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Speech Development

I am concerned because my daughter is now 3 years and 4 months, yet her pronunciation is horrible.  She still can’t truly sound out an “r”, “v”, or a few other sounds.  Should I be worried?  My older daughter was so amazing with speech, so I don’t want to worry if this is normal.  I thought the mispronunciation was a 2-year-old thing…not this late.

When evaluating an individual’s speech development it is best to compare them to developmental norms and not their older siblings. In my Gordonian wisdom section I joke, “Your first son is your lawyer. He will try to talk his way out of problems. Your second son is your linebacker. He will tackle his way into problems.” It seems first born children are often gifted talkers. Second children are often more physical. They often can hold their own in a fight with their larger siblings, but can’t explain their side of the disagreement.

Speech Developmental Milestones

12 month old - 1 to 2 words
15 month old - 3 to 4 words
18 month old - 10 to 20 words
2 year old - 50% clarity, some unique 2 word phrases, and 50 words
3 year old - 75% clarity and 3-4 word sentences
4 year old - 90 % clarity and multiple word sentences

I usually refer to children without other complications to speech therapy if they are more than 3 months delayed. My own children’s speech has developed at greatly different rates. We have had the 2 year olds that could argue with lawyers and caused great stress for the mothers of other two year olds. We have also had a child who barely made my minimums and eventually required speech therapy for clarity issues. Today, their teachers tell us they are all gifted talkers.

Honestly, everybody could benefit from speech therapy. If you continue to have concerns it is never wrong to have a speech therapy evaluation. Speech therapy is rarely covered by insurance, but peace of mind is worth the price. 

Toddler not talking

My son just turned 19 months and we are becoming concerned about his speech.  At this age, both my girls were talking almost in a sentence, however we have only been able to get (... more on Toddler not talking)


Written November, 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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