Speech and Language Development differs in sexes

Your toddler will be learning new words all the time and will start stringing them together.  The pronunciation may not be quite correct but as long as they are using words with meaning and putting them together, their speech and language is developing.

Mild speech defects such as lisping are very common and will disappear without any treatment. There is a great variation in the speed at which children acquire speech so do not compare them with others.

Development difference in sexes

Right from birth, girls are far more responsive to the human voice then boys are and they have better verbal skills throughout childhood.  They also learn to read earlier than boys.  Speech disorders such as stuttering are far more common in boys than in girls, and boys outnumber girls in school remedial reading classes by four to one.

The structure of the female brain is believed to be the reason for girls’ superior verbal skills. The left half of the cortex, that which controls thinking, develops earlier in girls than in boys.  In girls, it is the earlier development of the left side of the brain that gives them greater language skills.

The difference in linguistic ability levels even out somewhere during their teenage years.

An average guideline

By 18 months to two years, your toddler should have an average vocab of about 30 words and is starting to combine words into simple sentences possibly only consisting of two words such as “ball gone”.  However he will understand far more words than he can use.

By two to three years, their vocab will have increased to about 200-300 words now.  Their concentration span is longer and they are interested in learning and listening when you explain things.

It is important that you talk to your toddler, introducing new words and making your meaning clear with gestures.  Allow them to respond so that they learn that conversation works two ways.  They begin to ask many questions; always try to answer the question by giving additional information.

Many parents have busy schedules and do not always have the luxury of simply sitting and chatting.  If you find yourself in this predicament, then talk to them about everything you are doing in detail.  This can be done while bathing or dressing them or discussing their day at the crèche while driving home. Try and incorporate a daily bedside story or a nursery rhyme tape/CD in the car.

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