17 Month Old Not Talking? Help?!

Updated on September 20, 2011
A.C. asks from Traverse City, MI
83 answers

My son will be 17 months old on the 3/17. We were late for his 15 month check up so we saw a different doctor (in the same office but not the doc we normally see). He told me we should be very concerned because my son only has a few words. Hes a VERY active child. He has hit all other milestones at the 'corect' times. He says: here, mom, yeah and knows Dad but doesnt use it. He feeds himself with a fork, runs, climbs, dances, knows his ears, mouth, tongue and nose and in everyother way acts like a normal, active toddler. He does understand just about everything we tell/ask him and is comprehending vocabulary very well. Ive heard that boys tend to talk a little later? We do encourage him to use words and talk to him constantly, indicating what items are and trying to get him to try and say it. He has never been one to try saying a word. we also having been trying to 'play dumb' when he points to something he wants and whines. He will figure it out on his own and but he time he says it to us, its perfect. Should I really be concerned? The doctor really upset me because he acted like this was a major concern and told me that by 18 months my son should know 20-30 words. I dont see that happening at this point and now Im all concerned about it! Help!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the advice. As expected it is varied all over the board and everyone has their own opinions. Since our son understands very well what we say to him and has no medical issues (ear aches or anything) we are going to wait until he is 18 months to re-evaluate the situation. Then if he hasnt progressed with his speaking we will consult with is usual pediatrician and consult Early On if she thinks its necessary. Our regular pedi is a family friend and knows us and our son. Shes great at what she does and if there is a need for concern she will definatley let us know. I appreciate all the responses!

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C.G.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I would get a second opinion! I have known several toddler boys who didn't talk much until they were past 2 years old!

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L.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I suggest moderate concern. My daughter and son were late talkers. Both ended up receiving extra help thru Early On. It is a good program and free. In my area I contacted the Mona Shores Administration Building for direction. They do a screening and set everything up for you. It is easier to fix early instead of waiting.

L.

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L.W.

answers from Detroit on

A.---definitely keep an eye on his progress. But I wanted you to know that one of my best friends' daughters did not utter a word until her 2nd birthday. She is now 9 years old and has never been developmentally delayed in any way. I'm not implying that there is absolutely no problem...but there is also a good chance that he is just a late talker (my now-8-year-old did not walk until he was 16 months and I remember being nervous about that...he was just a late walker). Have faith.

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T.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,
My daughter just turned 17 months old & only says about 3-4 words, too. She understands EVERYTHING we say, though, and is normal in every way. I've never heard a doctor say that a child of that age should have 20-30 words in their vocabulary. That's pretty unrealistic. We'll be taking our daughter for her 18-month check-up in about three weeks & I'm curious what the doctor might say, but I'm not overly concerned. Different babies develop at different paces. I just wanted to encourage you & let you know you're not alone & it's not that unusual. I don't think I would start really worrying quite yet. If my daughter isn't saying more by the time she's two, then I'll be concerned. Hope this helps you.
T.

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J.F.

answers from Detroit on

HI,
I am a certified speech language pathologist, so I know a lot about language development. Typically, children say their first words anywhere between 12 and 18 months. It sounds like your son already has a few words so I wouldn't be too alarmed at all. Children acquire expressive language at very different rates, and yes, boys tend to be a little later than girls according to most research. It is also a great sign that his receptive language seems appropriate. Here are some things you could do to increase/help develop expressive communication skills:

1. Scaffold or add on to what your son already does say-if he says "ba" for bottle say "yes this is a bottle!" If he says "here" because he wants you to come here, respond by modelling a longer utterance such as "oh come here, ok I will come here!"
2. Narrate everything you do. Even if you are washing the dishes and he is around you, explain to him what you are doing.
3. Read a lot of books and point to and label everything in the pictures
4. It is also helpful to pair objects with words when speaking to a baby. That way they can make a connection between the two.
5. Use play as a language modelling time. If you are playing cars, say a simple sentenc, "The car is driving" Repeat it throughout a play session.
6. I would also check out "Baby Sign" It is sign language for babies but research has shown that pairing signs with words expedites expressive language development
hope that helps-remember doctors are not always specialists on language development.

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J.S.

answers from Detroit on

Personally, I would not worry if your son is "normal" otherwise. My third child was "lazy" when it came to walking because he was spoiled by his siblings and friends' children carrying him. I am a chiropractor and heve seen MANY children and they all progress at their own rate. Maybe a "Tickle me Elmo" or some other toy that talks (especially if you find one that asks questions) would encourage him to talk while playing. Otherwise, just encourage him to say what he wants but don't force it all the time or he'll just get frustrated. Good luck!

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B.R.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Don't fret too much. My daughter was speaking in full sentences by the time she was two, but our son (who is almost 27 mths) doesn't have the vocabulary that she did. When he was 18mths I was concerned about his lack of words, but the Dr. said not to worry b/c he was understanding us and comprehending what we told him. If he couldn't say what he wanted he was able to show us. Your son sounds very much like mine. It sounds like he's keeping mum until he feels that he can actually say the word. Not uncommon. It sounds like you are really working with him. Keep up the good work. Boys mature a little bit slower than girls naturally. He sounds like a perfectly normal, healthy boy.

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L.K.

answers from Detroit on

As a speech-language pathologist and professor in this area, I can tell you that what you are describing is not a problem (at this point) - i'm really surprised that your doctor said what he did and scared you unnecessarily. The important thing is that your son should be *understanding* lots of words. The first real word that a child speaks does not generally appear until about 12 months (plus or minus a few months). There is lots of variability with when children actually start using words. I would not worry at this point if you think you son is understanding lots of words...the talking should come around. If he doesn't seem to understand lots of words, or if in the next few months he is still not showing use of new words, you could follow up. Otherwise, I would not be concerned right now. Good luck!

