16 month old communicates through singing but does not talk--UPDATED - Page 2
Over the past week, ds has gained some new consonants and words (and three new songs) We are up to "ma," "da," "uh-oh," "ta da" when he thinks he's done something cool, and his big sister's name. I was excited that he now names everyone in the family, but 3yo dd informed me that he has not since he has not yet said "Humpty" (her imaginary friend).
He still just cries and looks at me when he wants something, but I am feeling a LOT better about his language. Your questions and comments really helped me to observe him and clarify what he is and isn't doing. He doesn't respond to plenty of things I say, but he *definitely* hears and understands me. If I ask for a kiss he will give it. If I tell him to sing to Grandma over the phone, he will (usually the ABC song or the theme from Bonanza, big ending and all .
Anyway, thanks again. I will still mention my concern to the ped at his 18 month wbv, but my concern is much less than it was.
UpdateOk, thanks again to all who responded before. DS had his 18 month WB appointment (a little early) a couple of weeks ago. The pediatrician seems to think that even with so few words his development is normal. He thinks that we should see significant language development over the next 6 months. (OT: the entire appointment was a little scary. There was a lot of focus on looking for autism symptoms.)
Now, at 18 months, ds is making more sounds and communicating more. Instead of just crying and singing, he communicates in more speech-like patterns when he wants something. He is making more sounds, mostly mimicking 3.5 yo dd. And I am sure he understands much of what I say to him. The other day I was running around the house trying to get us ready. I said to him, "DS we need to put your shoes on so we can go." Then I left the room without doing anything else. When I returned, he had put his crocs on. I don't think he would have grasped what I wanted a couple of months ago.
This is great, but I have noticed that he sings much less often than he used to. His pitch is better, and he does a great job of repeating tunes he hears, but in terms of the all-day singing, the exuberant music making, he doesn't do it nearly as much. It makes me a little sad, actually. It's kind of like reading "Flowers for Algernon." I still plan to encourage him to love and make music, though! Thanks again!
Dd3 was very similar to your child. Lots of receptive language, not much expressive language. She got frustrated often, because while she pointed a lot to things, and I tried to identify them for her, she still didn't get her point across and she'd get a little mad. She gradually added words (and a lot of them were partial words - like ba for ball, but at least we got the point).
Because she was extremely frustrated and got mad a lot and screamed at me because I couldn't understand, I had called for an evaluation with early intervention by 24 months. She had maaaaybe 20 words by then, but most of them partial words and animal sounds and still lots of frustration. By contrast her two older sisters had been speaking clearly by 18 months, and were talking in 4-5 word sentences by 24 months, so I was really concerned about dd2. They actually came out by 25 months, and she ended up adding about 10-15 words in a month (I didn't expect that). They told me she was borderline, but missed the cutoff by about a point or so.
I think they also told me (or I read somewhere) that the magic number is 50 words need to happen, then there comes the word explosion shortly thereafter.
So I relaxed, but then things got really interesting. It was in the car one day shortly after that when I heard her start singing along with the kids cd I had playing. It was "God is so good" (a Veggie Tales song), but she sang it "Bob is so good...bob is so good...bob is so good, he's so good to me". That cracked me up to be sure, but I think that was the longest string of words I'd ever heard her utter up til that point.
After that, she kept gaining more and more language. She had difficulty with enunciation then (again, her sisters had crystal clear diction from early on) and still does now but as far as expressing with words, yeah, finally at 4, I'm not at all worried.
To this day, she'll still spontaneously start singing songs. She's not in preschool yet, so this isn't something she actively practices.
Laurie Berkner "This is my glasses, this is my book. I put on my glasses and open up my book..."
Spongebob's This grill is not a home [she knows most of the lyrics]
A stove is a stove
No matter where you go.
A patty is a patty,
That's what I say.
A gwill [grill] is a gwill,
This is surely so,
And fries should be fries
But this gwill is not a home.
This is not the stove I know.
I would trade it all away
If you'd come back to stay.
I know there's more I can't remember them right now. She will be in the middle of playing and she'll start busting out in song. It's cool.
My suggestion is to listen to lots of kids music with fun lyrics to help with expressive language.
I found your post while looking for answers for my son who is almost 3 and still hardly says any words--just vowel sounds, sound effects/animal sounds, and recognizable singing: the theme from Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, or danger music from The Last Airbender (complicated melodies!!). It was helpful to find others in the same situation.
We had our G tested through Early Intervention, and they were quite sure autism was not the issue. Our oldest boy has Asperger's, so I knew what to look for, and I think G is clear also. But his receptive language is excellent, eye contact and social skills seem good, so we are still hopeful that something will click. We have qualified for and used speech services--a weekly visit to our house for therapy.
Two things that have been quite helpful are (as recommended by others) the Signing Times videos, and a smart-phone app called Baby Signs. This has little animated babies signing and speaking one word at a time. G has learned to use this on his own, and it has actually caused him to vocalize more as he has imitated such signs as "hungry," "home," "farm," etc.. The first round of signs was free. Just make sure that if you are American you get the ASL version as not only are the signs different in England, but sometimes the London or Australian accents might be confusing to a child ("beh" for "bear" for example).
If you find any other information that is helpful to you in your search, please post it and help us in the same situation! I am trying also to find more ways to incorporate music into learning and fun to use this wonderful talent. Maybe our children will meet up in a choir or orchestra some day! :c)