18-month-old not talking - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Most of my experience has been with rather precocious girls... so maybe I just need someone to tell me if this is "normal".

My almost 18-month old DS still isn't really talking. He says a few words clearly and consistently (mommy, daddy, up, bye-bye), and then has a lot of words that he says inconsistently and not very clearly that I don't know if I would count as real words (car, cat, truck, hi, grandma, what's that, and a couple others).

He does seem bright in a lot of ways. He recognizes all of his shapes (like if you ask "where is the triangle?" he'll point to one.) He also knows the phonetic sound for each of the letters (except for "r"). He will make the sound when he sees the letter on a page, or if you ask him "what does 'k' say?". He learned both of these things from books that we read together - and he really enjoys cuddling up with a book and mommy. But... he doesn't "say" the name of any shapes, nor the name of any letters - just the phonetic sound. So none of that counts as actual language, as far as I know.

From what I've read online, kids are supposed to have at least a dozen words by this age and should be putting two words together. Obviously, he does not. Should I talk to his pediatrician about this or get him evaluated?

Thanks for sharing your opinions and experiences. I'm probably worrying over nothing - but if he is a bit behind, I'd rather get some help if he needs it now rather than waiting for him to get further behind.

Thanks again, I hope this wasn't a dumb question.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I would say if you're that worried about it it wouldn't do any harm to mention it to his doctor, but from my experience they won't really do an evaluation at 18 months. We had one done at 2 years for my DS and they had to do a complete developmental evaluation, not just a speech assesment and it was really ridiculous because my DS wouldn't do half the things asked of him because he didn't want to, so he got a very low score and they told me he was autistic (he's now 7 and not autistic, although he does have some minor speech issues which we are working on).

My DD talked well at 18 months and now my second DS didn't really talk until after two, just like my first DS.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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It sounds "normal" as far as what I observe on the playground (my kids are also on the precocious side). Does he point at things to draw your attention? Does he interact with you in non-verbal ways? When did he start using words? Are you just worried about not combining two words yet?
Sorry for the questions...I'm sure you've thought about all that. It really wouldn't worry me yet, unless I noticed other "markers" for concern, yk.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds "normal" as far as what I observe on the playground (my kids are also on the precocious side). Does he point at things to draw your attention? Does he interact with you in non-verbal ways? When did he start using words? Are you just worried about not combining two words yet?
Sorry for the questions...I'm sure you've thought about all that. It really wouldn't worry me yet, unless I noticed other "markers" for concern, yk.
He does point a lot. He said "dat" and looks at me when he does it, typically. He definitely interacts in a lot of nonverbal ways. He's actually the most social kid I've met at his age in a lot of ways. He LOVES other kids, and seems like he always has. He's never gone though a "parallel play" stage, and instead always wants to do very interactive things with other children and adults (although he does occasionally also play on his own for short periods).

He was an early smiler (like responding to interaction type of smiles) and did that at just two weeks. I don't remember when he first said mama and dada... but babbling and those first words were at a typical age, I believe.

I guess I haven't been concerned until the last month when I realized he was nearing 18 months but didn't seem to have an 18-month vocabulary.

Don't the majority of children talk in two words sentences at this age? That's the impression I have from reading boards like this and also my previous experience. So I am concerned about the lack of two-word sentences (although he has possibly said "what's that" a number of times and a couple of times he says bye-bye daddy or bye-bye whoever.) but I am also concerned about the general lack of spoken vocabulary.

Thanks for asking questions to clarify.... I hope my answered helped.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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Mine is a slow talker too, and at 20 months he's starting to say a few more things. I think the best thing to do is relax and let him thrive on life, and the words will come. In the past 2 months, a lot of new words have come out, and one thing I've done is to make a point of sitting with him and looking at books together and pointing at things in the pictures. So keep doing the books-and-cuddling! It sounds like your son is simply focussing on different areas of learning, and I bet once the words do come, he'll know lots of them. I've told myself I'm just going to wait and see what his language is like by his birthday. Maybe by then, there will have been a burst of words.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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Since I first started typing, there were more replies, so I wanted to add that, of my three children, I think only one of them had put two words together by age 18 months, and even that, I'm not certain about.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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at 18 months all 3 of my girls said maybe 2-3 words
at 2 years they said 4-5

the older 2 girls.. at 2 1/2 . spoke whole complete sentences . at least 100 words. it just happened allmost overnight

the youngest just turned 2 a week ago, so shes still in her 5 word stage. i dont worry 1 bit.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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my ds is allmost 19 months and is still just a bunch of blabbering. he says mama and thats just about it. he knows what words mean when we ask him to do something or where is something he will go find it.

