We all have a need to be understood. But few among us struggle to stitch a sentence together. Conversational breakdowns are common among people who are but not limited to hard of hearing, battling autism, or suffering from speech delays.



How can I encourage my toddler to speak?

Children all grow and develop at different rates and the same is true with their speech and language. There are many ways you can help your child with communication.

Learn what you can do to encourage your child’s language development, as well as how to spot if they may need some extra help.

How do babies learn to talk?

Babies and toddlers learn by observing and listening to those around them. Talking to and interacting with your child from birth onwards is crucial to their language development. Your baby is developing their language skills long before they are able
to talk. Babies usually start babbling from around 6 months and most say their first word between 10 and 15 months. In the early stages of language development,children understand more than they can communicate themselves.

How can I help my toddler with language development?

There are many things you can do everyday to encourage your toddler to talk and learn more words:

  1. Read to your child as often as you can.
    Picture books are great for capturing your toddler's interest and attention. One 2016 study found that reading to children exposes them to a broader range of vocabulary than just hearing adult speech.
  2. Converse with your toddler during everyday activities
    During play and everyday activities, talk to your child about what you are doing, or how you are feeling, and ask them questions.
  3. Use words when your child points to or shows an interest something
    If your child points to something they want instead of asking for it, help them by naming the object and encourage them to use simple words to ask.
  4. Expand on your child’s speech
    When your child uses two or three word sentences or made-up words, repeat back to them in full sentences or with the correct word.
  5. Sing songs or say rhymes with your child
    Songs and nursery rhymes are a fun way to help your child understand and memorise different word sounds.

Is my child’s language development normal?

There is no set age at which a child should start talking. However, knowing some language development milestones can help you decide whether you should speak to your doctor about your child’s speech.

Most babies say their first word by the time they are 15 months old. Language develops rapidly during the toddler years, most often following these milestones:

From 18 months to 2 years:

  • Says “no” and shake head
  • Points to show someone what they want
  • Uses simple words for people, objects or actions
  • May start to combine 2 or 3 words in a sentence

From 2 - 3 years:

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named
  • Uses an increasing number of words
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Follows simple instructions

If your child is not talking by the age of 2 years, is not using simple sentences by 3 years, has trouble following directions or has a limited vocabulary for their age, speak to your child’s doctor. They can advise whether your child needs a speech and language assessment.

Many children with a language delay will catch up on their own, but those with an underlying issue may benefit from earlier intervention rather than waiting to see. Possible causes of language delays can include intellectual disabilities and hearing impairments. Language delays may also be a sign of autism spectrum disorder.

How can I help my child who has a language delay?

It is important to seek an assessment and guidance from your child’s health professional. At home you can try teaching your child toddler sign language or using a speech assistant app, such as Fabulaa, to help overcome communication challenges.

What is Fabulaa?

Fabulaa is a FREE mobile app which uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology. Fabulaa is designed to help people of all ages, from children to adults, who face communication challenges.

The Fabulaa communication app can be used as a speech assistant to convert text to speech or by clicking on image cards, words or phrases to activate voice output. It can also convert speech to text.

Fabulaa is customizable with colourful visuals and engaging features. Fabulaa is the most affordable and accessible AAC app in the GCC and is currently available in five languages.

Download it today www.fabulaa.app