If your toddler isn’t talking, don’t wait to get support: Edmonton speech language pathologist

“Bye, bye Kim. See you Monday.”

My husband’s jaw dropped as the words came out of our 21-month-old’s mouth. We knew we had a “talker,” but were increasingly surprised by some of the word combinations he was forming at an early age.

We have friends on both sides of the spectrum. A girlfriend recently heard her two-year-old daughter proclaim, “I am going to put the water bottle in the stroller.”

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Numerous other friends have toddlers on the other side of the spectrum. Some say just a few words while others continue to point rather than verbalize what they are asking for.

For Alberta mother of two Karlee Conway time and extra attention was enough to get her son Nixon talking. But that doesn’t happen for a lot of kids.

“We’re making a lot of difference in their lives by doing some intervention early on,” Edmonton speech language pathologist Karyn Forst says.

She encourages parents who have concerns to get support early. She would prefer to see a child with potential speech issues at 18 months old and discharge them rather than meeting them for the first time at three years old.

“There are parent workshops that they’ll be invited to and also different kinds of assessments that we can do and we can also get parents linked up with many services within the community.”

According to Health Link BC, you should contact your doctor if your child is not saying words by 18 months, or says fewer than 50 words by 24 months.

For access to speech and language services, click on the links below:

Edmonton-area support

Calgary-area support 

To access Vancouver resources 

The Talk Box: A parent’s guide for creating language-rich environments

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