29 answers

21 Months and Not Talking

I am wondering if anyone can give me any advice. I have a 21 month year old son. He has very few words and has invented some. He will tell you the dogs name, mama, dada, ball, nana, papa, and he is trying desperately to say outside. He follows directions extremely well. He will put his clothes in the hamper each night, clear his dish from the table, and will usually follow most direction that is given.

I have spoken with my pediatrition, seen and audiologist and ENT and his hearing is not the issue. The pediatrition has said that if his vocabulary has not increased by 2 (July) we may do early interevention. In the meantime, I am wondering if anyone else has a late talker and if there is anything I might be able to do to get this little guy speaking.

Thanks for your help.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all of you help. I have contacted Early Intervention services and I will let you all know how it goes!

Featured Answers

Hi M.,I have worked in daycares on and off for the past twenty-five years.Verbal skills vary with children.I have found that the best ways to get children to become verbal is to constantly say what things are like, name things as tehy are using them or seeing them. Also, reading to them especially books that name items.

Good Luck, and try not to worry.


Hello! This is a topic that has come up so many times in the past few days. I have a son who is 19 months old, and many many friends with young babies around the same age. A few that are a couple months older, a few that are a couple months younger. I know so many moms that are getting really worried about their sons that are in between 14 months to 2 years that don't talk much and get frusterated. It must be more normal than not if I have had this dicussion with three of my girlfriends in the past two days. All babies develope at different rates, walk at different times, etc. It doesn't make one baby more intelligent or less intelligent. My son's pediatrician had said to me when he wasn't walking, "he won't be the only kid in kidergarten crawling", in other words they all catch up! It is ok! Don't let him fool you, he understands you, and in time he will begin to talk! :)

EI is a great thing for kids!!!
my 6 yr old was a late talker, we signed him onto speech therapy once a week for a year and now he won't STOP talking
good luck and be patient

More Answers

I wouldn't worry about it too much before he turns 2 - my daughter talked much later than her friends, but now at 25 months she has caught up with most of them. In fact, in some ways she's ahead - she's gone from barely talking at 21 months to knowing every letter of the alphabet and what sound they make.

The one thing that helped us was I started checking "Signing Time" videos out of the library - it helped me understand what she was trying to say sometimes if she could sign it at the same time and I think that encouraged her to keep trying to talk. I actually wound up buying the entire series because it was so helpful, and I plan to use it with my son. Her enunciation still is not always great, but it's getting better every day, and most of her early words were ones she could sign. I think it's entirely possible that she said other words I just didn't understand and since she didn't know how to sign them I didn't have a clue what she was saying.

Good luck - it sounds like your son is very bright, I'm very impressed that he follows instructions so well at such a young age! If you do end up doing early intervention, I've had friends who've had that with their kids and they have all been really happy with it.

Hi M., I have a son who is now almost three and the most chatty boy you ever saw. He had roughly the same pattern you are describing at the same times. A few words, good direction following , but no real talking. I had his ears checked because my own ears are bad and they checked out just fine- even had him checkedout by early intervention folks. nada. The 'law' of 24 mos being the time to talk is just an average. My son was late to crawl, 10 mos. and late to talk, 25 mos. He just took his own time to do these things, and then exploded into action when he was ready. I never did anything out of the ordinary, gave him a couple signs to cut down on frustration, 'more', outside, etc. Try not to let your pediatrician freak you out. Early Intervention never hurts anyone, but the advice and recommendations can really make a mama nervous- when a kid is just being his own self... I hope this is helpful..

I had a late talker as well and I enrolled him in Early Intervention. I did not need the pediatrician's approval and they did nto need any paper work from the pedi.
We had a neighbor who works for an office and I contacted her to start the process. He just finished as he turned three and he is doing so well.
Just htis past week my parents said how well they could understand ewverything our son said on the phone and a week and half ago that was not the case.
He is vocabulary grew so much in the year or so that we did EI. I highly recommend it. We only had to pay a one time copay and that was it. He did one on one sessions at our home and went to a group once a week.
I have to say it was the best thing. You can only help to add to the development. There certainly is not a disadvantage to more help.
The team works on skills via play. So you may feel like you can do that with out the help of EI but I felt our son worked better with someone other than me as I am here all the time with him.
We still did our thing in between sessions, works, books, letters, sounds, and some TV (Super Why and World World and some others)
It all helped.

Hi M.,

My son was only saying single words at 2. By 3 he was talking, but way behind other boys his age. We had a speech therapist come to our home to work with him and it helped a lot. By age 4 no one would ever have known there was a problem. P.

early intervention is the best thing to do right now.. call, there may be a waiting list.. and if there are issues, then the sooner he gets services the better.. you can try to start signing with him to help with communication too..

Hi M.,I have worked in daycares on and off for the past twenty-five years.Verbal skills vary with children.I have found that the best ways to get children to become verbal is to constantly say what things are like, name things as tehy are using them or seeing them. Also, reading to them especially books that name items.

Good Luck, and try not to worry.


Our 4th (and final) was a boy that didn't speak until into his 3rd year. Almost nothing. We kept at him with correct pronunciation, and over the next 2 years he caught up, speaking properly.

Now high school honor roll. Don't give up; not everyone is 'normal', but that doesn't make them 'abnormal'; he's a math wizard.

Hi M., My youngest daughter was late talking also. I got her into early intervention and it was the best experience. I would contact early interention now instead of waiting until he's 2. I think the earlier the better. My daughter was a little over 2 by the time she got in but it really helped. They would come to my house once a week for an hour and she also went to the center for a playgroup once a week for 2 hours. The name of the center is Thom Neponsent Valley Early Intervention. It is located in Norwood and it services the following towns: Canton, Medfield, Norwood, Dedham, Millis, Plainville, Foxboro, Norfolk, Sharon, Walpole, Westwood and Wrentham. The phone number is ###-###-####. If this one doesn't work I'm sure you Dr. can recomend one. Good Luck.

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