15 month old not talking – A late Talker?
A 15 month old not talking may indeed suggest they are at risk of being a Later Talker or may have other underlying issues holding back their talking skills. It largely depends on the number of spoken words they are spontaneously saying.
Generally, the diagnosis of a Late Talker is reserved for children between 18 and 30 months of age. This partly is because of the large variation between children in the early years. However, if a 15 month old is not talking at all, this would be considered a developmental delay.
It would be recommended that parents talk to a child Speech Pathologist or health professional letting them know you have a 15 month old not talking.
Factors such as the child’s level of understanding, use of gestures, eye contact or if there are any medical implications (e.g., ear infections, global delays) need to be taken into consideration. Health professionals can check all areas of development to check there no apparent underlying causes as to why a 15 month is not talking.
It would also be recommended that parents seek information and parent tips from parent friendly sources. An example would be the online Parent Program FOCUS on Toddler Talk.
How many words should my 15 month old say?
How many words should my 15 month old say is a common question. You can typically expect that at 15 months you will hear new words being said every day. The following is a rough guide of how many words a 15 month should be saying.
- These number of words shown below relates to how many words a child is saying and not how many words they are understanding. Usually a 15 month old child understands a lot more words than they are saying:
AT RISK of being a late talker for age at 15 months old
= < than 5 spoken words
Doing OK for their age at 15 months old
= 10 spoken words
Advanced for age at 15 months old
= 50+ spoken words
Do the spoken words of 15 month need to be clear?
Many words a 15 month old is saying may not be 100% clear e.g., “pig” might sound like “pi__” or “pik”. Dr McMahon’s previous blog HOW TO DO A CORRECT WORD COUNT may be useful. Counting words accurately can help you see if your child’s speech development is on track. Count a child’s speech as having a “word” if they consistently say the word the same way (even if it’s said immaturely e.g., pi____).
Completing a “proper” Spoken Word Count such as the online The SPOKEN WORD COUNTER is a great way to monitor if your child’s early speech development is on track. It is frequently the first thing a speech pathologist will ask? How many words do you think your 15 month old child is saying? Having a confident answer will save you time and money.
The number of expected spoken words for children 6 months to 30 months by monthly steps are provided in the results section of the SPOKEN WORD COUNTER.
Should I wait if my 15 month old is not talking or seek early intervention?
Rather than taking a “wait and see” approach it can be very important for parents to grab some tips and ideas to try and boost the number of spoken words before concerns set in. If you have any concerns please feel free to send them through in our contact window. An experienced paediatric speech pathologist will answer your questions.
SpeechNet speech pathologists have a wealth of experience in early intervention and highly recommend seeking information rather than waiting for delays and frustrations to increase. As noted above arm yourself as a parent. Get tips and techniques to use every day to prevent or boost your child’s early talking skills. See our Online programmes and blogs information session and videos of Dr McMahon actually interacting and playing with children to demonstrate the play ideas
You can always send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and an early intervention Speech Pathologist will respond to you!
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