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speech, development, toddler development, comprehension
Toddler Adams at a recent birthday party. Since then, she has learned to say balloon in 73 languages.

Toddler Adams has reached a major milestone. At 20 months old she is beginning to express herself very clearly with words and is also following some simple instructions.

It’s great to see Elizabeth has reached this stage. Every day she seems to be saying a new word. A few weeks ago she said “Helen”, her sister’s name, for the first time. It was a lovely moment, big sister was so happy to hear her younger sibling calling after her.

The first time Elizabeth really expressed herself forcefully with words was during a visit to the A&E department. She’d fallen out of a ride-on car at nursery and I’d taken her to hospital for an x-ray to rule out the possibility of a broken leg (it wasn’t).

She was fine about being laid-out on the table in preparation for the x-ray, but as soon as the radiographer pulled the machine over her body she screamed. When I say screamed, I mean she really went for it. I’ve never heard her make such a noise.

Having had the x-rays taken, I picked Elizabeth up, dried her eyes and wiped her nose while the plates were checked. She pointed straight at the exit and said “door”. It was absolutely clear she wanted to leave the room.

It was a horrible experience made slightly sweeter for the fact she was using her limited vocabulary to give me an instruction. Of course she had done this many a time in the past but it had always involved food, drink or some other basic need. This time she was right out of her comfort zone and with one short word and hand gesture making clear her wishes.

Since then she’s tried saying nursery rhymes and even attempted a few songs. Favourites include Let it Go from the soundtrack to the film Frozen and Woo Hoo by the I’m not sure if that last one counts as words, but it’s superb entertainment watching a toddler dance to the tune.

Her comprehension has also come on hugely. Yesterday I asked her to get a book from the book shelf so I could read it to her. Sure enough she toddled off and came back clutching a book ready for a story.

I remember her sister developing at a ferocious speed once she reached this point. I have to remind myself that over the next year she will undoubtedly become fluent in English. It’s going to be great helping her achieve this, but it’s yet another reminder of just haw terrifyingly fast your children grow up.


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