Quick speech screener item from the 24-month handout: Does your child say two or three words that represent different ideas together, such as "See dog," "Mommy come home," or "Kitty gone"? (Don't count word combinations that express one idea, such as "Bye-bye," "All gone," "All right," and "What's that?")

My DD was not a talker, and did poorly enough on the 18 month questionnaire (didn't have 5 words in regular use) and the 24 month questionnaire (didn't repeat 2-word sentences, didn't use pronouns, didn't really use two-word sentences) that she was referred to a full screening with a speech pathologist. Which showed her to be meeting the 33-month milestones. The SLP said that it was clear she had absolutely no trouble communicating, which is really what they were checking for.

For a kid who didn't really talk, the stuff she did say at that age was weird. "Wind blow. Tree. Noise. Sound. Outdoors." At each full stop, she waited for us to repeat the word back to her, so she could be sure both that we were listening and that we understood what she said.