16 month old not talking - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 16 month old (almost 17 months) doesn't talk at all, he jabbers, says Dadda, uh-o, momma, and a handfull of signs. Is this normal? It seems like everything I read says they should be talking way more. I stay home with him and talk and interact with him all day long. With all his other developmental milestones he's been on time.
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#2 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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Me personally, I would check into it.

My 17 month old daughter says more than mommy and daddy and she suffered brain damage at birth seen on CT scans and MRIs (from lack of oxygen when my uterus ruptured).

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#3 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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Well I think you are going to get a WIDE range of opinions on this one, lol.

My older DD was 2.5 and still not talking. We got a speech therapist, but only once a month and only for 6 months. She started talking, but I think it was almost more because of listening to us tell the lady how frustrated we were! Her receptive language skills were WAY above her expressive skills. Now people always remark on her advanced grasp of grammar, her clear diction, and her sophisticated vocabulary. (She's 4.)

This also happened with my sister who didn't talk until she was almost 3 but is very very bright and mature and made up for lost time -- and then some -- very quickly. She gets top marks across the board at a very challenging private school and always has.

My younger DD is 2.25 and is just barely starting to talk (ball, bear, apple, turkey, Dora, lol). If I could do it over with my older girl I totally wouldn't bother with the therapy. The lady was annoying and didn't listen to what I had to say about DDs "slow to warm up" personality. She would thrust her face in DD's face and say good morning at the top of her lungs in a fakey-wakey way. Hello, she's not hard of hearing, she just isn't talking yet!

A hearing test would be good to rule that out. We did a formal test with DD1 and an informal one with DD2 when a friend pointed out that she doesn't respond to her name consistently. Our test was as follows:

(DD's back is turned.)
"Violet."
No response.
"VIOLET."
No response.
"Violet, CAKE!"

Turns and comes running!

So yes, she can hear, she just has superior powers of ignoring. And we haven't done anything special to encourage her to talk. She is just on her own schedule. Starting a few weeks ago she is adding 1 or 2 words a day.

There is a time to worry, and IMO you are far from that time, especially if your kid has a few words and a few signs. One thing that the speech therapist tried to get us to do was show DD that language gets results. We were sick of pointing and grunting and whining. So we'd put her at the top of the slide and say "1,2,3 whee!" Every time. After a while we'd pause after the 1,2,3 and see if she'd say whee herself. Just little stuff like that. She wasn't saying withhold food until she asks for it by name, just saying that it illustrates the power of language for them that if they say X then Y happens.

Best,

-Vijay
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#4 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Starre View Post
My 16 month old (almost 17 months) doesn't talk at all, he jabbers, says Dadda, uh-o, momma, and a handfull of signs. Is this normal? It seems like everything I read says they should be talking way more. I stay home with him and talk and interact with him all day long. With all his other developmental milestones he's been on time.
ugh...that is very normal.....my 16 month old only says those words. i know a 16 month old that says NOTHING and the doctor said he is right on track.

DS 5-11-06
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#5 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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My ds is 16 mo old too and he only says dada, mama, HI, and kitty. I am not concerned. Out of his little friends his age some are not talking at all and some are saying 20 words. I think there is a huge range.
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#6 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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If it helps, Einstein didn't talk until he was 5!

Laura, Troy, Seth 6.24.06 , and Aaron 7.13.09
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#7 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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I don't think it's unusual for a 16-month old not to talk much. He is communicating with you, right? Can you tell if he understands what you're saying? If so, I wouldn't worry.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#8 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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I have to say that it is normal. My 16 month old only says mama & dada. However, she has 10-15 signs she uses regularly, and communicates really well, and she understands quite a bit. I wouldn't worry too much unless your instincts say there is a problem. I think there is a huge range for kids to start talking, and we are at the early end of it.

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#9 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sewaneecook View Post
If it helps, Einstein didn't talk until he was 5!
I know you are trying to make the OP feel better but keep in mind that this is what many parents who are concerned hear and then it turns out their children have language delays or autism or sensory issues, etc. and it's really frustrating. Einstein was unique in a variety of ways, so we can't really look to his childhood as an example.

I do early intervention with children with developmental and language delays. I would not be concerned yet at 16 mo. If by 18-20 he does not have a more developed vocabulary, I would check it out. In the meantime, give him lots of modeling of clear vocab that is important to him, and when he communicates nonverbally (or verbally without words), make sure that you "talk for him" and say what he would say if he could talk. This models the language and helps him to learn it even if he's not ready to say it.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#10 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. Yes he does communicate with me, just in other ways. I know he understands me, If I say, "Go give daddy a kiss" He'll walk over and give his dad a kiss. He also is really god at pointing to things I say, like nose, cat, ball, all his favorite things. He gestures for lots of things too.
I wasn't so worried about it until I picked up one of my baby books today and read up on where he "should" be, according to Dr. Sears is speaking 10-20 words a day and making 2 word sentences. But of coarse, I know my baby, and I've never felt like there was anything wrong until reading that. haha... funny.

I'm sure he'll pick up talking more when he's ready. Until then, he really does a good job with communicating in other ways.

Thanks all!!

VijayOwens- Thanks for the ideas on showing them that language gets rewards, some good ideas to try.
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#11 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sewaneecook View Post
If it helps, Einstein didn't talk until he was 5!
That is an urban legend. Einstein talked at a typical age. I also hate this comment because it suggests to parents that if your child is a late talker, s/he will be a genius. And then parents of kids who ARE developmentally delayed have to spend a lot of time explaining "no, she's not a genius. She is really delayed". How hurtful is that?