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J.K.

answers from Jackson on

I would probably get a second opinion before I worried. Maybe the doctor's concerns are more because of your son's frustration level when trying to communicate, or some other behavior he observed aside from the lack of vocabulary.

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H.W.

answers from Detroit on

My older son had the same problem and didn't wind up talking until he was almost 3 and a half. I will tell you what I wish I knew about back then and I wish I did.
Call your intermediate school and have them come out for an evaluation. If he tests under his age by a certain percentile they will help you. They have great speech therapists. I wish I would've called them when my son was under 2 years old, but I waited until he was 2 and a half (I just didn't know). They provided him with therapists and social workers for 8 years. He went to regular school but still got so much help. They are realy great and will help you if he needs the help. Just call and schedule the evaluation. Don't get nervous they send a therapist and a social worker, its not to check you out its because they are trained to do these evaluations. Don't wait. Good Luck and just remember Albert Einstein didn't talk until he was 4 years old.

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J.H.

answers from Saginaw on

Hi A., I would not let your self get to worried about it right now. I had the same problem with my son. When they say he should have been saying that many words he wasn't. He did everything else at normal times if not early. He crawled about 8months and started walking at 10months but the talking was behind. Normally i hear the boys walk later then girls but if they are walking and doing other stuff they are concentrating on that and not other stuff at the same time. About that age of 17 or 18 months my son could say mama, dada, and a few other things but he really didn't start picking up more words and talking more until a few months later, pry between 1 1/2 to 2 yrs old right about in the middle of those ages. Now he says alot. My doctor wasn't even worried about it at his 18 month checkup because he was doing everything else fine, some kids are just late talkers. i would say just leave it be, just make sure you keep working with him. then maybe if he's still not saying anything by 2 then bring the subject up again. hope this helps. Jen:)

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J.B.

answers from Detroit on

Get a second opinion. Look online for the charts of "normal" do your own research. Look for Mel Levine's book A Mind AT A Time. He says that language development is a specific part of the brain. Each part develops on its own time. some people are not strong in language. Here is my story from my fourth child at one year old. The well baby clinic nurse asked me how many words he had? I didn't really know. It seemed to me that he didn't talk as much as the others. She said to make a list and bring it back to her. At the table that night I asked the other kids what words did Jesse say? I wrote them down as they prompted him and he said them. He got very excited about this new game,and started talking non stop. He's 25 now.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,

I wouldn't worry yet...but I would consider getting a free speech and language evaluation through the early on program through your school district. Each district has this program, although it may be called by a different name in each district (Oakland County is called Early On, I think). The speech pathologist and early childhood education specialist will come to your home and evaluate your son in the comfort of your home with you present. If he qualifys for service through the school, it is free. If they don't think he needs it, they will certainly tell you that and either way you will be reassurred. When my son (who is now 10) was 27 or 28 months we had this evaluation and he went on to have speech and language services and did very well. Hope this was helpful to you...since all his other developmental milestones are on par, I wouldn't worry . Hope that helps.

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B.T.

answers from Saginaw on

Ashely,
I am a Speech-Language Pathologist working in the schools. I work with preschoolers to 2nd grade; but, have experience with younger children. I also am a mom of 2 children (12 and 9). I do think that you should be a little concerned; however, there are options available to you within your local school district. If you can let me know what county you live in, I will get you the contact information for the Early-On program in your county through your ISD/RESD/RESA. The program targets children and families 0-3 and is federally funded. It is not based on income but on child need. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]____.com, and I will get you the information. I hope that I have been helpful.

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D.S.

answers from Detroit on

A. -- Don't get all excited about it. My second oldest didn't talk until he was 3. Nothing to say. As far as his intelligence ... he is just short of obtaining his Ph.D. The first one talked a mile a minute from almost day-one (7 months). All kids are different. You might try making him SAY - "milk" before you give it to him, or bread, or cookie (cookies is a good one), and get him to repeat it before he gets it. Other than that, DON'T make a big deal of it, or show him that you are upset. If you do, he will either use it to get what he wants, or it will upset him that he isn't doing what you want.

About me: I am 63-year-old legal secretary, mom of 3, grandmom to 9.

D.

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S.D.

answers from Saginaw on

Hi A.:) I have a 20 month old daughter and she has gone through the same as your son. I mean it sounds so familier to me as a mother. We as parents get concerned about what people say about our children. (Exspecially Dr's) We were told the same things from her Ped, that by 18 months she should know atleast 20 words. Well she knows the words but doesn't speak that many yet. She speaks about half that. I'm concerned too.

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N.C.

answers from Detroit on

If he can make sounds, and after he thinks awhile comes up with the correct reponse, he is fine. If he understands what you are saying, he is learning too. Remember that every child develops to a different rhythm...not according to what is "expected" and in a set time-line. If he didn't say anything I might be thinking something was wrong, but even then not really.
My cousin never said "anything" until "he" was nearly 3 years old....don't know why. He's an Engineer and he never had a problem communicating in his life. He's in is 50's.

One of my 4 sisters also didn't talk until she was about 2 1/2....not even one word. "She" has an IQ of 148. No problems with her communicating either. She's in her 50's.

