25 answers

18 Month Old Not Talking

Hi moms, I will like to know what to do? My 18 month old is not talking. He point at things that he wants and will makes sounds but does not speak any actual words - not even "mama" or "dada" or "no" I would expect kids around his age group to talk. We have been reading to him since he was a few weeks old and now he loves books. He will pick a book up and bring it to me and turn pages and point at pictures and makes sounds but no words. He looks at kids shows and we talk to him alot. He will respond to us and cartoons by his sounds so I know it is not a hearing problem. Any response on how to go about helping him will be greatly appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks all, it is great to see how others would react to the situation. I visit his pediatrician on Wednesday and she suggested that we give him 2 months more (until his next appiontment), but if he does not speak by then she will recommend evaluation by early interventions. She did mentioned that he should be speaking but but may take a little longer. In the meantime we are keeping up with the reading, talking and playing and others suggested by you guys. thanks again.

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I have had the same issue with my two sons, they were exposed to 3 languages and I was told that this could be the cause. Today TG they don't stop talking.

Hey I.,
With my first child, I used to give him whatever he wanted when he pointed to it. I found out later, when he was in speech therapy, that you shouldn't do that. I thought I was just being accomodating but what I learned was that you are supposed to say the word to him a number of times when he wants it and repeat it until eventually he asks for it. This isn't going to happen right away but if he gradually tries to ask for it, then don't give it to him until he says the word. In other words, make him work a little for it every time. In my opinion, boys are a little slower in this area and one day he might just start talking. Try not to worry too much about it, my boys were slow talkers and now they talk just fine. It also helps that they are around other kids their age that talk well. I hope this helps.

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we have the same problem and got my grandson is 3 in august and says about 15 words and only where did it go as a sentance
this is it
Yes, in fact, your grandson definitely sounds like he has a language delay. He should have approximately 50-75 words by now and by stringing at least 2 together at a time ("more juice", "baby go", etc.). I do accept Medicaid, however, at this time I my schedule is overflowing. My first suggestion is to call the Early Steps progam at St. Mary's Hospital, Immediately! I say immediately because it takes some time to get tested and qualified and he is only eligible until age 3. You may get a couple of months of therapy (at no charge) but more importantly, he will have an evaluation and may be eligible for Child Find once he turns 3. This is a state program that would make him eligible for a special, free "pre-school" that provides regular speech therapy and child care for several hours a day 3-5 days a week. I highly recommend this avenue because your description of his language is cause for concern. A second option is a prescription from his primary care doctor for a "speech/language evaluation". Medicaid will pay for an eval and possibly treatment. The problem is without a previous evaluation, you may have trouble finding a therapist. As far as Autism goes, don't panic. Children with expressive language delays can have similiar symptoms as Autism. That said, I have never met your grandson and am not a doctor. Therefore, I do not diagnose. I would definitely follow your instincts. In the meantime: 1. Talk to him, ALOT! 2. Talk normally, but slowly. 3. Read as many books with him as possible. Point to pictures and comment on actions (Look, the boy is walking the dog! Now the dog is hungry. Does he want something to eat? What should he feed him?, etc.) . Don't just say "What's this? What's that?" You give a "running commentary" about what's going on in the picture and he may join in). 4. Label items around the house such as animals, foods, colors, shapes, vehicles, keys, toys, bubbles, etc. See if he won't try to imitate you. 5. Focus on front of the mouth sounds (b, p, m, t, d) words are usually easiest (e.g. baby, bubble, doggy, pop, more). Repeat the first sound "B-b-b-b-b" "B-b-b-bubble". 6. Even if he can't or won't say words, try to get him to make choices (by holding up 2-3 items). "Ex: "Do you want milk or cookie?" 7. Try to "drag" language out of him. Even if you know what he wants, try to get him to ask (even if it's only one letter of the word - "m" for milk). Cut this short just short of a tantrum, but this helps alot! The main number to Early Steps is ###-###-#### or direct line ###-###-####. I would call them to find out the exact process to get your grandson tested for a language delay. Again, I am sorry at this time I am unavailable but there are many therapists in the program and they will likely come to you! It takes some effort but it is Definitely worth it! You are his caregivers, and therefore, have so much potential to help him in addition to therapy! You seem dedicated and willing to make the effort. If you can follow the suggestions above DAILY, you will hopefully start to see some changes in his language. I wish you and your family good luck! Feel free to email me back if you have other questions or concerns. Hold on to my email (as I will yours) in case of future changes. Sincerely, Kari DeWeese, M.S., CCC-SLP the following info

1 mom found this helpful

When my first was that age (20 years ago!), it was the same - he would point and sort of grunt when he wanted something, especially a drink, which he knew came from the refrigerator.
My pediatrician pointed out that Marc didn't NEED to SAY what he wanted because I always anticipated or knew what he wanted! So, fairly quickly after I stopped just giving him things, he started saying words. I knew he was extremely smart and when I said, "use your words, what do you want?", he caught on quickly! I think it's not unusual with first-borns or only children, but it could be a sign of developmental problems, so make sure your ped is aware and monitors him.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

its normal, dont pressure too much, and keep going with the books and make sure you talk to him like a person not a baby. It'll happen!

yes, sign language is great!

in the meantime, I would make an appointment w/ you son's doctor & discuss you concerns. if you are still concerned (sounds like you are &, to be honest, I would be too & I'm not saying this to alarm you, just saying this so you can be proactive) then I would contact the 0-3 early intervention program. It's FREE until 3 yrs old, so I would get it now, while it's free...

here's the list of local offices:


I would not worry one bit! Lots of kids (especially boys) don't talk that much at 18 months. My son (20 months now) didn't say too many words by then and now, just 2 months later, he repeats every word you say to him. Your son is probably just concentrating on physical things now - he will start talking soon enough.

Don't worry!

Good Morning,

Much like some of the other responders you have gotten, my son had a hard time speaking. We did have tubes put in his ears & got him speech therapy. He does much better now at 4. Always talk about your developmental concerns with your pediatrician. If you are not getting the answers that make you feel comfortable, ask to speak to specialists. 18 months is still pretty early, however baby chatter is a milestone he should have reached by now. I would not concern yourself witht he Autism label until you have exhausted other avenues, most kids are just slow and need more time. You can do the same thing the speech therapist do in my opinion. I sat in on every session & it's simply repeating the same words over and over & making him repeat the word, let's say ball, before you give him the ball. I hope we have all helped, good luck & God bless.

I went through the same thing with my son. He is now 8. Take him to your pediatrician and ask for a referral to a speech therapist. They have therapy where they will come to your house for children under 3.

I have had the same issue with my two sons, they were exposed to 3 languages and I was told that this could be the cause. Today TG they don't stop talking.

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