i could almost get worried but then i read about a lot of kids just suddenly overnight going from balbbing to full sentence or at least an explosion of words so for now i feel ok about it. in every other way our ds is very bright and up to speed on his other milestones.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Hi moms,

My son is 30 months today and he does not form sentences, either. To this date, I'm more at peace with him not really forming sentences.. He points, dat, lots and lots of baby babble, some clear and not so clear words and alphabets here and there and understands A lot. He is not in a daycare setting, he has a babysitter granny. His older sister, who is not my bio daughter, who is 20 yrs old didn't speak until she was 3 yrs old. She chatted with me about that a few wks ago and told me not to worry.. I thought that was sweet of her, and others keep telling me stop comparing.. His babysitter granny has been around and helped over 400 chidlren in her life, and not once stated he was odd or behind. She says he's very smart. His father who mentioned our son's 20 yr old sister not talking until after she was 3 yrs and she never shut up after that... They way he says it makes me laugh.. He says it like.. Oh, God!!! And she never shut up after that...

He's also been tested, and I decided not to go any further with the Public School system make determinations about my son. I'm putting everything in God's hands and mine.


Hugs to all,
Denise
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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He sounds right on track! General rule is about 5 - 10 words at 18 months, and 2-word sentences & 50 words by 24 months. The difference between 18 months and 2yrs is huge for some kids! It sounds like he's a bright, social little guy who is focused on other areas of development right now, but not to a degree that is worrisome at all!

This is a decent chart showing some of the language skills kids are expected to have at different ages.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses - and for that link, Aridel!

It's good to hear other mom's post about slower talking kids. It seems like online you only hear about these crazy gifted talkers (I guess because people are more inclined to post and gush about their kids 'achievements' rather than post about how average they are). So thanks for sharing your stories and making me feel a bit less alone with this concern.

I guess I'll take the wait and see approach. He's such a happy little guy, I should just focus on enjoying his fun personality rather than worrying if he is a bit behind in one area. I think he's pretty well on the mark in all other areas developmentally... so I'll try to chill out.

Thanks again, everyone!

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Old 02-13-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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I think that it can be totally normal. I had a similar experience with my daughter. Basically, her skills at 18 mos, were right in line with what you say your son is doing. She is now almost 2 and talking up a storm. But, she didn't say hardly anything until she was around 20 mos. She basically started speaking in full sentences when she finally was talking. I was really worried when she was 18 mos, too, I read a similar list of skills she didn't have and it freaked me out. But, I have a lot of friends that have had similar experiences, so I don't think it is so uncommon.

If he still isn't talking at 2, I would have him evaluated. Does he suck his thumb or use a pacifier? These things can definitely slow them down language-wise, too.

Mama to DS (7) , DD (5) and DD (2) and expecting a LO in 2/14

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Old 02-14-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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Ds is 21 months and certainly doesn't put together any words, except for a not-very-clear "I want more"
I wouldn't worry-- If your intuition tells you that he's fine, he probably is!
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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I work with toddlers and I've seen plenty of children at 18 months who barely speak. I know that's not the "typical" benchmark according to the pediatricians, but there is such a huge range in language dev. at that age and I'll bet your ped would tell you that. Sounds like a bright boy to already know all the sounds of the letters! I bet he will have a language "explosion" any time now and you will be so delighted!
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your responses!!

DS had his 18-month appointment yesterday and I brought up my concerns with the doctor. She thought it sounded like he was doing just fine and didn't seem worried in the least. I was surprised that she said he sounded like he was "right on".

I have to just remember that every child is different... and, yeah, who knows. He may hit a language gold mine when I least expect it. Just yesterday he started saying "all done" clearly and appropriately - so that was a surprise! So who knows...

