L.J. asks from Austin, TX on October 29, 2008
20 Month Old Won't Talk
I have a 20 month old, very smart little boy that won't talk. that isn't so much the problem since he hears and understands everything we say to him. The problem is the incessant screaming and shrieking! He does say a few basic words like: eyes, ice, light, night night, hi, and mama and dada,he also does some baby signs:please, more, thank you, but when he wants something or our attention this awful Sam Kinison type shriek begins, and my nerves can't handle much more. I have tried ignoring the behavior, I have tried talking to him and coaching him to simply say mama when this happens and he won't budge. Is there any method that I can use to get this child to use words instead or at the very least just make the screaming stop. I'd like to come out of this childhood with a shred of sanity and hearing left!
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone for your thoughts, I decided that even though I don't think he has any actual delays to go ahead and contact any baby can and have him evaluated. We have begun the process and a speech therapist will evaluate him soon, if he does have something that needs to be worked on I would rather start now rather than later. They said he will qualify if he is 6 months behind or more and since they say he should have a 1-200 word vocabulary by 24months and he has 10 at 21 months I think it was a good move. Thanks!
A.O. answers from Sherman on October 29, 2008
It's just a stage...it will be over soon and he'll move on to something else even more irritating! :) Continue to ignore the behavior or even remove him to his room and calmly tell him when he can use his words he can come out. Tell him that Mommy doesn't understand screaming, use your words and walk away.
S.T. answers from Houston on October 30, 2008
Can you imagine if you had the maturity of a 20 month old (which isn't much) AND couldn't communicate needs effectively? Well I'd scream too! My 3 1/2 YO has this problem and she will either cry, throw a tantrum (throw things and scream) or just shut down altogether. She's autistic, BTW.
Speak calmly to him and try to figure out what he wants and encourage him to say it. But at 20 months he's not going to be saying much anyway, even without a speech delay. For instance, if you know he wants a cookie don't try to get a full sentence out of him. Just ask him to say cookie. My 18 month old doesn't say cookie yet, so again, don't try to expect too much from him!! signs are great too- my 18 month old uses the signs for eat/food and more and I'm trying to get her to use more.
S., mom to 5!
H.P. answers from Corpus Christi on October 29, 2008
My daughter did the same thing, she about drove me out of my mind. I finally got to the point where I told her that it made mommy's ears hurt and I wasn't going to be around her until she stopped. So I would put her in her playpen and walk outside until she stopped screaming. It took a little while but she finally quit. And when I came back in I would ask her if she was all done. If she was then fine I would come back in, if not I turned right around and went back outside. I have a window in the room where the playpen was so I could keep an eye on her. But you can go into another room too, and it will get the point across. It's hard to do at first but it's well worth it if you want you child back instead of the banchi that currently resides with you.
M.L. answers from Houston on October 30, 2008
My youngest also started talking late. We found out after doc visits, etc that basically my oldest was talking for her. My oldest would also allow the little one to communicate to her through gestures and grunts. Therefore, my little one had no need to talk!!!! With more encouragement on our behalf, she began talking more. No problems now!!!
J.P. answers from Austin on October 30, 2008
First, my son would only grunt and use baby signs until he was 24-25 months old, then started reciting the Gettysburg Address, so all in due time. Boys are generally slower to talk than girls anyway. The important part is that he is effectively communicating with you in one form or another.
As for the shrieking. When I worked in day care, we had a method that seemed to work really well and very quickly. When the child screamed, we would guide them to the door, put them outside whle holding their hand and us staying inside the door and tell them to scream as loud as they wanted. (they'd scream and stop). "Are you done?", "No? Okay, scream some more but make it really loud!!" "Okay, now are you done? Yes? Okay come back inside". Then tell them we can scream outside, but not inside. Inside is for inside voices. Then, just stick with it EVERY time. No matter what. Eventually, they will get tired of getting put out the door while holding your hand. Also, if they are talking very loud or screaming, WHISPER!!! They have to stop screaming to hear you. This works great for my DD, the door works great for my son.
N.D. answers from Houston on October 30, 2008
L.H. answers from Killeen on October 30, 2008
Boy i bet your at wits end? All i can say to you is have him tested for mental reasons or phycical reason. Best of luck to you
B.G. answers from Austin on October 30, 2008
I second that. Make an appointment with ECI. You don't need a referral. You can "refer yourself." They are great. No charge but if your insurance will cover it, they will file with them (they need funding from somewhere). If it's not covered by your insurance, there's no charge.