So tired of hearing my MIL claim DD is speech delayed - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-18-2010, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay mamas, I need some reassurance. My mommy gut tells me that my DD is fine. She's 21 months old and she says maybe 15-20 words that are fairly understandable, possibly more that we just don't get yet. She doesn't combine words together yet. She also has over 50 signs (some of which overlap with her spoken words). She does combine two signs (generally "more milk" or "more water" or something).

My MIL is driving me bonkers. She thinks DD is speech delayed and needs to be evaluated. My DD understands everything I say and follows all kinds of directions. My gut says DD is fine. I think this is within normal range, yah?

Oh, an my MIL also "doesn't believe in sign language." (Don't get me started.)

This is more of a rant, eh? I guess I just do need a slight bit of reassurance.

cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding mom to my DD born July 4, 2008
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anricat View Post
Okay mamas, I need some reassurance. My mommy gut tells me that my DD is fine. She's 21 months old and she says maybe 15-20 words that are fairly understandable, possibly more that we just don't get yet. She doesn't combine words together yet. She also has over 50 signs (some of which overlap with her spoken words). She does combine two signs (generally "more milk" or "more water" or something).

My MIL is driving me bonkers. She thinks DD is speech delayed and needs to be evaluated. My DD understands everything I say and follows all kinds of directions. My gut says DD is fine. I think this is within normal range, yah?

Oh, an my MIL also "doesn't believe in sign language." (Don't get me started.)

This is more of a rant, eh? I guess I just do need a slight bit of reassurance.

Read the bolded parts again.

If your daughter were deaf and communicating using 50 signs she'd be "right on track" "verbally" correct? Obviously she understands words and what they mean.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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To me your dd. sounds absolutely fine my ds is 25 months and doesn't really say a lot but i'm not worried he understands a lot.

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Old 04-18-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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DS is a month younger than your DD and doesn't have nearly as many words, but is very communicative and understands everything. I would only be worried if he showed no interest in communicating or didn't comprehend what was said to him.

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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My son is now almost 4, didn't really start talking until almost 3 yrs old. He said a few words after the age of 2, but would never use them repeatedly. He started talking on his own when he was good and ready, a few months shy of age 3. Now, about a year later, he is speaking sentences and his speech has developed leaps and bounds - again all on his own time.

When the grandparents shared concern, I just smiled, said he was fine, and changed the subject.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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your kid sounds normal to me

Wife to Doug, mom to Hank and Logan !!!
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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My DS barely spoke 20 words until 24 months. And no signs either.

He too followed directions, and got along just fine. And my mil and mother worked themselves into frenzies.

Then DD came along when he was 26 months and immediately his language exploded. My guess was that he simply didn't need to talk, we understood him just fine, but when he had "competition" he stepped it up.

He did, however, have a very awesome and colorful language all his own.


Ignore your mil the best you can!
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas. It's nice to have some reassurance.

cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding mom to my DD born July 4, 2008
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Sounds fine to me! But to get her off your back I would say something like MIL, due to your continuing concerns with dds speech I asked her ped who said she is right on track with speech development, so now we don't need to talk about it anymore!
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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So sorry you're dealing with this. My parents did the same but when DD was not even 12 months (and at the time she already had a vocab of 20-30 words!). They kept asking when she was going to start talking AND were saying that signing would delay her speech.

We still get bothered about it, i think they just have unrealistic expectations. We either just change the subject or say she's fine. Sorry that you're dealing with the same, maybe just hand her a baby big with milestones in it. Isn't the average for 24 something like 50-200 words? She's already got that with signs and it sounds like she'll be there with the words before too long.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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She sounds absolutely fine to me. I think that is the normal amount of words for that age. Plus, she know lots of signs and that counts, too.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:41 AM
 
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Tell your MIL that the typical pattern of speech is to slowly add on words and then to have a big jump around the second birthday. While not all kids follow that pattern, it looks like your dd will be following that pattern, so telling her that 1. her idea of child speech is WRONG, and 2. your dd is following the typical normal expected progression, should work.

If it doesn't, pleeeeeeease ask her to share what speech development information she's using?

If it does, then you can use it for future freak outs. "MIL, this is just like dd's talking, remember how you freaked out then? Do I need to buy you a child development book?"
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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My twins are 22 months. They know a few signs and have maybe 10 words or so. I'm sure there are lots more that we don't quite get yet. They follow direction, babble, sing songs, etc... I am not worried at all and am sure a jump in actual words will occur sometime soon.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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Old 04-19-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Your daughter sounds fine.

If it makes you feel better, my son has a speech delay and my MIL thinks we're crazy to have him in speech therapy. He started it at 16 months because he didn't open his mouth to make noise, had one little grunt that meant everything and it was obvious to everyone that there was some reason why he couldn't make the connection. He's now 3 and his speech has improved and it's now just an articulation problem. But even after all this time, she insists that he's totally normal and that I'm projecting stuff on to him (no idea what the hell she thinks I'm projecting?)

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:08 PM
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I think she sounds like she's developing normally.

