

Teach your child to talk. Try to interpret what your child is trying to say and give the correct model with emphasis on the word your child tried to say (e.g. Baby: “bo-to”. Mother: “Yes, this is you BOTTLE”.).

Help your toddler learn language by using words to name items (e.g.“dog”), to describe the item (e.g. “The dog is brown and has long hair”), and to explain its function (e.g. “Max is your friend that loves to play with balls”).

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