My grandson didn't speak well either (but he was being taught 2 languages) and.....that's a bit difficult, I would think. When he was about 17 or 18 months, the same thing came up. He wasn't talking fast enough. My son and my daughter-in-law then took him to a specialist and went through all kinds of tests etc, and they said he was way behind in his vocabulary. I told them he was fine, but who am I. Anyway, he is 4, and knows both languages...very well now. In fact he got in trouble last month for talking too much in his pre-shool class. He will be 5 in May. Last month I brought over 2 new books for him, and I was going to read them to him and he said he wanted to do it himself....and he did. The name of the book was Mouse Soup and he knew words like jumped and weasel and a multitude of other "big" words. He was sounding them out, believe it or not! He reads slowly and asks for help when he gets stuck like on the word "caught", but he is reading already which astounds me. Relax, being a child is not a contest and nowadays, they want to rush kids into everything, so much so they hardly have time to have "fun" just being a child!!
There are many help guides on-line if you want to try different methods to help him learn more vocabulary, but I wouldn't worry, if I were you.
N. from
Michigan

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T.N.

answers from Detroit on

My sister has a child who at almost 3 years old, he was barely speaking. Ma, da and train seemed like the only understandable words he could speak. His doctors were not worried. My sister put him in daycare 2 days a week and the socialization seems to have helped quite a bit. As she explains it, he now needs to vocalize what he needs as mom and older sister are not there to interpret.

My sister took him to a speech therapist who believes that she can help - unfortunately, the HMO will not help to defray the cost as there is no medical concern.

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N.K.

answers from Detroit on

My doc just told me that my 15 month old should know about 3 words now, which she does and when we come to for 18 month check up she should know about 10. So where your doc got 20-30 from I don't know. I think personally that's too many words for a lil one to know at that age. Your son is a norml child if he knows all that and I'm sure most mothers would agree w\ me. Don't you worry. Every doc has a different way about doing things. I really think it was sort of rude if he did say it that way. You could seek out a second opinion but I think you'll get similar responses from other mothers and go w\ that. Until his next check up. Your a great mom and your son sounds very bright

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M.D.

answers from Detroit on

We had the same problem but it was with our middle son. Part of the problem was our older daughter never stopped talking and he figured she did all the talking for everyone(still does at 22). He could only speak 10 words at age 2 but his other milestones were early(walking at 9 mo, etc). We had to muzzle our daughter but we refused to allow him to point to what he wanted, or whine or grunt to get attention. We made a big effort of saying "use your big boy words" or "I don't understand uh,uh use your words". He started to speak because we made him. We learned with our youngest-our middle then tried to talk for him!!so it wasn't as bad. I do work around speech pathologists at my job and he could have verbal apraxia where there is a difficulty forming words and getting the mouth to say them. It wouldn't hurt to get him evaluated because if there is an issue, the earlier it is caught the better. And in some school districts, they have early intervention as well. Check with a peds ENT Dr office for a referral. It should be looked into by age 2 i believe. Hope this helps. M.

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A.W.

answers from Detroit on

Get him evaluated for your own peace of mind. Call the Intermediate School District for your County. They run the Early On programs. The evaluation is free and so is the speech therapy if he should need it. My son is currently in speech therapy at the Macomb Intermediate School District. He was evaluated when he was 18 months old. I personally think that it couldn't hurt to be evaluated and/or do speech therapy. If it is free, why not take advantage of it? Also, if there is an issue, early intervention is always good! If you have any other questions about the program shoot me an e-mail and I will be happy to answer anything I can! Good luck and God Bless!

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A.U.

answers from Detroit on

This sounds very familiar.. My daughter (now almost 4) was the same way! I know its hard to do, but don't worry about it. As long as he understands what you tell him to do and he is loving, he will talk when he is ready. People told me that about my daughter, but it didn't help my worrys, but I assure you that I went through the same thing. My doctor even referred me to a program called TOTE (teaching our tots early) through the Woodhaven school district.. A speech therapist comes to your house to do an evaluation and if the child qualifys to have a "speech delay" then they come out to your home (where they feel the child is comfortable) to work with the child 2 times a weeks for aprx 1.5 hours each..Its free, paid through your school district. We live in Allen Park, but used tote through Woodhaven. The lady we had (Janet Low) was really great. The first evaulation they did was at 19 months and they didn't feel that she qualified.. But they did another evaulation at 24 months and they started the program because of what she was NOT saying! She just didn't have an interest in really trying, it was weird.. But she would babble like she was talking chinese! lol.. But she understood everything and acted like a normal little girl, just no talking(english anyway,ha) Her talking didn't really take off til she was around 2 1/2... then it gradually got better and about 3 months before she turned 3 we had to put her in daycare and wow, her speech really improved.. And now she doesn't stop talking and singing!haha Talks very well. Hang in there, he'll be fine.. If you want to talk more, feel free to email me [email protected]____.com
Take care

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K.C.

answers from Detroit on

A.-contact me ASAP! I am just the person you are looking for, as I work with special-needs parents and children, and I can refer him for a free evaluation with our agency,(for Early On in Wayne County-we are a referring agency) after I screen him. I can do this over the phone with you. Email me with your contact information-K.. [email protected]____.com

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L.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Ashely,

My son wasn't talking at 26 months and my ped said the same thing...boys take longer. I didn't buy that especially because my son was a preemie, born at 29 weeks. I found out our local school district had a testing program called Early Intervention. Everything was free and they found that my son was at the 9 - 12 month level with speech and also had other problems. They have been wonderful over the past 3 years with speech and occupational therapy and my son will be attending Kindergarten in the fall. Don't sit back and wonder...find out if your school district has this. I believe they all do because it is sponsored by the state. Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

Truthfully, if he's had normal milestones all along... and you can promt him to say something when he's pointed to it. I wouldn't sweat it to much. Might not hurt to contact RESA, he may qualify for some speech therapy with the Early On program at Stotlemeyer.
RESA is with the Wayne County Intermediate School District.

D.P.

answers from Detroit on

A.,

I'm not certain how much more reading you can take LOL but here's my take.

