It's not like you ladies have a crystal ball and can tell me the future, but I'm just expressing a touch of worry. DS can point to pictures in books when named, can recognize his body parts, and is able to follow two-step instructions. He can understand most of our daily words. I can very easily understand exactly what he is meaning to say with body language, etc. But he doesn't say much really. He babbles....that's it. I think he knows what Da-da means and sometimes he's said Ma-ma-ma. He says uh-oh. He yells and screams and blabbers... but he doesn't repeat sounds or make any attempt to talk in words. He had his hearing testing as a newborn... He has a thick upper frenum... Should I be worried?
17 month old doesn't say a word
17 months is VERY young and many kids just start speaking a little later than others. That his receptive language is so good is great news and is the main reason I wouldn't be too concerned.
That said, if your mommy sense is tingling with worry, I would definitely consider talking to his ped. If there is something physical preventing him from speaking, the earlier you catch it the better! Likewise, if he is still not using words in another few months or so I would definitely consider getting an evaluation just to catch things early.
There are some things you can do to encourage talking, games and such, that you might want to explore.
Some general rules of thumb if you want to encourage him to talk:
1. With no words, you should spend some time using single words with him. So playing with a ball, say ball over and over and over, "Ball! I have ball. Ball roll. Ball!" Etc, not that he doesn't understand more complex language but by focusing heavily on a single word encourages him to try. Obviously you wouldn't talk to him all the time like this, but for some short play sessions it can help.
2. Encourage him to "talk" with pauses. So, hold up the ball and look at him expectantly, then wait...wait...not forever, and certainly don't withhold, but let him know you are wanting him to make a sound. The second he makes a sound, celebrate the roof off. Try to encourage back and forth sounds of some kind with silences and pauses in games as you wait for him. This was really hard for me, sitting silently for a few beats goes against my nature, ha.
3. Avoid "say ball" or "what is this?" types of grilling. If he has confidence issues they could be counter productive. More natural pauses and saying things like "I have a....." then wait expectantly holding a ball up like you aren't sure what it is. Playing dumb can also help. If he points to the fridge wanting food, pull out something you know he doesn't want, "oh you want peas?" then wait. The point being to try to show him that words have power and that using words is a back and forth thing that people do :)
Just some suggestions, hope they help
i would make a referral to a speech language pathologist IF the waiting list is long in your area. my first had no words at 18 months and a handful at 2 years. she ended up needing intervention, and it took 2 full years to get it. i'm glad i put in the referral early. my second had no words at 18 months and is now chatting up a storm. i put in the referral, and when her name comes up, i will simply have her evaluated to make sure she's on track, and probably close the file :) better safe than sorry. i truly believe some kids are just later than others, and it doesn't indicate something is wrong, i'm only suggesting the referral just in case.