A.S. asks from Spokane, WA on February 21, 2010
21 Month Son Not Talking a Lot
My little guy is 21 months and doesn't have a very large vocabulary at all. Mostly "ma, da, donk (short for donkey) and dog". He also has his own words for items, but they aren't correct. The doctor says he's advanced in a lot of areas and is very smart. He can follow very detailed instructions and understands everything we tell him to do. There's no question about his cognitive ability. He is very good at getting his point across to us about anything and everything and we've tried ignoring him to encourage speech, but it hasn't helped. It almost seems like he doesn't care about talking or doesn't see the need to talk. Reading is his favorite activity, so we're always reading. Does anyone have any other suggestions or experience with this?
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A.H. answers from Portland on February 23, 2010
My son didn't say anything until he was 2, when he started saying mama. He did have at least 100 signs, so he had some language, just nothing verbal..
He's now a perfectly normal 6yo. Once he started talking it came on fast. Each kid is different, most kids are fine. :)
R.S. answers from Portland on February 22, 2010
I don't think you need to worry quite yet. He sounds normal for a child almost 2 years old. My oldest son talked like that at that age and as he got older it changed. I would talk to him and read to him a lot and promote conversations rather than ignore it.
C.S. answers from Seattle on February 22, 2010
My son is very similar. It seemed as though his list of 10-20 words hadn't expanded for 6 months. But one day I had taken a video of him and was watching the video. I was amazed to hear him mimic the words I had just said. I didn't notice it until I watched the video. I realized that he was saying more words, I was just not recognizing them.
A.M. answers from Eugene on February 22, 2010
My suggestion is to chill out. :-) He's not even 2 yet! I can't believe people are talking about interventions, your son is young and so completely in the normal range. Even truly gifted children aren't usually gifted in *all* areas.
And it's common for kids to go in phases of making physical leaps in development, then language ones, etc. It's rarely all at the same time. AND boys often go with the physical first.
My first son was an early talker, my 2nd felt like he was late in comparison but it was just around his 2nd birthday that I felt like he really started talking. I also think many of us overanalyze our first kids development, and really want them to be ahead. :-)
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A.G. answers from Seattle on February 22, 2010
My 6 year old was kind of like that before he turned 2. He didn't put two words together until his 2nd birthday. We continued to talk to him and sometime shotly after he turned 2, things started to click verbally. Now we can't get him to stop talking.
My suggestion is to keep talking to him and be patient. Many kids aren't very verbal at his age.
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J.B. answers from Seattle on February 22, 2010
Experiance? Yes. My son was 24 months and not talking when we went in for his two year well baby check. The Pediatration did some extra testing just to be sure eveything was okay physically, then smiled and reminded me that Einstein was five before he talked. :) Now my son is 17 and looking to graduate "with honors" next year.
A.D. answers from Portland on February 22, 2010
I know this sounds strange, but try letting him play with some kids that he really loves to play with, who are a bit older (and able to talk), and somehow try to get one of the older kids whom he adores to say, "You have to be able to talk to be able to play with us!" or something along those lines (but perhaps not so like an ultimatum). My husband's co-worker was talking about a kid who was very smart, and completely capable of talking, but never had because he was able to communicate without having to talk. He got around some older cousins of his at a family reunion and this is what they said to him. He then spit out a complete sentence and has been talking since then.
Crazy, huh? My daughter didn't walk (even tho she could) until her cousin, whom she was playing with, told her to walk. I guess it's true with they say.... our children really do seem to be influenced more by what they're friends say/do than what we say/do =/
M.D. answers from Portland on February 22, 2010
I had a very smart friend in college who told me she didn't talk until she was over 3, and then she started with complete sentences. She said she was a bit of a perfectionist, and waited to talk until she could do it "right"! Is your doctor concerned? Maybe your son just needs a little more time. You'll probably look back in a year or two, when you can't get him to stop talking, and miss this pre-verbal stage.
E.H. answers from Seattle on February 22, 2010
My oldest son wasn't a talker at 2 either, he was a grunter. The Doctor said he was on target for everything else except speech so we went to speech therapy and it didn't take long for him to start talking and now (he just turned 5) I can't shut him up! My youngest boy just turned 2 and he isn't a talker either, again he is smart, just like your son, follows directions, etc. just isn't interested in talking. We read to them both all the time, encourage speech and do everything else that was recommended, some kids are just slow to talk. We are on the waiting list for speech therapy for my younger son and I know within 6 month of starting therapy he will be talking too just like his brother was. I would ask about getting a speech evaluation, they can tell you if it is a simple speech delay, weak muscles, or something else so you know where to go from there, whether it be speech therapy or just some hints and tips that you can do at home to encourage your son to talk. Good luck!
J.W. answers from Seattle on February 22, 2010
Many pediatricians are not aware of KidsSpeak, formerly known as Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders. These folks are wonderful when it comes to giving a child the ability to communicate. Our son was diagnosed with speech delays at Childrens Hospital, at age 18 months. He had his own style of communicating with us, but words were not there. He was/is highly intelligent, all his other skills were on target... but he was diagnosed as being dyspraxic, with fine motor skill delays and your talking is a fine motor skill, coupled that with ear infections, so he never heard the words clearly. Needless to say, with their help he got on track with his language after 24 mo. of therapy. His fine motor skill delays made his handwriting impossible to read, but we worked through that and he took up the saxophone, along with his computer keyboarding, things came together. Today he is fluent in English, French and Arabic. And my Dad thought he was vaccinated with a phonograph needle, because once he started talking, he's never stopped.
Early intervention is key to so many things, especially language development. KidsSpeak is in Seattle, Yakima, Spokane and Portland that I know of. They are a non-profit and do not require payment for services, only that your child has a need. You may have to wait for a slot, but they might be able to do the evaluation if you haven't had one done. Contributions are gladly, cheerfully accepted. It's a great program and it gave us our son.
K.D. answers from Dallas on February 21, 2010
I want to let you know that at that age my daughter was the same way. She slowly started to get a little better each month until she turned 2. After that, she was talking and learnning new words like crazy! By 2.5, she could carry on a full conversation. Its not time to worry yet =)