It is not true that a child at 18 mos should know 20-30 words. Some kids only have 5 and that's quite normal. Personally, I should not be too concerned as cognitively he is very appropriate (pointing, comprehending what you're telling him). If by chance he is delayed in language he will soon catch up.

My daughter is also a hyper active child at 23 mos with a very few words ( Although lately she has built quite a vocabulary). She is in a program with early on but my daughter does not point at anything nor did she at 18 mos react to changes in tone.

My advice is that if you're truly concerned contact early on. Its a state program funded by our tax payer's money. Just search under early on. They are very gracious.

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B.

answers from Detroit on

The best thing to do is take your child for a speech language evaluation through your local school district of Early On (1-800-earlyon). They will provide this evaluation for FREE and if necessary, provide speech therapy for your son. Early intervention is critical and can really make a difference - for us it was night and day. My son couldn't say anything when he was 18 months old and we started speech therapy shortly thereafter. Therapy helped tremendously. My child is now turning 5 and speaks at his age level. He no longer requires speech therapy! If we hadn't had an early intervention, he would be going to Kindergarten and still doing therapy - but also subject to ridicule from the other kids. My advice is to have your son evaluated - the experts may say everything is fine, but if not, they can help early -it's not the end of the world if your child needs help! Good luck.

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S.F.

answers from Detroit on

I'm sure your son is fine. Mine is 22 months old and he doesn't say 30 words. He too is very active our dr said some kids develop physically faster or verbally faster and that he is just fine. I have 6 kids and I have had some talk early and some talk late and they are all doing just fine -- in school and everything else! Don't let that dr worry you...

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J.L.

answers from Detroit on

OK I am assumming everything is fine. Just a late bloomer. However here is a little piece of advice. my niece was a late bloomer with talking as well, and my sister always felt I was a mean mom with some things(still does-lol) but when my kids were little if they wanted milk, I made them say milk. I would say "what would you like?" If they pointed I would let them know I am not going to hand you this milk until you ask. Well it doesnt mean all of the sudden its a miracle they talk. but you see where i am going. i have three kids. I had two before my niece came and the thing she judged me on turned out to work for her. after about two months my niece was sick of being frustrated not getting what she wanted with out asking for it and it was a miracle quite a large vocabulary came out. so be sturn. it works. dont worry this is not uncommon. Good luck.

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A.V.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi A.,
It sounds like your son is doing just fine. He understands what you are saying and he does say a few words so I wouldn't be to concerned. He could be just a boy of a few words and doesn't feel the need to say anything just yet. Plus like you said boys do things a little slower. My daughter is 18 months and she does not say 20-30 words. A vocabulary like that is more along the lines of a two - two and half year old. When he is ready he will let loose and you will be amased at what he has to say. I think I would ask that DR. just how many children he has. Usually those that say things like that don't have any.
A.

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R.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I think your doctor needs to calm down. Many doctors like to freak out parents - I don't know why they do this.

If you feel your son is hearing well and understands you when you say things to him, then I wouldn't worry yet. My DAUGHTER is 22 months old and isn't speaking at all, not even mamma or dadda, really, but she totally understands everything going on around her. The nurses and doctors at our doctor's office and the county health department are not concerned one bit! "Early to walk, late to talk!" I had a boyfriend in High School who didn't talk until he was almost 5 and suddenly started talking in complete sentences! He went on to win second place in the National Science Fair his Junior year.

Frankly, what are you going to do? The only thing you can do is what you're doing and check his hearing.

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A.R.

answers from Lansing on

Have you had his hearing tested? My son was eighteen months old and did not talk much- said mom,dad, ball and not much more. He also was very active and had no other developemental delays. By the time he was around three we started to get more worried, he was talking but not clearly or correctly (we had also been told boys progress a little slower), hearing tests at the doctor were all dissmissed by nurses as him moving around too much or the machine not working right and he had passed the test in the hospital at birth. So we enrolled him in an early special education program- which did a hearing test and found the loss. It took about a year to get his hearing aids-he was almost 5 (ct scan-for type of hearing loss, seeing specialist, and going through childrens special health which is a great program, we paid nothing for our hearing aids, took a while though). He will be 8 in May and his speech has improved tons- improved within the first cupple of months, and is doing really well academically. So, I would get him tested just to rule it out- it is better to find it sooner than latter. Good luck and I hope this helps.

A.

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

I have fostered almost 100 kids. I have found that kids that are shy don't use there words like kids that are out going. As long as he is speaking and using some words and is hitting his mile stones, I wouldn't be concerned.
C.

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A.P.

answers from Saginaw on

Hi A.
I had the same problem, my son is now 2. He didn't say many words, but around his 2nd b-day he started talking more. We had make sure he said at least 50 words. He is talking alot more. It may just take some time. He knew words but just wouldn't say them, but now he does. My dr told me to get those leap frog video's you can pop in the dvd player, that can help too. We also bought some books with just pictures, nothing you read, just so my son can point out the picture and learn to say it. Hang in there, he will start talking more. I know how you feel, I was worried why my son didn't say much, but try those books and video's they may help! Good luck.

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K.F.

answers from Saginaw on

A., First, for many children it is normal, If you have true concerns, contact your ISD, Your school system, they can evaluate him for free. Some things you can try first..
Try the whisper game, whisper a question to him, don't let him see your mouth, make sure it is something he wants. He may not be hearing you clearly, slowly make your words a little louder, do see what he is hearing, if he is not hearing well he may be missing words or parts of words. The doctor can write a note to have him tested.. As a childcare provider,(30 yrs) and mom to 5, I had many children who were slow to speak, when they did, it came out in full sentences, (MOST were major jabber jaws!)
Trust your instincts, but if you have concerns, have him checked, it can't hurt! K.

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C.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi A.!

