I recently read a textbook for special educators in which a condition called "Early Expressive Language Delay
" was defined as "a lag in expressive language development evident by age two." That same textbook cited some statistics showing a significant number of "language disorders" during the preschool years, and then a drastic drop during the elementary school years.
For example, I recently saw a set of guidelines suggesting that a child who was not yet speaking by 18 months of age should be labeled has having an "Early Expressive Language Delay
." However, specialists in human development have long recognized that the true normal range for the onset of expressive language extends all the way up to the second birthday.