9 answers

Almost 18 Month Old Still Does Not Talk or Say Any Words

Hi Moms!
My beautiful 17 1/2 month old daughter does not say any real words. She kinda says "kitty" and "Hi Daddy", but its only understood in context. I took her to the doc on Friday and she said autism is not likely and wants my daughter to get a hearing test. I'm all for getting a hearing test done, but how do they do it?
Just for a little background... my daughter did not start crawling until she was 11 months and started walking at 15 months. (I guess I kinda feel lucky I could put her down somewhere and still find her in the same spot 2 min later...) Of course as a first time mom I am worried. We are moving to to Park City, Utah next week, and plan to get the tests done as soon as possible. But any kind of reassurance would be really appreciated.

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I have four children. My youngest has just turned 18 months as of last week. She barely says mama, dada and her only other words are hi and bye. I am not worried. None of my four kids talked early. If your doctor is concerned then by all means get her tested but if she is babeling and otherwise seems to hear you she is probably just a late talker. All of my kids were but when they started... they never stop. :)

SAHM of four childen. Ages nine down to 18 months.

Hi L.. This letter might take u soem time to read , but pls read it anyway all teh way through. First of all congrats on your girl.I want to tell you that both of my kids started very alte in life too. When my first girl was born she did not do anything like a normal kid. She started talking only when she was almost 2 yrs of age. When she was close to 16 months i was so worried that i soke to my mom and told her that her first granddughter is dumb. My girl would not say anything but just a few moans and groans when she wanted soem thing. And that really worried me . but my mom told me to take it all in stride. So i gave it another few months. But believe me when I say this. The month that she really started talking was when she was 2 yrs and 3 months. She started 1 week with saying 1 word . that went on for 1 and a hlaf week . After that she put 2 words together, it took her all of 4 weeks to make full sentences and talk like she was talking from the day she was born. So now explain this to me ????........and form theat day till now , she has not stopped , till we tell her she needs to SHUT UP !!!!!!!!!......hahahhahahha......( she is now 11 yrs old going on 19 yrs ).......Now the other girls of mine made all sorts of noises for anythign shewanted , and she gave me all of the baby talk that i missed out on the first girl. So take it easy and as long as she says soem thing you dont really have to bother , give her , her own time to do what she wants to when she wants to. Now there can be another factor also , do you'll talk different languages in the house ?........if that is the case then she will take even more time to talk because she is processeing what ever u r saying. Now if she does not talk if she reaches 4 yrs , then i say take her and see if there is a problem..but for nowit is a little too early to condem her to not being able to talk . I do hoep that after reading this you can breath a little bit better in life. BEST OF LUCK.

I wouldn't get to worried. My son is 28 months and didn't saymuch of anything until he turned 2. He said just a couple words here and there, and like you, I was very concerned, so i took him to get a hearing test. They checked the radiation in his ears by sticking a unit in his ear for 5 seconds, which was no big deal. They then had him sit on my lap in a prvate room and everytime he heard a noise he would push a button. That was very easy too. The whole test took 20 minutes. he turned out to have great hearing. Even though he has good hearing I felt it was necessary to take him to a speech therapist to make sure he was OK. he has been going for the last month, and I have seen an imporovement. He will start group therapy in a couple weeks. I honestly feel my son needs to be around other children more often and he's not. He's either around me or daddy or his grandparents. I notice he says more when he's around other kids his age. Every child develops differently, so try not to owrry too much. But, I know its easier said than done. I would definitely take a hearing test. The best place is Prospect Speecha nd Language across from St. Joseph's Hospital. But, since you're moving, I'm sure you'll find a place in Utah. I wish you well. Everything will be OK. I hope this helps.

Hi L.,
I too am a speech and language pathologist and couldn't help but respond to your concerns. I agree with the previous response from the speech path that it really does not hurt to check and see where your daughter is in her development. The children usually love having a few adults "play" with them. However, before you get too concerned, make sure that you are counting EVERY word that she has. Often parents think that the child has to be saying the word clearly to be counted as a word. For instance, if your daughter says "dada" every time she see's her favorite blanket or pet....that IS her word! She does not have to be "understood" by everyone yet (that comes later). Also, if she is using a lot of jargon (babble that sounds like speech) that is a great sign. Just as the speech path pointed out earlier...watch for how much she is understanding. Does she tend to follow the daily routine and play along with familar games? Those are all good signs. If her understanding of language is there, she has good babble (starting to sound like speech) and she has just a few words at this point, they will probably tell you she still has a bit more time...and they will want to see her after her second birthday. Two seems to be the magic age for some kids for putting their world to words. If you haven't gotten her evaluated by just after her second birthday and you still had concerns, I wouldn't wait any longer. Therapy at that age is so benificial for them and you see such rapid results. They often catch up with their peers by the time they are in preschool.