My son was pretty much exactly the same way - I think he was nearly 2 before he was really talking, but he understood everything we said to him, responded to request, etc (for instance, if we asked him to bring us a specific toy or book, he would, and if we asked him if he was ready for a bath he smiled and ran to the bathroom). Now he's 17 and a very, very intelligent and TALKATIVE young man. :) I would get a second opinion if I were you. Good luck!

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M.K.

answers from Detroit on

Don't be concerned. You're right. He's a boy. They develop their speech a little later than girls. The same is with girls developing their motor skills later than boys. It's a tradeoff. No biggie.

When your son points at say, the juice the next time. Try saying the following:

"Oh, you want the juice. Say, 'I want juice, please'".

That way you're modeling speech and manners. If family makes any mention of his speech, simply respond "We're working on it and he's doing great".

I had my 2 oldest kids (daughter and son) in speech therapy and these were the skills that learned. Good luck.

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T.D.

answers from Detroit on

A.,

Hi there. I am a mom of a 6 mo old boy. I am also a Speech Language Pathologist. It would not be appropriate for me to diagnose or treat your child through this site, but I would recommend you contact your Intermediate School District and inquire about getting your son checked out by their Early On services. This is a great place to start if you have concerns and it's free.

Good luck to you!!!

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A.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hallo-
mine doesn't talk yet she is only 7 weeks old:) but I have two nephews and my oldest one who is 7 didn't start fully talking until about a year and a half ago. He was the same way, very active, knew everything you said to him but he would always use baby talk to communicate. His talking kicked in when he started school so I would not worry about it too much, it is true that boys tend to start later.

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T.F.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A. -

First, just relax. Those age milestones are general indicators, and good to use as a guideline for awareness, but not a tell-all for you to begin worrying that something is not right with your child. While I am not a child expert, I have had two children of my own and I teach for a living. It sounds that your child spends most of his time with you and your husband, but it also sounds like you are two very busy people. Interacting verbally as often as possible is very important and it sounds like you are doing that. Also, NO "baby talk" - if you are not sure he will understand, act "as if" until he does. Continue to model speech and immerse your child in several techniques for acquiring language - music, rhymes, story books with lots of repeating patterns and repetiton. You will also want to use as much kinestethic involvement (especially if he is a "mover" and a "shaker" like my son was). Lots of pat-a-cake, hokey pokey, itsy bitsy spider, etc. I assume that his hearing has been checked? Hearing problems are often associated with delayed language skills. It may just be that your son's learning style may need to include more than auditory stimulation. Try picture flash cards and lots of picture book reading (visual/auditory), music/rhyme (auditory sensory), movement/dance (kinesthetic), familiar environmental print (Cheerios, McDonalds, etc.). Model speech to accompany his daily experiences (almost like you are a narrator in a video). Do you or your husband have tendency to be quiet, reserved, or shy? If so, let loose and play out loud. Don't be afraid to sound silly talking out loud to your child - even though there is not much coming in return. Be patient. Encourage him to use his words, but don't force too hard and make it an unpleasant experience. Take the avenue of using words can be FUN - play, sing, and make it an enjoyable bonding experience. My last bit of advice might be to consider play dates and/or opportunities for him to engage in play, activities, and language experiences with children near his age. It has been my experience that boys are more physically active and acquire language at a slightly slower pace, but again those are generalizations and do not apply to all children. Your a good mom for being concerned, but don't worry too much. Good luck to you and your little one.

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C.F.

answers from Detroit on

Well I think I wouldn't be seeing that doc again. My son who is now 4 didn't really start talking until he was almost two. Even then it was only a couple of words. Boys do talk later then girls. My brother used to point to everything and grunt. He was just lazy and didn't want to talk. My mom pretended she didn't know what it was he wanted and he got so frustrated he just started talking. Boys are really stubborn so don't worry about it. If hes not talking more by 24 months then see a specailist. For now keep doing what you are doing and give it some time. I am sure he will talk more when he is ready. Don't let that doc scare you like that, enjoy his little babbles and fumbles. he will be talking perfectly before you know it and you will miss those silly moments.

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T.C.

answers from Detroit on

My son didn't start talking until about 2 1/2- and now at 6, he won't stop!!! We did go through speech therapy which seemed to give him a nudge, but there's no saying he wouldn't have come around on his own. My pediatrician wouldn't even discuss therapy until he was 2, and only then recommended an evaluation. I only have one child, and was (am?) quite neurotic about his care, so I understand your concern and can absolutely say you can relax!

By the way- don't ever go to that doc again!

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T.J.

answers from Harrisburg on

I have a son that turned 18 months a few days ago. He uses about 8-10 words and that's exactly where they should be at, at this age! According to my books and all the peds here in Sweden. I would NOT be concerned!!

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C.R.

answers from Detroit on

Hi,

First, I wouldn't worry terribly. It sounds like he is doing great in so many areas. You guys are doing a great job with him, too. I have twins - a boy and a girl, they are now four and a half, but my boy has always been behind a bit verbally. I have seen this over and over again in boys. So take a deep breath first, then I would recommend for you to contact your local school district to get an evaluation done. Every district has a speech person and they do evals on kids this young. I have had two girlfriends go through a similiar situation, and once the eval was done and the child found to be a bit behind, they are enrolled in a class with other kids in the same situation and speech therapists. It is a fun, play type class, sometimes with mommy's, too. The kids do great once they are in the class and make progress quickly. You are also given "homework" to do with your child. Both my girlfriends have seen vast improvement in their children through these types of programs. I believe they are free, as well.

Your doctor's office may be able to give you the phone number for the program in your district, or check the web, or call a local school in your district and they should be able to point you in the right direction. We live in the Utica community schools district, and I went through the eval for my son at 3, but I know they do it earlier, too.

