Each phase of language development has a range of normal, which consists of several months. A child who has not correctly spoken a single word by 18 months does not necessary must have a language delay. The following scheme can provide parents some guidance. If the child did not reach these language milestones than a language problem most likely exists:
- Absence of babbling by 9-12 months
- Absence of any words by 18 months
- Absence of meaningful phrases by 24 months
- Speech that is unintelligible to strangers by 3 years
- Inability to use language to communicate after 3 years
- Difficulty with language comprehension after 3 years
Once a language problem has been diagnosed the next step is to find out which component of the language is affected. That could be the hearing process, the understanding of spoken words or the verbal communication.