Does your 2 year old…
- follow two-step directions – “Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma”?
- use 100 or more words?
- use at least two pronouns – “you”, “me”, “mine”?
- consistently combine two or more words in short phrases – “daddy hat”, “truck go down”?
- enjoy being with other children?
- offer toys to peers and imitates other children’s actions and words?
- talk in a way that people can understand their words 50 to 60 percent of the time?
- form words and sounds easily and effortlessly?
- hold books the right way up and turn pages?
- “read” to stuffed animals or toys?
- scribble with crayons?
If your child does not do one or several of the above, First Words can help! Complete the Communication Checkup or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or 613-PARENTS for more information.
Also look out for any of these red flags:
- Limited shared interest in others
- Lack of response to their name
- Difficulty with gestures such as showing and pointing
- Difficulty following an adult’s point
- Does not initiate communication
- Limited production of sounds
- Uses more gestures than words to communicate
- Doesn’t seem to understand when you talk to them
- Finds it hard to point to simple pictures or follow simple directions
- Repetitive play or movement behaviours
- Any loss of any social and/or language skills
If you have noticed any of these red flags, your child may be dealing with a developmental issue as well as a language delay and will need more support. An immediate referral to the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC) for a developmental assessment might be required. Contact OCTC at 613-737-0871.
Here are a few quick strategies to help your 2 year old learn to communicate:
- Expand on what your child says by repeating the message back and adding words to complete the thought or add a new idea.
- Involve your child in helping out around the house. Toddlers love simple household tasks: wiping the table, sorting the laundry, tidying up the toys.
- Leave books out for your child to look at, both on their own and with you.
- Sing songs about everyday routines: handwashing, tooth brushing, tidying up.
- Play with your toddler in lots of different ways by using puzzles, blocks, sand and play dough. Visit toy lending libraries and garage sales for ideas.
- Go to playgroups, drop-ins or the park so that your child can play with other children.
- Check out our “Strategies” and “Learning Tools” sections for other strategies and resources!