I understand your concern. You sound like a great mom, so don't get down on yourself. Once you set up the eval you will feel better, and know you are on the right track to figuring out what your son needs, or maybe doesn't.

Take care!
C.

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T.C.

answers from Detroit on

I would not panic at all, every child is different and learn at different paces. I do not believe the doctor is right at all. I amy look at a new pediatrician or go back to your original doctor. This fill-in does not know anything about your child. I have a great pediatrician at 16 mile and Gratiot if you would like her name and number.

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J.G.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.- This caught my eye because I also have a son who is about to be 17 months old on 3/10- He does not talk either. He can say Mama, dada and eat but other than that he does the same as your son and just points making a eh eh sounds. When we went for our check up and stated he was not talking they did not seem concerned. My son does have a tied tongue which we were going to have clipped when he was about 6 months old, but then were advised against it by the Doctor who had seen him. I have been getting concerned latley since he is still not talking. Since your doctor seems quite concerned that your son is not talking I think I will do a bit more research on talking milestones. As your son is mine is very active as well and there are no other concerns. It would be great to hear the other advice you recieve since I now have the same concern.

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L.C.

answers from Detroit on

My son is 19 months old and definitely doesn't have a 20-30 word vocabulary. At his 15 month check up the doc asked if my son could say 8 words (which he can) but 20-30 words sounds like an awful lot to me.
Is your son able to communicate with you in other ways? Does he look when you call his name? Does he make eye contact? If so, I'd just give him some more time but if you're still very concerned you can always contact the Macomb ISD and they will evaluate him.

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R.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A. :) My 2nd Daughter is 19 mos old and is still not talking to what she should. But in turn she walked early, started on a sippy early and is even trying to use the potty. I also have a 3 yr old. She was speaking in complete sentences by then. But walked a little later, an just became potty trained. All kids are different and develope at a different rate. I wouldn't be too concerned. As other mothers will tell you one minute they don't do anything then all at once it just clicks. Good Luck!

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V.K.

answers from Jackson on

A.,

My 23 month old didn't say 20-30 words when he was 18 months, and his peditrician said that was fine. He advised us that most of his word development would happen between 18 and 24 months.

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S.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi, I have a little guy who is 29 months old. When we took him to his 18 mos. check up the dr. was concerned because he was not talking either. The dr. said if the number of words did not increase by age 2 he wanted us to get an assessment at the local school ISD. Well it did not increase as much as he wanted and we did have the assessment. He has a lot in common from your posting. He hit all of his milestones on time if not early and even knew a few signs (sign language) he understood even multiple directions. The assessment showed he was a bit behind his age level but not enough to warrant a special ed label. What they were looking at was the possibility of autism symptoms. He definately is not autistic because of how loving and responsive he is and how he is able to deal with changes and follow directions.
He is now 29 months old and is slowly but surely learning new words. He has a 13 month old sister who is actually talking more than him but it also helps him to learn with her. I always believe in going with your gut but just watch how he comes along. I have 5 adult children and a couple of them had language delays but sure talk well now. Good luck.

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R.B.

answers from Lansing on

Get a second oppinion or talk to your usual Ped. Dr. This could be a concern or it could be just that he hasn't had a reason to be forced to say other words. You're doing the right thing by trying to get him to say more, but a second consult couldn't hurt.

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K.V.

answers from Detroit on

I wouldn't worry about this yet. If he understands what you are saying like you mentioned and he does say some words, then there is nothing to worry about. If he hits two and he still hasn't progressed, then maybe. But my dad, my nephew and other people I know didn't talk until close to three years old and there is nothing developmentally wrong with these individuals. My son is almost 21 months and he is at the same level you are describing and I am not worried. He is worlds apart from my daughter at his age, but I am still not worried. Take care,

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

You need to call early on I believe the number is 1-800-earlyon. They are great! They come right to your home and evaluate your child. My now 4 year old wasn't walking at 13 months so we had them come out. He ended up being just a bit delayed and the got him caught up. Good luck!
Rachelle

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

My doc said the same thing about my son, but I didn't pay much attention since my daughter was the same way and is a very articulate child now. He said the same thing when she was 18 months and scared me. She's a very talkative 4yo now. My son hums along with songs that he hears, understands almost everything we tell him to do, I'm not too worried about him talking when he's ready.

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K.S.

answers from Detroit on

What a horrible thing for a doctor to say! I don't think I would go back there. Children develop at their own pace. Your little one was very busy getting to all the other milestones and has put talking last on the list. I wouldn't worry at this point. My husband didn't tallk until he was 2 1/2 and then came out with sentences. Knowing that, we began teaching our little one sign language at 9 months. He is now 15 months and says only 3-4 words, but can communicate beautifully with signing. We are not worried about the words because we know they will come. He is not frustrated and neither are we. I think communication is the key wether verbal or non verbal. Signing Time videos are great and so are the signing board books found at any local book store.

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N.G.

answers from Detroit on

A.,
My son was 17 months Feb 26th...when we went to the doctor for his 15 month checkup I was concerned because I didn't think my son was on track either. Then the doctor said that animal sounds are considered "words" so think about that too! I doubt you have anything to worry about. In the last week my son has added 15+ words to his vocabulary...it's weird, one day they just wake up and start talking. I just sat down and wrote down everything he could say (that I could remember) and he says 37 words, makes 16 animal sounds and points to 14 body parts (plus he does sign language for some of the words he can't quite say yet.) Not everyone can understand all the words he says, but at least he tries to use them correctly! Pay attention, and give him some more time, if you aren't hearing more words by 18 months, then I would talk about it with your doctor but remember my friends husband didn't talk until he was 4 years old! and he is brilliant, it's just up to the kid! I also heard that you should use short phrases with children, it makes it easier to learn and repeat (eat now? or outside please). Don't worry and don't compare your child to others, it will make you batty! Keep us updated!
N. - mother to Landon 17 months old

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C.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi A.,

I am a speech pathologist and, from what you describe, I really don't see the urgency. My daughter talked at 9 months, my son didn't start until he was 18 months. If your son wasn't saying anything or if his attempts at words sounded different every time he said them, then I would worry. Just keep an eye on him and reassess as he gets closer to 2. If he hasn't made a jump in his vocabulary, call the local school district or early on for an evaluation. My son really took off after the 18 month mark.