Give it 6 months, then over a period of a week or two she'll have this crazy language explosion and never shut up again

"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity."
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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My great niece barely said anything until now and she's 3, and she knew no signs because my ILs don't do that kind of thing. My DD also 3 never shuts up and hasn't since she started talking(she said hi, mama and dada at like 7 months) both are developmentally normal......sounds like your MIL is the one who has a learning problem. I can't believe she "doesn't believe in sign"....so stupid. My ILs couldn't believe that DD could tell us she wanted milk and such when she was a small baby, they were totally blown away by the sign thing.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:14 AM
 
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Another vote to say she sounds well within the normal range.

My DD didn't say a word till she was 17 months, though by that stage she already had a vocab of over 150 signs which she used and combined regularly. She could also understand a lot of what was said to her and follow 2&3 step instructions easily, so I wasn't at all concerned about her (though I know some family members who didn't 'get' the signing thing were a bit worried).

IIRC signs 'count' as words when you are assessing a toddler's vocabulary, and the general guideline for milestones is 'at least 50 words by 24 months'. So your LO, at 21 months, has already met that milestone - and there is huge potential for vocab increase in 3 months - trust me!!

(FWIW - though I don't think that signing 'delays speech', and I'll be using it again with the next LO, I do think that because it allows babies to communicate earlier and more easily with the physical signs, it might put verbal/vocal development somewhat on the back burner - as I think it did with my DD. She was big into gross and fine motor skills, particularly up to about 18 months - meeting every physical milestone way ahead of average; like crawling at 4 months! If she hadn't had the signs she might have been more 'motivated' to try verbalising things a bit earlier, but since she was already perfectly capable of expressing her wants/needs and interests with the signs I think she just continued to work on the physical development till she was happy with where she was, and then started to focus on verbal abilities. She's now nearly 28 months and is pretty advanced verbally for her age, so it clearly didn't have any long-term negative effects!!)

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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It doesn't sound like she is speech delayed. But having a special needs child myself, your MIL might just want to help and she may think that. My niece is 2 1/2 and I haven't heard her say one word. I'm trying to think of a nice way to mention to my brother (who has asperger's and I'm not very close with) and his wife, (who I dislike) that my niece may have a problem and need to be evaluated. I wish I could be as forthcoming as your MIL because it would benefit my niece......so try not to think negative because your MIL really may just want to help.........you could always fib a little and tell her that she was evaluated and was fine.......that would keep her off your back and happy that she could help.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by treegardner View Post
DS is a month younger than your DD and doesn't have nearly as many words, but is very communicative and understands everything. I would only be worried if he showed no interest in communicating or didn't comprehend what was said to him.
DD is the same way. She's 20 months and says virtually nothing. She signs for pretty much anything she wants. However, she understands almost everything and she picks up signs really easily.

Do I have moments of doubt? Sometimes, but honestly I know that she's OK.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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Ahhh I just read your post and got stressed out just thinking about how I'd feel if my MIL said that to me.
50+ signs plus 15-20 words plus comprehension sounds like a lot of communicating to me!?
Trust your gut mama. Stick to your guns and don't let MIL drive you bonkers.
and and

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Old 04-21-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
Read the bolded parts again.

If your daughter were deaf and communicating using 50 signs she'd be "right on track" "verbally" correct? Obviously she understands words and what they mean.
Agreed. As long as you don't suspect a hearing problem, and it sounds like you don't, I wouldn't even start to worry for several months.

Not really related, but I personally think its sort of cruel to "force" kids to talk when you know what they want, especially when they're really still babies. You know, repeating "up...UP...UP..." to try to get the LO to say "up" even though she's reaching up already and giving the pick me up please look. Sort of like "you can't have what you want until you do what I want you to do." But I digress.

Back to the OP--I think your LO is fine. She's lucky to have a patient, understanding mama.

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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My daughter is also 21 months, is an avid signer, and has about 25 spoken words we recognize. Sounds like your daughter, huh? My understanding is that concerns at this age would only be warranted if the child's receptive vocabulary (what she understands) seemed delayed. With signing they can communicate so easily that there's no real need for her to vocalize right now...I think it will just come in time!
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Maybe you could pick up a copy of "What to expect the first 3 years" or a similar mainstream child-care guide with the milestone charts, because it doesn't sound like she knows what the norms are. The "what to expect" book says that you might be concerned if your child has not yet spoken a word by about 18 months and lots of other tidbits that prove your little one is well within the normal range.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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My inlaws were very negative about signing, too. They refused to learn any signs.

SIL's pediatrician even told her that signing stunts speech. So, they seemed to think they were the authority on the subject and of course let me know over and over and over and... (This was DH's same pediatrician 30 years ago.)

I think it all stemmed from SIL not being able to get her kids to sign and old people being old and not wanting to accept new fangled ideas.

I just nodded my head. "oh, really...hmm...I don't know..It is helping us out right now." I am not a confrontational person.

DD was where your daughter was about 4 months ago. Now she says anything and everything in complete complex 3-10 word sentences. Leaps and bounds ahead of non-signing cousin.

Also, you MIL just sounds ignorant on the subject of speach development.

I'd just ignore. In a couple months your DD will be telling her how much she liked signing.
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