Communication and Your 2- to 3-Year-Old

08 Jul 2016


If You Suspect a Problem
If you think your child is having trouble with hearing, language development, or speech clarity, talk to your doctor. A hearing test may be one of the first steps in determining if your child has a hearing problem. Age 2 is not too young for a referral for a speech/language evaluation, particularly if a child is not following directions, answering simple questions, or saying enough words.

Typical Communication Problems
Communication problems for 2- to 3-year-olds include:
       •  hearing difficulties
       •  problems following directions
       •  poor vocabulary acquisition
       •  unclear speech
       •  stuttering

Stuttering and articulation problems are common at certain ages and most kids will outgrow them. Other problems may need further evaluation. Your doctor will discuss whether your child would benefit from speech and language evaluation and treatment. A child who also appears to be delayed in other areas of development may be referred to a developmental pediatrician or psychologist.

Some parents worry that a toddler who is not speaking may have autism. Children with autism and related conditions may have delayed speech or other problems with communication, but poor social interactions and limited or restricted interests or patterns of behavior are also hallmarks of this disorder.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child's development, talk with your doctor.

Mary L. Gavin, MD. Communication and Your 2- to 3-Year-Old [Online]. 2014 [Cited 2016 June, 03]. Available from:

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