Holly posted this on the suggestions thread: “My 21-month-old b/g twins were 6 weeks early, but have hit big milestones (eating solids, crawling, walking, etc.) generally on target. They are, however, a little slow on speech. We have always spoken/read to them as adults, and their speech comprehension is very good. Both have had some struggles with ear infections, and my daughter is scheduled for an adenoidectomy soon. I have read in various twin literature that speech delay is not unusual with twins, but at what point would you recommend having them tested for speech delay?”
It’s true that at least mild speech delays seem to be more common in twins—some believe they have each other to “talk to,” and don’t need to learn Mommy’s language! I’m not sure that’s necessarily true, but you should certainly see if your children are in the usual range of speech skills for their age.
By age two, most kids will be able to speak at least 50 words, and will start to string together short phrases. Though many of their “words” won’t be pronounced correctly, even a stranger should be able to understand their speech at least 50% of the time. And most two year olds can understand most of what’s said to them, including short commands.
For your children, what may be more important than what their skills are right now is how they’re progressing from month to month. If their skills seem a little weaker than other kids their age, but they’re definitely making progress from month to month, than it would be very reasonable to give them some gentle encouragement and see how they do my age two. That’s a good time to review their progress with your pediatrician. But if at this point they’re behind, and you are not seeing progress, you ought to see your pediatrician and discuss a speech therapy referral now.