19 months old and not really talking. Should I worry yet? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I am a fairly laid back mom for the most part. Prob comes of taking care of so many little sibs, summer campers, babysitting charges, and nanny charges over the years!! 

So after the first few months we quit taking Edmund to the doc for every little bout of sniffles and since he isn't getting vaxed he isn't going to the doc regularly. There were times that a visit to the doc coincided with when a checkup would be, so we asked how he was doing growth-wise and pretty much left it at that. 

Edmund is a VERY smart little guy. I can see it in how he "problem-solves" things. He wants to "help" wash dishes, so he pulls a chair over and climbs up. He wants to watch TV, so he wrangles with the remote. He knows how to turn the TV and Xbox on and off and has watched us enough to know how to sit at the computer or laptop and "scroll" or "type". He's a little confused cause we have touchscreen phones, so he thinks he can use the laptop screen like that as well...but that's just kinda cute and funny!! He can point to pretty much any body part when I ask him and can follow directions (put this in the trash, pick up your toys, go lay on your mat for a diaper change, etc.). He was EC-ing until he learned to walk at 10 months so he has pretty much been on a pause since then, but he is now becoming more aware of when he needs to go potty or has messed in his diaper...so we are getting ready for potty-training. He loves music and will start dancing to anything with a beat. A very smart little guy, if I do say so myself!! Razz 

BUT, he isn't talking!! Not a bit!! He will say Mama, and he will sign a few words (milk, please, thank you, eat, more, all done)...but that is pretty much it. If he's in a good mood and feels like it, sometimes he will repeat a word after me if it's for something he wants to eat...like "bre" (bread), "chee" (cheese), "joo" (juice)...but he never says them on his own. Mostly he just points to stuff and says "uh-uh-uh" till we figure out what it is that he wants or is trying to say to us. He has said a few words clearly before (like Papa) but will not repeat them.

We have been going to a nurse practitioner that we like and that has similar philosophies about vaxing like we do, but it's a walk-in place where you pre-pay...and as nice as she is, it's for all ages...not specializing in pediatrics. I have called around before and some pediatricians will not even take you if you don't vax and most of the local pediatricians who are more amenable to not vaxing or delayed/alternate vaxing are not taking new patients. There is ONE a few towns over (45 minutes or so away)...that seems to have good reviews. 

I'm just wondering a couple things...do I need to be asking or pursuing looking into why Edmund isn't talking yet? And would I have better luck finding out what to do if we started taking him to an actual pediatrician? 

He was 19 months old on Monday, so shouldn't he at least be saying a FEW words? I know I'm not the standard to judge by, but my baby book has a list of over a 100 words that I was saying by this point and I was stringing together 2-3 word sentences by the time I was two. I have been fairly laid back about this up to this point, but I keep seeing references to what others his age are saying and it just makes me wonder.

Married to my computer geek since 11.04.06. Mama to our little dude Bug (born 7.14.09, peanut allergy, asthma) and our rainbow baby girl Sweetpea (born 4.14.13). Forever missing my angel babies--Riley, Paisley, and Waverley!!

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#2 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 09:50 AM
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well, my 16 month-old has started her dissertation for her doctorate so you're waaaaay behind ;)


no, i had a 20 month old in my class who pretty much only repeated words (and not all that much) and the specialist at our school didn't even want to send her to EI yet. she was so not even on the radar.


but i'm no expert, that's just one anecdotal case.

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#3 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 09:57 AM
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My kid is also 19 months old and also nonverbal. He only says one word anymore ("Ball" if you're interested lol).

His Ped was not worried at his 18mo well-baby visit, but I was. So I contacted the Early Intervention Program this last week and had him assessed. Early Intervention is a federally funded program (under Early Start) so it will be free to you regardless of if you have health insurance or not. You don't need a doctor to recommend your son, you can do it yourself. You should be able to find their info online. Most EI programs are run by the local school district.

