2 year old not talking When Toddler Talking is Delayed

2 year old not talking – When Toddler Talking is Delayed

2 year old not talking

A 2 year old not talking would be considered a late talking toddler. Late talkers are children 18 months to 3 years that are saying less words and sentences than children of the same age.

​A 2 year old may be not talking but is that a problem in early toddler development?

A 2 year old not talking is a reason to seek advice from a speech pathologist or a health professional. There is a lot of variation and reason for delayed toddler talking, however, if they are saying NO words at 2, it is a definite red flag for them being at risk of development and learning delays. Research suggest seek early intervention rather than taking the “wait and see” approach.

​In fact, if a child is saying less than 50 words at 2 years old AND not saying 2 word sentences they would definitely be considered delayed for their age. Late talking in toddlers can be the first warning signs of bigger problems (e.g., Autism, intellectual impairment, learning difficulties). Of course, they may be late bloomers however at this time research has not clearly been able to identify which late talking 2 year olds will “grow out of it” and which ones will have longer term problems. A professional speech pathology assessment with a speech pathology experienced in working with the very young children can help look at the factors to tease out these differences

2 year old not talking

How many words should a 2 year old say

By 24 months a child would have typically gone through a huge boost in the number of words they are saying (vocabulary burst).

AT RISK of being a late talker for age at 2 years

= less than 180 spoken words

Doing OK for their age at 2 years

= 181 – 499 spoken words

​Heading towards Advanced for age at 2 years

= 500+ spoken words.

Click Here for More information about Finding out how many words YOUR child uses

2 year old not talking

5 Things to Consider if a 2 Year Old is Not Talking or Toddler Talking is Delayed

 For a 2 year old not talking or not saying enough words, there are a number factors in relation to toddler talking that need to be considered. By 18 months, when the first big burst of spoken words generally occurs, a:



  • IS there any hearing concerns or ear infections
  • Is their eye sight OK?


​Toddlers need to be able to show they are UNDERSTANDING what people are saying to them. UNDERSTANDING COMES BEFORE TALKING – a child needs to know what a thing is before they can say its name:

  • Can the toddler find named toys when there are 3 or 4 to choose from?
  • Can they point to named pictures in books?
  • Will they follow instructions if you DON’T use your hands and make it obvious for them (e.g., ask “give it to me” without putting your hand out to take the object). They might follow the instruction “put the drink in the bag” when it is obvious it is time to go out but can they follow something unusual like “put the drink on my knee”?


Is the toddler turning when their name is called and do they seem to “listen to you”?


Is the toddler IMITATING YOU? - Children begin to imitate (say what you say) as early as 10 months

  • If imitation is not developing speech can be delayed.
  • Early Baby talk will involve copying raspberry sounds and exclamation tones e.g. OH NO! generally before they say their first real words.
  • If you set up a game of you imitating their every funny babble or sound do they realise you are imitating them?
2 year old not talking


IS the toddler SOCIALLY WANTING TO INTERACT? 2 year olds not talking may not be socially engaging with others.

  • Does the toddler make eye contact with you, do the bring a toy to you or point to something they see or hear.
  • Toddler talking is about learning to use words to interact with otherS.  If children are not interested in interacting then delayed toddler talking may follow.
  • Many children with early sign of autism show this lack of interaction alongside their limited or no use of spoken words.

If you have any concerns talk to your health professional. You can always send us an email info@speechnet.com.au and an early intervention Speech Pathologist will respond to you!

​Early intervention is better than treating a learning disability later on!

Ways to boost speech and language skill for 2 year olds not talking or those with delayed toddlers talking:

If you are concerned it is always advisable to see a child speech therapist or a health professional. There are a number of things to consider if a child is a late talker.

​Assessment of the areas know to delay or boost early toddler talking skills such as attention and listening skills, imitation skills can be screened for young children. Your parenting or carer speech style needs to be considered as well to ensure a child meets their full potential and to help them to start talking.

2 year old not talking

Take the First Step Today!

​It can be hard to know if all of these skills are on track for a child without a proper assessment by a speech pathologist. However affordable ONLINE PARENT TRAINING Courses can be great first steps to ensure you are doing all you can do during your play and interactions to provide an ideal toddler talking environment for your child.

​For example the FOCUS ON TODDLER TALK eLearning training course is action packed with how to check the levels and boost the skills known to be important to develop speech and language through play and everyday interactions. The course has 4 in-built assessments you can use to monitor your toddler’s development. Courses like this can be great for parents and busy professionals (teachers, child care workers, Nannies) as you can download it right now and begin boosting your skills immediately – continue to access the easy to listen to video information session and videos of Dr McMahon actually interacting and playing with children to demonstrate the play ideas.

The course is divided into 3 levels for the toddler talking age group –
  • Children doing OK for their age but parents want to make sure they are doing all they can for their child,
  • children showing advanced skills (GIFTED Children need to be kept engaged to avoid later social & behaviour concerns) and
  • ideas for children AT RISK of becoming Late Talkers.
2 year old not talking

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