There are kids who are simply late talkers, don't get me wrong. But not talking is a potential indicator of something more serious going on developmentally, and it's not to be taken lightly. A child who is 3 months behind at 2 could be 10 months behind at 3, and several years behind by 4. A three month 'lag' is fairly easy to make up. A 2 year one is not. It puts a child at a disadvantage socially, emotionally and academically.

To the OP: Your son has a handful of words, plus probably a few that you didn't count (did you count sound effects? they count!) So, he's on the low end right now, but he does have some words.

At this age, you're more interested in general communication -- does he respond when you talk to him? Does he respond to his name? Does he gesture (point? clap? lift his arms up to be held?). Does he point out interesting things or does he only point/gesture when he wants something? Can he follow when you point to something?

Is he learning new words? Very often at this age, new words are learned very slowly - like 2-3 a month. Many kids then go through a spurt of new words sometime between 18 and 22 months.

I'd keep an eye on his words. Keep a log of the ones you hear. If he's not learning any new ones by 18 months, I'd have him assessed. If he's steadily learning some new ones, I'd relax.

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#12 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Lynn for all the info. He is doing a lot of what you mentioned. Pointing at things that interest him. The other day we spend some time with a dog who was panting, he sat and panted back at the dog. Now in our books we read when he sees a dog he, "ah-ha ah-ha's" He also uses hand motions to get us to "come here, follow me" claps and all that.

As I was saying to my DH earlier, I don't know many moms with kids DS's age so I have really nothing to compare to other than posting on here, what I read in my books, and what my friends recall from their children's past. I know that can be hard just from me trying to recall things like when DS first sat up without reading my bb journal.
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#13 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Sounds normal to me. As long as he's commuticating with you and interacting sounds fine. And as long as that's the only concern I wouldn't worry about it.

Awesome SAHM to 5-yr-old son,3-yr-old girl and a baby girl. Blog about my home http://azaleastudio.blogspot.com
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#14 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Mine was the same at that age. We had to see a speech therapist as a pre-requisite to seeing an ENT for a tongue tie and she was all, "He's severely delayed in his speech blah blah." I felt like telling her to piss off but instead just ignored her instructions to do all these exercises with him. At the age he was at I just was not worried. Kids all develop at their own pace (though when I told her that's how I felt she told me that she understood that but he was still quite far behind and needed intervention). I didn't do anything she told me to because I was not worried and had only gone to her because I had to for a single session. We ended up doing a follow-up visit two months later (because I didn't bother saying no) and Brogan, without any extra prompting/focus from me, had a vocab of about 20 distinctive words. A few months after that his vocabulary exploded and now, at almost 3 (Nov. 23), his vocabulary blows me away. I've had people comment on his "advanced talking" given the expressions he uses and understanding of not-so-everyday words.

If you're worried then I'd suggest checking it out to see what you can do to encourage your child. But please DON'T feel that your child is behind just because they're not at the exact same place as some other children.

eta:
Quote:
advanced grasp of grammar, her clear diction, and her sophisticated vocabulary
she said it so much better than I did. This is what I meant in relation to Brogan when I said his expressions and understanding. I've had the same comments.

Also, my nephew turned two in July and barely says anything. His comprehension is great though, beyond what I've seen in many 2-year-olds. He'll talk when he's ready too.

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#15 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 08:30 PM
 
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If it helps, my good friend's son didn't say anything (besides mama and dada) until he was 2 years old. And now he's older and talks nonstop!

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#16 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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My DS is 18 months and has zero words, but quite a few signs. He understands an awful lot of what we say. I'm not worried.

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#17 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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Our ped (the good one we recently switched to) told us that if they are using verbal sounds to communicate something and we understand what's being communicated, then that counts at this age as verbal speech. So "di-di" for diaper, and meowing for cat counts as words, even if we're the only people who understand her.

I think at this age as long as his hearing is okay, I wouldn't stress over it at all. Keep going with the sign language, so he's able to communicate as much as possible, and don't worry. Verbal ability at this age is very diverse.

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#18 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 10:56 PM
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I have not read what others have said yet, but our ds was around 22 or 24 months when he started to speak,...now he is right on track.
I would not worry about it, children develop at different speeds. I heard it can also make a difference if he was an early walker, than the body used all the energy to go into the gross motor skill development and the speech will start a bit later and vice versa. Not sure if that is true though, in any case do not worry about it.
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#19 of 21 Old 09-09-2007, 11:02 PM
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I was worried about my ds too. He wasn't saying any words at 16 months and only signing 3 words. He is 2 now and in the last month he has been talking lots. He still doesn't say the "recommended" amount of words that he should at 2. ( 50-75 words) He says about 30 words but he is learning new words every day. We have started the processes of getting him speech therapy. ( We don't have benefits to pay for speech) We are waiting for the government paid speech. We have gone through the hearing part , he is fine. And we have done the screening and they classified him at a late talker.
I personally think that he is just too busy doing another stuff and it is just his personality that he doesn't want to talk. But I am happy that he is starting to say words.
So I don't know how long it takes to get into to speech but maybe start looking into it.

Mama to Noah- 05, Eden - 07, Isabella -09 and Cade -11 

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#20 of 21 Old 09-10-2007, 04:57 AM
 
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My 16m old doesn't have many words but jabbers constantly, same as yours! I'm not worried, because he seems completely normal. Some kids just talk late.

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#21 of 21 Old 09-10-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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I have a 16m old son and he says about 5 words and none of them are mama! I'm not at all worried about it. IMO all kids excell in certain areas and are slower in others. As long as he understands what I tell him and responds to me, I don't worry. We're kind of in a unique situation as we're living in Germany. My ped told me that he is slightly delayed, but that is probably due to hearing two languages constantly. Maybe I'll start worrying in a few months, but I doubt it.

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