He was assessed as verbally behind by 45% and so qualifies for speech therapy. He has not yet gone to a session, but from what I understand they will start by teaching him signs and then move on to working on his verbal vocab. I'm hoping it helps him, because he has a lot to say (jabbers all.day.long. but I can't understand half of what he is trying to tel me. Doesn't frustrate him, but it does me!).

So I would get him assessed. Can't hurt really and may really help.
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#4 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 10:23 AM
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I was incredibly worried about my daughter not talking around 19  months.  When she hit 24 months, she became a gabber.  Now she talks all the time.  From what I gleaned from my intense, furtive searches on the topic, most toddlers work hard on verbal development around this time, but others focus on other areas.  You mention that your son is working hard on problem solving so that could be where he's spending his time. My DD is physically advanced because that's what she focuses on.


I talked to my pediatrician at her two-year exam because she only had about 35 words in her vocabulary by then and he said she was doing just fine.  She signed words, like yours, and most modern interpretations of "language" include their non-verbal and verbal abilities.  


Everyone kept telling me that I should enjoy the last few peaceful moments and I used to brush that off but now I totally get what they are saying.  At 26 months she talks incessantly.


BTW, my nephew, born two days before my DD, still has a fairly limited vocabulary according to developmental charts, BUT he is super smart and communicates just fine as well.  His pediatrician (very mainstream) has no worries about him either given that he is actively engaged with the people in his life and his environment.  

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#5 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 10:57 AM
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Sounds normal to me.  Wy guy didn't really start talking until he was 2 and now at 2.5 he doesn't stop talking.

Julia, mama to Bumpa 2008, and The Mole 2011

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#6 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 01:40 PM
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Nope, don't worry.  I promise. winky.gif

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#7 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 02:07 PM
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My niece was mostly grunts until about 2.5 or 3 and then suddenly was talking in full sentences and she hasn't stopped talking but for meals and sleep since.


DS was the same, though he was being raised bilingually, so when he started real words at about 26 months, it was full sentences and back and forth between English and Spanish.  Still I got all sorts of flack from other moms that he was slow and need evaluation.


I don't know.


It's worth getting his hearing checked though, because my friend Louisa, who is now fully verbal at the age of 38 never spoke a word for FIVE years and then finally they took her to be evaluated and they discovered that she couldn't hear what anyone was saying,  but luckily it was operable.  They did an operation and it took her a while to get caught up, but now she is an English teacher, and like other late talkers hardly ever shuts up.orngtongue.gif

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#8 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 02:53 PM
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DS was barely babbling at 18m so we did the whole EI assessment thing. All my kids have been later talkers but he was behind where the girls where. He is 21 months now and gets weekly speech therapy, still only says mama and has 3 signs that *sometimes* he will copy. The reason I sought out help for him and not for the girls is DS has always shown minimal interest in communicating, he mostly yells, other then that he is a quiet little guy. For a while I didn't even known if he understood what we were saying, now I know he does. 

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#9 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 06:38 PM
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My oldest child didn't talk except for a few words until about 2. He just turned 4 and has no speech issues. I say it's probably not worth worrying much about, but I am definitely not an expert. An assessment wouldn't be a bad idea if you are really concerned.

oh noo
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#10 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 07:32 PM
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Your DS sound fine!  Better than fine.


I am currently in awe of my niece who had about zero words at 21 months, was hardly talking on her second birthday, and now less than a month later is speaking in sentences.  3-10 word sentences. Still kind of rough, but she is getting there.  So, while she was behind when she turned 2, she is right on target now.  My 2.5 year old was teaching her letters the other day, and DN was having no problems keeping up! 

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#11 of 25 Old 02-18-2011, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

So I would get him assessed. Can't hurt really and may really help.

I agree with this.  Many kids do not talk at 19 months and do not have any problems.  Others do not talk at 19 months because, for one reason or another, they are not able to do so.  Because you don't know into which category your child falls, it makes sense to take this seriously and seek help just in case.  If he does have apraxia or another reason for the delay, the sooner it is addressed the easier it will be for him. 