Thanks again for sharing your stories and opinions. I read about so many uber-talkers online, and see conflicting development milestones lists, that I sometimes get thrown off. Thanks for helping me have a reality check.

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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I remember your name from the August ddc. Your babe sounds normal, imo. My first was a super talker, and still is. Oy! He talks all the darn time. My 18 mo old does not talk nearly as much. He has some words and makes lots of sounds, but not at all like my first. I was sort of concerned for a while but really, like everyone has said they are all so different. He also just started getting interested in books, but he still wants to just tear them up half the time, driving his brother mad. Anyway I just wanted to chime in since your guy sounds like mine. Take care. Mary

Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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the alphabet sound thing is amazing mama! that sounds advanced to me.

i wouldn't be worried at all. not even one little bit.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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My ds had 1 word at 18 months. Our ped sent him in for an eval. We did the hearing test, which he passed with flying colors, but never went for the speech eval - it was over $700 just for the eval, and everyone I talked to who had boys said their boys didn't really start speaking until 2 1/2 years old. By 2 years, ds had maybe 30 words, and wasn't combining any. We also have 2 languages at home, but our ped told us that didn't matter, that he didn't have enough words, and to do an eval if he wasn't combining words by 2 1/2. He's almost 28 months now, and now he says words all the time that I didn't know he even really knew...like "coal car". He combines words all the time. He doesn't say any sentences yet, but I've stopped worrying about it. Yes, for some kids not having enough words is an indicator of a problem, but if your ds is communicating with you in other ways, then it's probably fine. Also, I think kids that are exposed to other kids who are older probably speak sooner because I think kids learn better from older kids than from adults, and they're more motivated...if all ds has to do is "grunt and point" to get something from me, why should he bother doing anything else?
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:25 AM
 
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I just wanted to add really quickly that my brother really truly only had 1 word until he was over 2 yrs old. I was several years older and I remember very clearly, and it has been discussed at great length for years..because he grew up to be in the top 10 percent of his class in HS and he is very, very, very smart! He had a huge vocab explosion after he was 2. He went from the one word..Cookie..to saying absolutely everything. My mom was extremely worried at the time because my sister and I talked up a storm and here he was..with one word.

My point is, I would not really worry too much as long as he seems intelligent, and you said he does.
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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my ds is almost 18months and while he has probably 30 or so words (some clear, some not as much), he doesn't put any of them together yet into phrases. He is very sharp though, and understands a great deal of what is said to him. He loves to watch and listen and absorb. i have no doubt he will be talking up a storm all too soon!

Claire, mommy to Robbie (8/23/08) and Brena (4-22-11) and wifey to Joe
 
 
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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he sounds fine and super-bright. I'm surprised you aren't dealing with a bunch of frustration tantrums from him not being able to say all that's on his mind. Lucky!
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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My son's 18 months and he's still just babbling and pointing at this point. He knows a couple of words, but he doesn't say them that often. He's had a few ear infections over the past year, so I'm wondering if the fluid doesn't drain properly. Although he will nod yes or no depending on what I ask him so that makes me wonder that his hearing is okay.

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
he sounds fine and super-bright. I'm surprised you aren't dealing with a bunch of frustration tantrums from him not being able to say all that's on his mind. Lucky!

Well, I think he's bright but I've got a mother's bias.

It's funny you should mention frustration tantrums. These have just started for us. Just this week, they've become more intense and involve actual tears. It usually happens when he is being very active and clearly does have some sort of "plan" on his mind that requires our help. Lots of pointing and big gestures, lots of "words" that we can't understand, frustration builds, and then he cries while still trying to express what he wants. It sorta breaks my heart. He just did this today while we were having art time. He was painting and also using crayons and then desperately wanted something that I apparently wasn't delivering.

I don't know how to deal with these other than to hold him and let him cry for a bit while trying to reassure him. I do hope with more language these tantrums will lesson.

He's so super active kid and wears me out anyway... so the tantrums are about going to break me. (Being hugely pregnant right now doesn't help either.) He is generally SUCH a happy kid, the crying always throws me for a loop.

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