C.

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L.L.

answers from Lansing on

My two sons had about 15 words, MAYBE, until they were 2 years old. At 2, they started speaking in full sentences. Some children take a little longer, however, according to speech therapists they don't worry about speech patterns until 3 yrs old because like my 2, some kids just take their time.

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S.P.

answers from Detroit on

It sounds to me like he's just a little bit of a late talker. My son was the same way and now he going to be 3 in May. He is VERY verbal now and is above average with his development. I'd wait until he's 24-27 months before I would start to get concerned. Read him some more books too!

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D.S.

answers from Detroit on

I don't think you have to worry too much. As long as he understands what you are saying to him, points to things to communicate or communicates in other ways, and picks up new words every week or so he is okay (from what I've read). I have 19 month-old triplet boys. They only know about 10-20 words, but they communicate extremely well otherwise. From what I understand, you shouldn't worry about it unless he hasn't come along by the age of two. You may want to leave a message for your regular doctor so he can call you back and talk about it. Sounds like you're doing great.

ps - beware that if you really start trying to push him to talk he may clam up, even if he knows how to say the words

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F.D.

answers from Detroit on

my son was late in talking as well, he also played dumb by pointing at what he wanted. he just liked being the baby i think. when he was ready he just took off, he is now 28 yrs old and fine. i did make sure that i made him stop pointing as much as possable as long as your sure he dosent have any hearing loss i would give him some more time. take care,F.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

A.,

I would make an appointment or call and talk to your regular doctor first and foremost. If he/she is concerned s/he should but you in touch with a speech therapist or give you further direction than "you should be concerned". That being said, my 4 year old has always talked...but was a very late mover. He never rolled and did not crawl until 14 months. Every child develops differently. You will see a huge development in vocabultary around 18 mos, again at 2 year, again at 2 1/2 and again at 3. For us the development between 2 1/2 and 3 was huge! You son absolutely could be speaking 20 words by 18 mos.

We talked non-stop to our son and encouraged him to "use his words" when he wanted something. It sounds like you are already doing that. Try not to worry (which I know is hard b/c despite my Dr. telling me my son was ok, I was convinced he would never move).

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K.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

It sounds to me like you are doing well with helping him develop his speech; I would keep an eye but not be too worried. Each child works at their own pace and as long as he is making strides around 18 months (not at 18 months) then he should be fine. My niece hardly spoke and then one day just exploded full sentences at us. She's a braniac now, just an observer more than a speaker. Also, my son does not "perform" so the "pressure" of asking him to "show" off a skill may be keeping your son from peforming like it did for mine.

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J.

answers from Grand Rapids on

My son's pediatrician referred us to Early On. My son has a wonderful speech teacher that comes to our home and works with him. It is a free program. Ask your doctor about it or check with the school district. Good luck!

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M.R.

answers from Saginaw on

If by this point your son is not talking, then you really should be worried. I am a speech therapist, but more importantly, I am a mom of a daughter who was not speaking when she was 18 months (I wasn't a speech therapist at that time). My daugher had a vocab of like 4 or 5 words. I am glad that I took her to therapy. I know no parent wants to think that something is wrong with their child, but you will only hurt your child if you dont at least get him checked. It can be something as simple as he just doesn't want to talk, or it can be his hearing, or maybe he as an articualtion problem, there are so many different possibilties. As a speech therapist, we are taught that children start using words at 12 months, but by 18 months, if the words are not there, then thats when you worry. If there is something wrong with your son, wouldn't you rather that he start getting the help he needs now instead of waiting? Remeber, if there is something wrong, the longer you wait, the further he falls behind, which can affect his social skills, his confidence, and his education. If you take him and they say everything is okay, and he still is not talking by 24 months, then you will need to have him re-tested. At this point, DO NOT TAKE NO for an answer. At this point, there is DEFINITELY something wrong. I hope this helps.

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J.G.

answers from Detroit on

We had exactly the same experience with our daughter Kendall when she was 20 months old. I was concerned because I saw how my nephews were growing and talking and she just didn't seem to be in the same place they were. Developtmentally in all other areas, she was just fine, and right on track.

My mom works in the public school district where we live and she told me about a program called Child Find. This is a program through your county and the state of Michigan that you see commercials on TV for, "no child left behind".
Basically you call your county and they send someone to your house to do an evaluation of your child and have you fill out a bunch of questions reguarding your childs development. Then, they tell you how many areas your child is behind and how behind they are.

Kendall was only behind in speech, so sent us to the public school district where we attend 2 sessions of 'testing'. There is a speech thearpist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, child psychologist, and teacher. We were behind in speech so they set us up in a group at one of the preschools, twice a week for Kendall to have services that she needed.

We were in this program until she turned 3 in January, and then we moved into another group that we pay for. All of the under 3, no child left behind stuff is free!

Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.