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#12 of 25 Old 02-19-2011, 04:04 PM
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Ds1 had 3 words at 21mos. He had said other words, but never consistently and correctly. By 2 he had a lot more, and it was fairly quickly that he was using big words and sentences. His pedi suggested speech therapy at 18mos, but dp and I "knew" that it was all good. He had fantastic receptive language- he understood darn near everything we said to him. And he had his ways to communicate- he had a few signs, but mostly it was gestures and stuff. He was obviously communicating, and we knew what he meant.


Ds2 is 19mos and does have a handful of words, but probably not as many as he should have. I'm not concerned. His receptive language doesn't seem as great as ds1's was, but I could be misremembering things.


I guess what it comes down to me, is if YOU are concerned at all. If you are even a little bit concerned, it can't hurt to talk to EI, kwim?

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)

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#13 of 25 Old 02-19-2011, 04:09 PM
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At this age, receptive language is more important.  Can he follow one-step directions?  Things like "put the ball in the box" or "give me the spoon"?


If he can do that sort of thing with no problem, then there's nothing to worry about.  If his receptive language seems off, it's worth getting his hearing checked.  At 15 months my son had no receptive language, and it turned out that he couldn't hear.  The earlier you can catch that sort of thing, the better.  He had ear tubes, and is now all caught up.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#14 of 25 Old 02-20-2011, 11:00 PM
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The fact that my DS isn't the only one not talking is a relief!


He says cat all the time, but that's about it. He will repeat things back to me after I say things (like juice, shoes, kiss, mama), but never says them on his own. He's super smart though, he can understand just about everything I'm saying, from "go inside the house" from our car to "can you go get your bunny for me?" - so I KNOW he's smart.


I'm glad there's nothing for me to worry about!

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#15 of 25 Old 02-21-2011, 07:46 AM
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Every one of my boys was very slow when it came to speech. Which concerned me at first because both their father and I were above average IQ and were big into literature, proper speech and reading aloud to them. I myself was speaking in full sentences by the time I was 18 months. But at the ago of three they suddenly began to speak. It was as if  they had just stored it all in and it suddenly came pouring out. My three year old never shuts up now. lol

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#16 of 25 Old 02-21-2011, 11:35 AM
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My almost 19 mo DS is the same way.  I go back and forth with worrying about it but my gut tells me everything is fine.  I'm going to give him until 2 before I call in EI. 

Maria blahblah.gif, wife to A malesling.GIF, mama to DS M 8/09 2whistle.gif and DS L 6/12 biggrinbounce.gif


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#17 of 25 Old 02-22-2011, 04:11 AM
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DS only had about 5 words at 19 months which he did not use regularly.  He did understand simple directions.  Right before his second birthday, he started saying more.  Now at 2.5, he talks a lot and repeats everything you say. 

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
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#18 of 25 Old 02-23-2011, 03:22 AM
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I wouldn't worry. My son's vocabulary was limited to 4 words (mommy, daddy, baby, dog) until about 20 months.  Also, some kids who spend most of the time with their mothers tend to be slow to talk simply because they don't have to.  You probably are able to anticipate his needs and read his body language.  So if that's working for him, why change what works?  :)  As long as he follows directions, you know he understands what you are saying, so I wouldn't be concerned.

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#19 of 25 Old 02-23-2011, 07:59 AM
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My son also wasn't really talking at 19 months. He had maybe one or two words until he was about 2 and then his speech really really took off. He's now almost 3.5 and he talks incessantly.


One thing we realized was that our son's language really took off when we started interacting more with other people and he heard others speaking. For his first year or so DS spent most of his time with us and since he was our first child he just didn't hear people speaking all that much. DH and I are fairly quiet people too so when we thought about it he wasn't hearing a lot of language around him. Of course we spoke to DS, but it seemed that hearing language spoken between us and between other adults and children outside the home when we went on vacation for a few weeks really kickstarted things for him.


