C.A. asks from Orem, UT on October 26, 2009
Speech Delay in Almost-2-year-old?
My son is 22 months old and barely says any words. He only has about four or five words that he says regularly. He does babbles non-sensical stuff all the time, though. I know he doesn't have hearing problems because he understands a lot. He can point to almost any body part (the only one he'll actually say is "nose"), can find almost every letter of the alphabet on any random book page, and knows about 15 different animal sounds, so it doesn't seem like he has a mental delay. We try narrating what we're doing and repeat the names of things over and over, but he doesn't try to repeat anything we say. I'm contemplating looking into getting him evaluated, but is it too soon? I mean, should we just wait it out and see if he'll start speaking on his own, or should we take him in? We brought up his lack of speech to the pediatrician at his 18-month check-up, but the doctor just said it wasn't cause for too much concern yet and that we should keep our eye on it. Well, four months later, he says maybe two words more than he did back then. I thought most kids his age should be saying at least 20 words and even saying two or three-word sentences. Any advice for us? Thanks in advance!
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for all your advice! I think I got advice from every point on the spectrum =) I went ahead and made an appointment with our pediatrician--it's in two days, so I'll post another update on what happens there. I do worry a lot, especially because I have a nephew who has moderate autism, so I plan to push for at least an evaluation. Maybe he's just waiting until he can speak in full sentences, but just in case he isn't, I want to be prepared. My husband, who stays home during the day with him (he goes to school at night after I'm home from work), is trying to work with him, and I do as well when I'm at home at night and on the weekends. Hopefully things will improve, especially if we get outside help. Again, thank you all!
K.W. answers from Salt Lake City on October 28, 2009
you should where ever you live have access to an early intervention program. I would recommend getting some testing done. That way you can get help if you need it. I am a speech/language pathologist. The testing should be free under special education law.
S.T. answers from Salt Lake City on October 28, 2009
No worries! My son did the same thing and I wrote on here too trying to get advice. But I gave it sometime and now out of nowhere he is talking like crazy. He didn't say anything forever and I was worried about it. I talked to a pathologist my brother in law works with and she told me to wait until he was three before worrying about it. He is now 29 months and talks non stop. Sometimes they just wait until they want to talk or feel like they need to and until then you can do anything and everything and it won't matter. It will happen just give it time.
A.A. answers from Denver on October 27, 2009
I read some of the responses you've gotten, and it sounds like you're getting some good advice. I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist, and if a child is only saying a few words at 22 months, I automatically recommend an evaluation. It's a good idea to do it now, even if he would have caught up on his own. You don't want to take the chance and gamble with that. Good luck!
S.L. answers from Pueblo on October 27, 2009
I would have your son evaluated. Boces and headstart programs are good resources. Be sure and talk a lot with your son even it you think that you are talking too much. Read, read, read, lots of picture books and maybe pop- up books. Go on your own instinct as his mom.
C.C. answers from Denver on October 27, 2009
If you live in Denver there is a free service with Denver Options. When my little girl was about that age she was not talking very much. We call them and the assessed her and she had speech therapy for a couple of months. In the end it was just that she had two older brothers that did everything for her that she just never had the need to talk. She is now a bright 5yr old that has a story for everything:)
H.W. answers from Provo on October 27, 2009
When doctors and experts say that kids should say 20 words by 2, that's a huge generalization. Some kids naturally start speaking earlier, some just don't. Yes, some kids have medical problems, but some kids just don't talk early. My son said almost nothing we could understand at 22 months, but right before he turned 2 - in the space of just a couple of weeks - his speaking totally exploded and he went from like 3 or 4 words to over 50.
Keep a lookout for anything that might be medical-related and ask your pediatrician to do a generic evaluation at his 2-year appointment. If your doctor notices, then have him tested, but don't worry too much. Most kids will just naturally catch up a little bit later.
M.B. answers from Provo on October 27, 2009
If he is not with his parents very often he might be responding to a lack of attention. If you are working full time and your husband is a full time student how much time are you spending with your boy? Are you talking to him like you would to an adult or are you talking baby talk to him. Signaling that you want him to remain a baby. My boys talk I think better for their age they are 3 1/2 and 2. I am home with them most of the time and we talk about adult things-I use real words and explain how things work that they ask me about. I treat them like big kids so they act more like big kids and not baby's needing to be coddled... at least in speach. Hope this helps.
J.G. answers from Salt Lake City on October 27, 2009
I have had the same concerns with my daughter (who turned 2 today) Turns out she just hasn't needed to talk- she is always with the same people (very few children) who understand what she is trying to 'say.' She spent a weekend at grandma's without us, and voila! she came back with her usable vocabulary doubled and has picked up another dozen words in the week since. I agree with your ped dr, but if you are concerned look into it- no one knows your son better than you.
M.H. answers from Boise on October 27, 2009
I used to teach autistic preschoolers. The age of your child isn't too young to be tested. I can't stress enough how early detection is important~ I'd be taking him in today!! Best wishes!
C.M. answers from Denver on October 27, 2009
If you live in the Denver metro/boulder area check out Imagine - an organization that can offer help (speech therapy)/evaluation/etc. They also can provide financial assistance if you qualify. A great resource. Check them out!
K.H. answers from Denver on October 27, 2009
My daughter had similar issues. Contact your local school district and ask about their early intervention program. Jeffco's is called ChildFind. They provide services for kids up to three years old, and the district covers the cost.