To respond to some of the previous replies...yes, some kids just catch up on their own, but you don't know which child will spontaneously "catch up" and which ones really do need some intervention. Why take chances on your daughters development? Especially when there are so many free resources out there for us. Oh, and the hearing test is a must...even if she is on the right path, but has a mild loss...it could put her behind.

Hope that is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions.

Rachel was a late walker and talker and she is doing great in school. She walked at 17 months and really didn't say much before she was 2. I kinda wondered what was going on, but I knew that she understood everything we said. I heard that was the most important thing.

Hi L.,

My son will be 3 yrs old this week. When he was 21 months old he could say about 5 words. Everyone told me not to worry. I wasn't comfortable just ignoring it and stated my concerns to his pediatrician. She advised having a hearing test and told me to get him evaluated at a regional center.

The hearing test was simple and relatively quick (you are with your child the whole time). I can't remember exactly what the test involved. I do remember that they put headphones on my son's head (which I was surprised he kept on) to listen to the beeps. I also remember that an assistant came and sat in the sound proof room with us.

The regional center provides early intervention services from birth to 3 years of age. They evaluate your child to see if there are any delays and you pay nothing. Services, if needed, are also free.

In my opinion, having the evaluation is worth it. You find out what, if any, concerns there are. My son had speech delay and has made trememdous progress.

It is great that your little girl can put two words together to say "hi daddy". If she's not around a lot of other little ones her own age that could be a factor.

Anyway, don't worry about it. Just know that there are options out there and that help is available. You're not alone!

Good luck with your little girl and with the move!

At 18 months - my son had NO words - the doc said if he had two he wouldn't be worried - but reccommended I test him. The hearing test is no big deal - they sit in a room with big head-phones and the doc watches responses as toys pop out to sounds. I had him further tested through Harbor Regional Center (all free) and they started him in speech (all free) - he was just a little late (no other issues!) and is now 4 and has completely caught up. I'm glad I did the speeceh - it was free and although I'm not sure how much it helped..it certainly didn't hurt. It's worth it. He's ready for kinder

Hi L.,
I did read your other responses, and each child does develop differently. You do, however, want to check into what may be going on. I am a speech/language pathologist and I would definitely say do not wait until she is four! Checking her hearing is the first thing you need to do. If her hearing is clear; follow up with a full assessment. When you move next week, make sure you find your local regional center and call the local school district to help you get in touch with the right people for early intervention asessment and follow-up as needed. With the assessment, you will get a better understanding of where she is at; not only with her speech production, but what she is understanding, how she is processing the world around her, and full assessment will also look at her cognitive, fine, and gross motor skills.
You should not wait until she is four because early intervention is key. If we start young they will have the opportunity to make a lot of progress and get ready for school. Starting intervention late, especially 1 year before Kindergarten, may not give children enough time. We want to set them up for success; if we can help them before, we can help prevent struggle when they start school.
Take advantage of the services that are available to you. If she qualifies for services, they will help in her development. It will also be beneficial to know if it is just a speech delay or if she needs support in other areas as well.
I wish you the very best!

My son AJ is now 7 and we did not realize until around age 4 that he had MAJOR ear wax blockage in both ears that was affecting his speech. He however did speak but often made up his own names for things like peanut were "don dons" and he even made up his own nickname "wa wo". Looking back now this is how he probably "heard" these sounds. It was terribly disappointing that his general care physician never recommended one time to have his ears washed. Afterall I had him in the office for all his regular check ups and colds in between. It was actually the school nurse who diagnosed him after he failed the hearing exam on 2 separate occassions. We have been in speech since about age 3.5-4 when I had him evaluated because I knew something wasn't right. He had always had excess wax coming out of his ears and one day it just stopped. I thought maybe the makeup of his ears were changing and that finally the wax was subsiding but little did I know it was lodged inside. My advice to you is to get the hearing test ASAP. The sooner you figure out what the issue is the shorter the recovery-hopefully. At 7 we are still in speech with one sound left to master! It's been a long road but but well worth it! Good luck! Oh, and I wouldn't worry about the later than average crawling/walking because each child does things at their own pace and maybe the speech is right in line with the other accomplishments she's made.

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