We were also told that before 2 receptive language more important so you need to look out for stuff like following directions, looking in the direction of things if you point them out, knows his name. It sounds like your little guy is fine but if you're really worried you can have him evaluated (what do you feel, in your gut? Is he just working on other skills, taking his time, or do you feel like there's a problem?). I was incredibly stressed out about DS's speech but DH was never worried, he said he'll speak, he's just doing it at his own pace. I had decided that if he still wasn't talking by 2 we'd get him evaluated but DH was right and he started speaking so we never did it.  

: Mom to DS (10/29/07) and DD (12/1/09). Visit my blog in my profile to read about our lives in Beijing!
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#20 of 25 Old 02-23-2011, 08:38 AM
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Sounds like my kid.  She's now 27 months.


She's my second, my oldest was also a late talker, so I wasn't ever super concerned , but my oldest was not AS late a talker.


With DD2, her expressive communication was ALWAYS behind.  She smiled at the very late end of the normal range.  We didn't get a real laugh out of her until she was almost a year old.  Babbling was at the late end of the normal range as well.  Even waving bye bye, I think she was like 15 months before she would do that.  None of it was so late that I felt like it was a glaring red flag, but it was all late.


At 18 months old, I think she said da da, sure (for yes) and sorry, which she picked up from my older one but obviously had no idea what it really meant.  She might have had a few other words I don't remember.  I never taught her signs so she had none of those.  My ped was totally not worried at all.  I had dd3 in September and when we went to her newborn appointment I asked him again, he was totally not concerned.


By age 2, DD2 still didn't have many words.  Just a few weeks ago, I counted them, I came up with less than 100 words that she could say.  Her receptive communication was obviously totally find.  She could follow directions, she could understand questions and she could usually even communicate the answer, just not verbally.  And, like you, I could see her intelligence.  It's been hard not to underestimate it because of her lack of expressive communication, verbal skills are very closely tied to how we view and assess intelligence in others.  But just like your little one, she had great problem solving skills and was mostly early for the physical milestones.


I refused to have her evaluated.  Indiana's EI program is called First Steps and it is not free.  It IS on a sliding scale based on income, but I have heard several not so great things about them.  And, I truely believe that she's simply a late talker and that there's nothing else actually going on.  If mommy instinct said there was something more going on, I would have her evaluated anyway.  I know she would likely qualify for speech therapy, but I feel like there's no reason I can't do those activities with her on my own.  And, I didn't want her to end up with an incorrect label that would follow her into school. 


About a week or two ago, she began speaking in sentences.  I have never encountered in real life a kid that goes from like no words, to full sentences, but really, that's basically what my kid did.  She spent a half hour or so pointing at all the dots painted on the wall of my sister's business and saying "Hey, it's a circle!"  Previously, the word circle was the only one in her vocabulary.  That evening, I asked her where her drink was.  Previously, she would go and look for it and bring it to us.  That evening, she put her hands out, palms up, tilted her head a bit and said "I don't know."  Now, instead of just shouting "TEE!" when she sees the kitty, she says "Hey, der's da tee!  Here tee!" (and then begins to chase her, because "playing" with the cat is her favorite game.)  It's really amazing.  She's still got work to do, there's quite a bit of vocabulary to still work on.  She's not like reciting Shakespere or something.  But, it's like a lightbulb went off and the concept of expressive communication just suddenly clicked on with her.


There is a website I have found that has some little tips and tricks that we have used, that I think have helped.  www.teachmetotalk.com  It has little bits of advice like making sure to ask open ended questions instead of yes/no questions.  For example "What do you see out the window?" instead of "Do you see the snow outside?" 


So, in short, yes, experience has taught me that your little guy is totally normal.

