2 Year Olds Verbal Skills

Updated on March 24, 2011
J.S. asks from Costa Mesa, CA
17 answers

Hi everyone. I am new here! So i hope I am doing this correctly.
I know you all aren't dr's, but I was hoping to get other mom's opinions about my 2 year olds verbal skills.
She says a few 2-4 word sentences, and says about 80-100 words.
The doctor said she's doing great. During that dr''s appointment my girl was cranky and I really couldn't talk to him in detail. Even though she says 80-100 words, they aren't full words. Like instead of bike, she will say bi. She doesn't do this with all of her words, but a lot of them. Baby is bay, bath is ba, night night is ni, house is how, and so on. But other words she says very clear....milk, go, now, cat, dog, dad, mamma, yeah, okay, no, and so on.
Is that pretty average for speech? I know all kids are different, but does anything jump out at you that sounds off or that you would worry about?
This might just be me completely freaking out, I don't know.
Thank you.

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So What Happened?

Oh my gosh, thank you! To answer a few questions she just turned 2 this month. The last 2 months she has had a word explosion, but thats when I noticed the dropping off at the end of her words. I have had her hearing checked and it came back fine, which I was happy about, and when she does drop off her words I repeat it the correct way. She usually just continues to repeat them her way. We read a lot together. I think I focused my worry on this in paticular because I was in speech therapy as a child, so maybe I just stress about it more then other things? She understands everything we tell her, and can follow directions. She's great with all her other milestones, and is very active. I appreciate all the suggestions too, and I will continue to work with her when she repeats me. I really do thank you all for responding. It's sort of like a weight is lifted off my shoulders that i'm not alone. I hope I was right when I assumed sending you all flowers was a good thing?

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answers from Washington DC on

Is she a young two or an older two? I think that it sounds normal.She has vocabulary and uses it appropriately - her articulation is the problem and that will come with age. My newly three year old is still very hard to understand, but she talks non-stop. The doctor wants to watch her but says tha tas long as 50% is understandable, we are still okay. We will be reevaluating when she is closer to 3 and a half. Kids ARE different. My older child spoke like an adult at 18 months - full sentences and very clear with a huge vocabulary. Keep a dialog open on tis issue with the doctor, but I wouldnt' worry too much. It if more of an issue if you feel it is impeding her social interactions.

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answers from Dallas on

Nothing to worry about. A lot of children drop letters or replace them with other ones. This is totally age appropriate. My son is in preschool for speech delay, which he has just blossom in the past year. He was always at the bottom of the scale at the doctor's office, but my doctor wasn't too concern, she knew I was. On his assessment it did say he's age appropriate for most of his speech problems. What she is doing is very much age appropriate like i said. One thing that you can do, is repeat the word back after she says it. You have nothing to worry about.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

This sounds completely, 100% normal for a two year old. That's a good sized vocabulary, and she's stringing words together. It doesn't matter that she doesn't say them right yet. By the time she's 3, she should be pretty intelligible to most people, but at 2 its common that only mom and close family (who are with her a lot) understand her. Just make sure you use the correct words when speaking to her, but don't try to correct her when she speaks, it'll make her self-conscious and she won't talk as much.

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answers from Williamsport on

She sounds sharp to me. My first daughter was a very early advanced talker. She was saying complex sentences at 18 months. My son didn't say a word until 2 1/2. (he's now 3 and an awesome talker-I did not pay attention to advice to get any therapy knowing lots of boys who were at least that late). My 20 month old daughter says no full words either, but understands things perfectly. She only says, "Tah koo" for thank you and "maaa maaa" for Batman. Kids really do talk at all different times. If you aren't sensing any lack of comprehension for her level, I would not fret!

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answers from Kansas City on

She sounds like she is right on track to me! She speaks more words than my 3 1/2 year old. My little just started speech therapy, so hopefully she will start talking better soon!

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answers from Columbus on

She sounds like she is right in the typical range. At two, you should not expect for her speech to be without errors or substitutions, and she is even a little ahead with sentences of more than two words.

Since it seems like she mostly drops the ends of words, the only thing I would suggest is that you have her hearing screened, especially if she has a history of ear infections. If she has fluid in her ears, she might not hear as well as she needs to so that she gets the longer words.

If her ears are fine, and she keeps adding more words, but her articulation does not improve over the next year, have an evaluation with a speech therapist, most articulation issues are easy fixes early.

If you are very worried, call ECI in your area, and have an evaluation, but also get a private speech evaluation too. ECI is there to make sure that she is functional, and she could fly through that without qualifying, but still need help from therapy.

As long as the content and intent of her language is typical, and she is using langague conversationally, you have little to worry about here.


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answers from San Diego on

Hi Cheryl don't freak out, it sounds like she is so excited that she is not completing her words. I have a 2 year old in my daycare and her pediatrician said that by 2 years they should have a focabulary of 200 words, so her mom was feeling bad as well, I told her not to worry, and just work with her to use her words, and don't give into crying, or tantrums to get what she wants because if that works there's no need for words. Letting them point to get what they wat will hinder them as well, i did that with my first child, but as soon as a more experienced mom pointed that out to me I stopped. J.

