Development and Early Intervention: Ask the ACCESS Expert


Meet ACCESS’ Licensed Psychological Examiner, Kimberly Newton. When it comes to gauging your child’s development, Kimberly advises parents to seek early intervention if they notice developmental delays.

Q: My child is almost two years old. How much should she be talking?

Though children advance at their own pace and range and what is considered “normal” is quite broad, there are some standard guidelines that can help determine if a child is meeting certain developmental milestones. By two years of age, children should be able to use and understand at least 50 words, use two-word phrases without imitating or repeating, and use speech to communicate more than immediate needs.

Q: What does it mean if my toddler isn’t using words to communicate?

Every child develops differently. If your toddler isn’t using words to communicate, this could simply indicate a slight delay. More moderate to severe speech or language deficits may reveal underlying delays or disabilities. Difficulty controlling the muscles used for speech, hearing loss, or autism spectrum disorders may also cause children to experience a delay in language development.

Q: What should I do if I suspect my child may not be talking as much as he should?

If parents believe their child is not talking at the same pace or in the same way as most children their own age, a pediatrician should be consulted. Local evaluation centers like ACCESS’ Evaluation and Resource Center, can also help identify or rule out the possibility of language or learning disabilities and developmental delays. Early detection and intervention play a crucial role in ensuring that children are on track to reach their fullest, individual potential.

Many times, parents, educators and even medical professionals find it hard to cope with what might be a learning disability or developmental delay. Too often, a “wait and see” approach is taken. At ACCESS, we help parents pinpoint exactly where their child may have gotten off track. And once we understand the need, we can begin to help meet it. To learn more about evaluation and resources offered by ACCESS, click here.


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