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#21 of 25 Old 02-23-2011, 08:49 PM
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This sounds a lot like my DS.  He didn't even say Mama until he was 2.  We did do sign language and I would guess he knew 200 signs by the time he started talking, which helped us A LOT!  I went with my gut and my instinct told me that he was fine.  He excelled in other areas (spacial) and was very social, so I thought he was fine.  He's now a perfectly normal 7yo.  I doubt that language will ever been his strong suit, but everyone has their own personalities and learning styles.  If you feel that you LO is okay, then he probably is.  Some kids just talk later than others.

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#22 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 12:23 PM
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At 19 months my son said very little, and i wrote a similar thread to yours.Now at 26 months he knows probably a couple hundred and starting to string together sentences, knows all his letters, numbers, shapes and colors.  But i would say most of the speech he used now has developed in the last couple months, and probably nearly 20% in the  last couple weeks. Based on my own experience, I personally wouldn't worry much about it yet,if he seems to be developing fine in other areas and understands when you speak to him.


Also my stepson only spoke a few words till he was almost four, then started speaking in full sentences almost overnight, and now at nearly six he has an excellent vocabulary.

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#23 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 06:06 PM
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just to reassure you....my older boys were complete opposites. I swear one came out talking and the other at 2 yrs said the odd word. At 3 he still couldn't say "s".  

Now the one who was a late talker does really well in school with little effort. The one who did is a slow learner and has been held back a grade.

Now i have a 2 yr old who talks about everything. I have had so many people tell me she is so smart and gifted. Also i have seen Moms compare and feel like their child is way behind. It does make life easier...no tantrums out of frustration BUT that's it. Just be aware that your baby understands so much more than you may realize!

In a class of 5 yr olds you couldn't pick out who talked/walked first.

Hope this helps.

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#24 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 07:54 AM
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I haven't read all the replies but I wouldn't worry yet. He's still really young. A friend of mine is a speech language pathologist and when I talked to her about some concerns I had about my youngest DS when he turned 2 (will be 3 in May), she wasn't worried at all. But, I know it's hard not too worry! We are moms after all! :)


My oldest boy didn't start talking until he was almost 3. He would occasionally repeat words or short phrases but mostly talked in this nonsense jibberish that made perfect sense to him. Then one morning, he literally woke up and started talking in complete sentences! And he hasn't stopped since (he's almost 8 now, lol). He's always been a bit of a perfectionist and he's always been one of those kids who likes to make sure he *really* knows what he's doing before he does it. And I really think that was the case with his speech... he wanted to make sure he could get *all* the words out before really talking. He did end up in speech therapy his 2nd year of preschool but that was due to the fact he had trouble making some sounds (s, l, f, th).


DD, OTOH, was an exceptionally early talker (which I was told was unusual for a 2nd child).  By the age of 2, she was able to carry on a conversation and speak in long, descriptive sentences.


My youngest boy has fallen somewhere between DS1 and DD, speech development-wise but closer to the end DS1 was on. By 2, he wasn't say much but now at 33 months, he's had a huge language explosion in the last six months and while he still isn't the clearest speaker, most people can figure out what he's saying. He attempts to repeat almost everything others say and is starting to use longer sentences.


So while I got a little long winded, I just wanted to show you what a range of "normal" there is for speech development. DD was a bit of an exception but both my boys have been considered with in the range of normal.

Mama to my 3 wild things.

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#25 of 25 Old 03-03-2011, 06:05 AM
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My now six year old wasn't talking at 2.5 (he had maybe 5 words?). As a first time mom, I was worried (oh, how I fretted!). I put him in speech therapy (which was a fabulous experience, by the way! Very fun), and within 4 months, he was talking "normally." 


How he never, ever, ever, (EVER!) stops talking. redface.gif


Moral of the story? Don't worry too much. Try speech therapy if you're so inclined. But don't worry. 

Wifey to Hubby, Mama to Boy (2004) and Girl (2009). 
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Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.