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answers from Dallas on

Is absolutely normal. When our 2 yr old says an incomplete word, I just squat down in front of her so she can see/mimic my lips and break the word down then have her put it together. Example: she loves to use her pooter; so I squat and say " com-pu-ter" now she says the entire word. "mama computer please". The same goes for her having difficulty with the play, she was saying pay - so i broke it down for her to annunciate the P then the L, now she saying play. No worries your daughter is doing fine. Continue to break down the words and help her pronounce what she can't.

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answers from St. Louis on

My sister is a speech pathologist so at Christmas when we was here, I had her go over some stuff with my little one (who was 18 months at the time). She would go through the alphabet with his and on letters he would pass over or something she would go back later and try a different approach.

So when he didn't say c or k very well (and he wouldn't say cat or cow- he would just use their sounds- meow and moo).

so to make sure that he could make the sounds, she would get him to just say "ca, ca, ca..."

He still doesn't say cow or cat, now he puts a T in front "t-ow" "tat" but my sis says that is normal.

I know only a few little ones and of that handful a couple use only half words too so I would say you are fine! Don't worry- we all worry about random things that are usually just our kid developing at a different pace than others. It is what makes us good mothers!!

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answers from Houston on

i have 2 sons who had speech problems at that age. so i dont honestly kinow what normal is. is she early 2s or late 2s. to me it sounds what normal should be. mine turns 3 in may and has about 50 words he is hearing impaired. ear problems fluid and infections and such. mine says cat it is gat. nini is night night.da is dog. mama we cant day yet daddy is dadada call eci and get her evaluted they are through your school system. mine is just now doing 2 word sentences.he just learned no about 2 weeks ago. if she is low 2 yr old and doing this i wouldnt worry. if she is high 2 yr old doing this maybe something there but i would look into ear infections before panicking to bad and fluid.

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answers from Austin on

I have a 2 year old son. Sounds about the same verbal skills. Mine really started talking up a storm about 3-4 months ago and it just grows, everyday, he's like a parrot. He says some words, very well, like apple and purple (of all things) and dog, cat, lots of other things and forms simple sentences as well.

Seems like she's on track. I don't know when to be worried that words aren't finished like using the first 2 letters instead of the whole word, but we work on repeating a lot to help him enunciate better

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answers from Sacramento on

Sounds exactly like how my son speaks! He wil be 2 in May, and his Dr says his speech is actually quite good. She said S's and T's are hard for kids to say in the end of words. You daughter is perfectly in speech range as far as I know :)

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answers from Jacksonville on

Going through the exact same thing! My daughter is 1/2 in four days. Speech Therapists called it a mild delay, but within two weeks of the appt she started talking more. We really can't afford to take her to therapy and according to the state she is way to advanced for help that way. So I think she is probably right on track. I know it's hard especially when you see all of these other kids talking up a storm. Just a question, is she very active physically? My daughter is she would just much rather move and play than talk. I talked to my grandma about this a while back and she just shook her head, "Honey back in my day we didn't worry about this sort of thing, I've never even heard about it till my grandbabies had babies. They'll talk when they want to." In a strange way that was really comforting to me.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think it sounds like you have anything to worry about. Your daughter is speaking sentences and her vocabulary is growing. She sounds like she's doing great. Just keep talking to her and reading to her, and she'll start finishing her words before you know it.

http://oc.citymommy.com - where OC moms connect!

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answers from Austin on

She sounds great. Just keep talking and listening to her. Involve her in conversations, read to her.

One of my late great friends used to sit down next to our children when they were really, really young and ask them "Tell me a story". It was always fun to see what they would say. Some of it was nonsense, funny or just "jibba jabba".. but what a great way for children to be heard.

Play children's songs in the car and at home.
I agree, if she is using the correct words, that is great. The pronunciation and articulation will be coming soon,,

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answers from Honolulu on

We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter in the same boat. Don't worry, I am sure your daughter is right on track. In fact she probably has better comprehension than most even.

We started to challenge our daughter more, and found we would help finish her sentences at times. So, let's say she wanted some water...she would ask "mom wa pee" So we now ask her to "use her words" or will pronounce water and have her try, or please and have her try.

Your daughter's speech is totally on track. You can also try reading books more and asking for her to point things out. Or asking her questions that do not simply end in yes or no.

I'm a stay at home with our two kids, our youngest is 1 1/2... and his vocabulary almost surpasses hers. Just try to engage her in other ways and don't worry about the Dr :)

She will be talking your ear off soon enough!




answers from San Diego on

Hello, I am going to say that if your little girl cannot say these things more clearly by the age of 3, then you might want to get that checked. However, my (now 15) oldest grandson didn't speak much until he was 3 and he is now in all excelled classes in High School and getting mostly A's. He is articulate, handsome, nice, smart and athletic. Don't stress too much, just enjoy her.
Good luck with your precious little girl.
K. K.

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