2 Year Old Not Talking? How to Support Speech Development

In this podcast episode, I, Dr. Mary Barbera, delve into the fascinating and intricate world of language development in two-year-olds. What milestones should a 2 year old be meeting? We will answer this and we go through what you can ddo today if you notice your 2 year old not talking. There are things you can do to support 2 year olds with speech delays or autism, so come join us and get started turning things around for the 2 year old not talking in your life.


  • Two-year olds not talking yet
  • CDC Milestones for 2 year olds
  • Assessing language skills: Babbling, word approximations, receptive abilities
  • Language milestones: Receptive and expressive, distinguishing between receptive language and imitation skills
  • Steps to take to support a speech delay

CDC Act Early Milestones

It is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the milestones that children in this age group should be reaching. To help you on this journey, I highly recommend utilizing the CDC Act Early website, which provides reliable information on developmental expectations. It is worth noting that there have been recent revisions to the CDC milestones, making the requirements for language development slightly less stringent.

When evaluating a child’s language skills, it is important to look beyond their expressive language and consider their babbling, word approximations, and receptive abilities. It is also essential to take into account the child’s exact age and any potential preemie status when assessing their language development.

2 Year Old Speech Milestones

In this episode of the podcast, I focus on the impact of prematurity on developmental delays and differences in children. We place a strong emphasis on the speech milestones for two-year-olds, both receptively and expressively. Receptive language milestones include actions such as pointing to objects in a book, following directions, and identifying body parts. However, when looking at 2-year-old speech milestones, it is crucial to distinguish between receptive language and imitation skills. I share a personal experience of unintentionally over-scoring my child’s abilities by using a specific song and a specific order of body parts.

When it comes to expressive language, we expect two-word combinations, but it is important to note that phrases like “I want” should not be counted as two-word utterances. The podcast also highlights the importance of evaluating not only language milestones but also social and emotional milestones. This includes recognizing others’ emotions and observing reactions in new situations.

Overall, the podcast strongly emphasizes the importance of seeking an evaluation for speech delays and considering other non-language-related skills as well. It is crucial to take a comprehensive approach to assess a child’s overall development, including their language, cognitive, and physical abilities. By examining a range of milestones, we can gain a better understanding of a child’s development.

 Social Emotional Milestones and Beyond

In this episode, we go beyond just language and explore the assessment of various milestones to effectively gauge children’s development. While speech and language delays may not necessarily indicate autism, it is important for children to exhibit referencing behaviors, such as looking at familiar caregivers and noticing emotions. The use of gestures, such as pointing and nodding, is also highlighted as significant cognitive and communication milestones.

Additionally, we underscore the significance of physical development, from walking and running to self-feeding skills, in evaluating a child’s overall progress. By considering a range of milestones, including language, cognitive, and physical abilities, we can achieve a more comprehensive understanding of a child’s development.

We also discuss the challenges that children with autism or speech delays often face that the milestones don’t necessarily touch on like problem behaviors and tantrums. As a registered nurse and behavior analyst, I emphasize the importance of early intervention to improve communication skills and reduce problem behaviors. It is vital to assess a child’s skills and needs, particularly in areas such as self-care and daily activities.

Speech Therapy 2 Year Olds

To address these challenges, we present a way to help 2-year-olds with speech therapy, the four-part Turn Autism Around Approach. This approach is aimed at helping parents navigate and support their child’s development effectively. We emphasize the importance of addressing difficulty falling asleep, which may require medication. I offer a no-cost ten-minute assessment covering self-care, daily activities, language and learning skills, and problem behaviors. It is important to note that problem behaviors do not necessarily indicate autism, and there are strategies to reduce or eliminate them.

Our podcast provides a child-friendly and proven approach, as well as a comprehensive online course and community, to guide parents regardless of an autism diagnosis. I share the Barbera method, which incorporates strategies applicable to all children, with or without delays or disabilities, including picky eating, potty training, and language development.

I encourage all interested individuals to attend a free workshop available if they are noticing any missed milestones that I discuss in this episode so that you can get started helping your child or client today!