Ask an expert
Question

20 Sep 2011

when to worry?
My 20month old toddler has a grand total of 3 words - and one of them (mommy) she uses for both me and her granny, so I''m not sure I can count it. She does know about 30 signs though, can follow simple instructions and can point out various pictures if you ask her to. I am concerned about her lack of spoken words. At what stage do I start to worry and take her to get tested and what testing would they do?
Answer 330 views
Expert
childhood diseases
paediatrician

01 Jan 0001

It is indeed very common for some toddlers of this age to only be using about 3 words. Your little girl appears to be able to hear well as she follows instructions, so that is not an issue with her as far as we can tell now. Have patience and with time she should start speaking better.Always mention the name of any object she is playing with or handling. If she has not made much progress by the age of 3 years, which is unlikely, she should be seen by a speech therapist. The speech therapist will start off by asking for a hearing test.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9425 votes
No
68% - 19881 votes
Vote