- With Mayo Clinic emeritus consultant
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, brings valuable expertise to health information content on primary care pediatrics. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases of children.
He's a Fort Worth, Texas, native, certified as a pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was trained at Washington University's St. Louis Children's Hospital, and in infectious diseases at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1989.
"The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the availability and distribution of information, including health information about children and families," Dr. Hoecker says. "The evolution of the Web has included greater safety, privacy and accuracy over time, making the quality and access to children's health information immediate, practical and useful. I am happy to be a part of this service to patients from a trusted name in medicine, to use and foster all the good the Web has to offer children and their families."
Infant and toddler health (7)
- Baby Einstein DVDs: Good for infant development?
- Vaccination schedule: Why so many so fast?
- Baby sign language: A good idea?
- see all in Infant and toddler health
Newborn health (9)
- Newborn sleep: Should I wake my baby for feedings?
- Uncircumcised penis: Is special care needed?
- Baby poop: What's normal?
- see all in Newborn health
Infant health (19)
- Baby walkers: Are they safe?
- Baby sunscreen: What's recommended?
- Starting solids: When is the right time?
- see all in Infant health
Toddler health (5)
- Toddler speech development: Are 2-year-olds understandable?
- Terrible twos: Why are 2-year-olds so difficult?
- Discolored baby teeth: A cause for concern?
- see all in Toddler health
Toddler speech development: Are 2-year-olds understandable?
Should I be concerned that my 2-year-old doesn't say many words and is hard to understand?
from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
If you're unable to understand any of your 2-year-old's words, talk to your child's doctor about scheduling an evaluation. Speech delay can be an early sign of other developmental issues.
Although every child grows and develops at his or her own pace, toddler speech development tends to follow a fairly predictable path. For example, the average 2-year-old:
- Speaks at least 50 words
- Links two words together, such as "my cup" or "no juice"
- Speaks clearly enough for parents to understand some of the words
The average 3-year-old:
- Speaks 250 to 500 or more words
- Speaks in three- and four-word sentences
- Correctly uses pronouns (I, me, you, mine)
- States first name
- Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand much of the time
Your child's doctor will likely consider possible underlying reasons for a speech delay, from hearing problems to developmental disorders. If necessary, he or she might refer your child to a speech-language pathologist. Treatment options for toddler speech development depend on what's causing the speech delay and its severity. When treated early, however, speech and language delays and disorders generally improve over time.Next question
Terrible twos: Why are 2-year-olds so difficult?
- McInerny TK, et al. American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009:354.
- Berkowitz CD. Berkowitz's Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2012. http://ebooks.aap.org/product/berkowitzs-pediatrics-primary-care-approach-4th-edition. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.
- Speech and language developmental milestones. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/speechandlanguage.aspx. Accessed Dec. 19, 2012.