top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrooke O'Leary

Speech & Language Development: Is My Toddler on the Right Track?

How would you describe your two-year-old: Terrific, troublesome, talented, terrible, tactful, thoughtful? How would you describe their speech and language skills: limited, proficient, advanced?

Each child develops at their own rate, but there are speech and language developmental milestones that are important to hit by 24 months.

Expressive Language: How your child uses words to express himself/herself

  • Uses two word phrases consisting of nouns and adjectives (i.e., blue car, more milk).

  • Begins to use pronouns: I, it, my, mine

  • Uses intonation to ask yes/no questions

Expressive Vocabulary: What words your child uses to label his/her environment

  • By 18 months old, your child should have approximately 50 words in their expressive vocabulary.

  • By 24 months, their vocabulary should grow to 200-300 words.

Receptive Language: How your child understands language

  • Follows one-step directions

  • Answers yes/no questions

  • Points to various objects and actions in a book

  • Locates familiar objects

  • Understands where & what questions

*Most children at this age are able to understand more than they can express, so don’t be alarmed if they are able to point to a body part, but not produce the label for it.

Speech Intelligibility: How well your child can be understood by others

  • Two-year-olds should be 50% intelligible: familiar and unfamiliar listeners should be able to understand half of what your child says

  • Produces the following consonants within words: p, b, m, h, n, w

    • Your child will likely make speech sound errors, but this is expected for this age.

Play Skills: How your child interacts and communicates with others

  • Engages in parallel play: independently play next to or near another child

  • Engages in pretend play (i.e., talking on a telephone)

  • Talks to self during play

  • Practices intonation, sometimes imitating an adult

The information above has been taken from the Linguisystems Guide to Communication Milestones which cites the specific resources and research articles used to find each milestone.


Research has shown that early intervention is best! If you have questions about your child’s speech and language development, please feel free to contact Brooke Today. She offers free 30-minute consultations to determine if services are appropriate.

123 views0 comments


O'Leary Speech Therapy: Boston's Pediatric Speech Therapy
bottom of page