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Why is my 2-year-old child not talking?

If your 2-year-old is not talking yet but understands most of the things that you say to them, they can be a late talker.

A child can be a late talker due to various reasons ranging from the child being shy or introverted to them having hearing loss or developmental delay. Boys are generally late talkers.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 15 percent of children between the ages of 18 and 24 months old are late talkers.

Two-Year-Old Speech Milestones

Causes of Speech Delays in 2-Year-Olds

While there can be many causes for speech delay in a child, most often the cause is unknown. Usually, it is due to a combination of both genetic and environmental causes.

  • Hearing loss- if a child doesn't hear, how would they develop speech? Hence your doctor would always refer the child for hearing assessment if they present with a speech delay.

  • Neurological Disorders such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder, or ADHD can cause speech delays. The child often struggles with expressive and receptive language.

  • Articulation disorder presents as difficulty producing sounds and forming words

  • Intellectual disability- a child with intellectual disabilities often faces difficulty in understanding language and processing information

  • Lack of stimulation

  • Speech sound disorders.

  • Cognitive delay.

If your child is not lagging behind on the speech milestones you can always consult a speech therapist. Early intervention can be quite helpful if your child has a speech delay.

A speech therapist assesses the child in different ways like clinical assessment or formal assessment. They will assess the child by asking them questions, playing games with them, and asking them to name objects. The speech-language pathologist also interviews you regarding the development of the child. It helps us formulate a tailor-made plan as per the needs of your child.

Here are a few activities that can be helpful for you to help your toddler develop speech:

  • Model communication - in order to learn something we need to see how it is done right? Similarly, you need to talk to your child using simple phrases. It helps them understand pronunciation and sentence formation.

  • Read to Your Child- it will help them learn new words, and point to the pictures as you read.

  • Encourage Turn-Taking- helps them understand two-way communication.

  • Make Eye Contact- it will help establish a connection and help them engage better in communication.

  • Be Patient- don't get frustrated if they don't understand everything you are saying.

  • Play Games like building the block, naming the objects, etc.

Sounderic provides online speech therapy sessions for children with various communication disorders. We would love to help you. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp at +919644466635 or schedule a consultation with us at

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