Understanding Late Talkers

  • Patricia A. Prelock
  • Tiffany L. Hutchins
Part of the Best Practices in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Care book series (BPCABHC)


Some children are “late bloomers” when it comes to talking. Around age 2, their language comprehension appears normal, but they may use few words and even fewer word combinations. Between 50% and 75% of these children seem to “outgrow” the delay by the time they are three, but the remaining 25–50% will demonstrate an expressive language delay that can persist for years to come. Here are some important questions for practitioners to consider: (1) How do we define late talking? (2) How do we decide which late talkers will catch up and which are at risk for long-term language deficits? (3) What are some short- and long term outcomes for late talkers? and (4) When do we ‘wait and watch’ and when do we intervene? These are some of the major questions that will be addressed in this chapter.


Language delay Language disorder Late talker 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Prelock
    • 1
  • Tiffany L. Hutchins
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Nursing & Health SciencesUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication Sciences & DisordersUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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