No Words by One Year?
But, don't be discouraged if your child is barely speaking at age one; children learn language at varying speeds. According to a study done by the University of Iowa, a typical 12-month-old child's vocabulary may include as little as one word and as many as 40.
According to Katherine Cook, MS, CCC/SLP, an Illinois-based, speech-language pathologist, "Many children have quite a limited vocabulary by their first birthday, and this does not necessarily mean that they are delayed. Speech milestones are approximations, and there is a wide range of normal in the first nine to fifteen months."
By the time they celebrate the end of their first year, with what is likely their first taste of cake, most babies begin making more obvious attempts to communicate specific needs. The frustration that can result when parents don't respond exactly as the child wishes can be hard on everyone involved.
When should you worry? According to Cook, "If, by one year of age, a child doesn't appear to know his name, isn't babbling at all, or if parents believe their child's overall speech and language skills are leap years behind those of their peers, a consultation with their doctor and/or a speech-pathologist or audiologist should ease their concern or confirm the need for intervention."