Late Talker

Late Talker

Is your child is around 18-30 months but not talking or has limited speech output? Are you told to “ wait and see” as all the children develop at their own pace by professionals or relatives? We can understand this can be very confusing situation for parents who seek advice for their late-talking child.


Every child is unique. However, we should know that there are certain speech and language milestones which the child should achieve certain speech and language skills by a specific age. When they show delays in certain speech and language skills, this becomes the  seed for concern. Let’s learn about Late Talkers.


What is Late Talker?

Late Talker is a child who is around 18-30 months with good understanding of language, typically developing play skills, motor skills, cognitive skills and social skills, whereas has limited expressing of language for their age. They often use gestures to communicate like pointing. They will learn new words, just more slowly.


Risk Factors for Late Talker

  • Family history with language delay
  • More common in male compared to female
  • Low birth weight
  • Born less than 37 weeks gestation.


Many parents worried whether their child can catch up with their peers or not? It is very difficult to predict as many late talkers do show lots of improvement but many do not. There are some risk factors which will indicate the child expected to have continuing speech and language problems.

There are include:

  1. Limited consonant sound
  2. Lack of imitation skills ( words )
  3. Use more nouns and few action words
  4. Academic difficulties
  5. Lack of social skills
  6. Lack of understanding for the child’s age
  7. History of ear infection

How to help Late Talker?

  1. .talk…talk to your child. Narrate what you do, what you use.
  2. Expand their words. If child says “ ball”, expand into “ red ball / big ball”.
  3. Use appropriate question types. Always start with yes / no questions followed by asking for choices then WH questions.
  4. Incorporate gestures with words.
  5. Encourage child to imitate. Starts with sounds then followed by words, phrases and sentence in hierarchy level.
  6. Consult your Speech Therapist / Paediatrician for assessment or intervention.