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L.U.

answers from Grand Rapids on

There is a program called "early on program" and they come to your house and evaluate your child. They could let you know If there is any issues to worry about. My son was simular to yours at that age and he is now 11 years old and still has trouble saying some words, its like he doesn't say the hole word. He also has speech theropy at school. The early on program will do that for you if you want them to. The people to get ahold of is in Muskegon MAISDA building that is just down the road from General Hospital. If you are not from muskegon then get a hold of your local health department and see if they know of this program or call your local school and they might be able to tell you who to get ahold of. Good Luck!

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

An audiologist? Maybe there's a slight hearing loss?

But it should be a concern at this age. If everything else is right on time in development, this should be a giveaway that communications not developing on time might have a reason behind it.

Have the hearing checked.

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A.I.

answers from Lansing on

a girlfriend of mine son did not talk till he was two and a half now he is fifteen and in the middle od his senior year andeinstein did not talk till he was three work with him don't push him and don't worry

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L.D.

answers from Detroit on

don't sweat it! i don't know why Dr.'s say things like that to parents, esp 1st time parents. my daughter didn't say ONE word till after her 2nd b-day, not even mama! she's 5 now and perfectly normal (and is great at memorization btw)
kids come around at their own pace, don't get discouraged, and don't push him to talk, what ever form of communication is fine for him right now, as long as you and other care-takers can communicate is great.

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E.M.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi A.,
My daughter is the same age as your son and I also had a random doctor tell me that she should be speaking much more than she does. When I asked our regular ped. about it, he said that as long as she (my daughter) understands what I am saying to her (which she does) the words will come later. It can be so frustrating to hear that your child is no up to par. But just remember that each child is different. Good luck and God Bless!

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D.C.

answers from Detroit on

Don't be concerned! At 18 mos. my son wasn't even saying "mommy". His doctor wasn't concerned though but because I was (a lot) and I wanted to have him looked at by a development specialist through the school district. They said he was within "range" and not to worry. I was still worried. He was doing everything else, was very social, etc. - there weren't any other concerns. And I was still worried!! BUT children develop at their own pace and once he started talking it was a pretty quick improvement. He is still hard to understand but is very verbal. I am really glad I took him to the school district just for peace of mind. Look into it....it is free and requires about 60 minutes for the appointment where about 3 development specialists will assess your child.

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A.P.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A., I completely agree with Courtney the speech pathologist. Just because the doctor said a 17 m.o. should know 20-30 words, it doesn't mean that they actually USE those words. Since your sone seems to understand everything you say, I bet he DOES actually "know" 20-30 (and even more), he doesn't doesn't "speak" them. There's a big difference there! With my kids, at 17 months, my first born who's now 4 could say 75+ words and was already puting 2-3-4 word sentences together. My daughter, however, who will be 2 on St. Patty's Day didn't really start taking off until about 20 months. She started talking at about 12 months, but only a handful of words that "stuck" until she hit the 20 month mark. I wasn't concerned at all, as she was fully on schedule/advanced with everything else. Now, at only a few weeks away from turning 2, she still doesn't really say a whole lot, but will repeat anything and everything anyone says to her - even 3-4 words sentences. She just not much of a "talker," and I've pretty much chalked this up to the fact that my 4 year old does most of her talking for her. LOL! (Mom, Kaelin is thirsty, hungry, wants a snack, etc.) All kids develop at different times - some quicker than others - and it does NOT mean that there's a thing wrong with them. I would not be too concerned at all about your son, and would be more so inclined if he wasn't saying ANYTHING at all. Since all of his other developmental skills are right on target, I'd just mention this again to your regular pediatrician at your next appt. You just may be one of the "lucky" ones and have a kid who doesn't incessantly talk your ear off, like mine. Sometimes we wish he had an "off" switch. HA HA! Good luck and best wishes to you and your family.

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K.W.

answers from Detroit on

I wouldn't worry about it too much, My nephew didn't start talking till he was three, they played into his game though and he would grunt and point at what he wanted and they would get it for him. He has no speech problems now, he will be 13 in Sept. Some kids are just a little delayed in things like that and every child is different, just keep trying to make him ask for what he wants. I don't know if this will help but my cousins little boy was diagnosed with Autism because of black mold and she was told to give him one M&M every time he told them what it was he wanted and to give lots and lots of praise for every attempt to say what he needs. (I am in no way saying that your child is Autistic though, just thought her experience might be helpful.) He will come around soon, my daughter took a little longer than my older son and sometimes I wish now that she would be quiet, she is 8 now and she talks constantly lol :) But I love her anyway :)

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B.G.

answers from Lansing on

hi, My son is 3 and when he was 17 months he didn't say a whole lot either, he had his few words and of course I could pretty much always figure out what he wanted, he sounds so much like your boy, my son has always been very active too. I think that boys develope their vocal skills a little later than girls in general and I also think you shouldn't be worried about his speech at least for now. You will be surprised what he will learn between now and his second birthday and from 2-3 the difference will amaze you. Keep working with him but don't stress too much about what the doctor says, they have their mold and most of the time we feel guilty if our kid doesn't fit it and we really shouldn't!!

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S.D.

answers from Detroit on

I do not believe that you need to be concerned. Milestones only give a general idea of when children may start crawling, walking, talking, etc. They are not set in stone. My boss has a three year old boy that just started talking fluently right after his 3rd birthday. Now he talks all the time. Some children take more time. My best advice is not to make the need for him to talk stressful on him because then it may take longer.
I am of course NO kind of expert, this just advice from experience. Also, if you are still concerned I would contact his normal doctor and talk to them. My guess is the other doctor overreacted.

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K.A.

answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,

My nephew had the same issues as you describe. My daughter was talking in full sentences by 14 months, so by comparison (he is older by 6 months), it was a very stark difference. My sister-in-law took him to the doctor, and the doctor advised that she should put him in a daycare program so that he would be forced to interact with other children. You may not notice, but you probably don't require your son to actually talk back to you, even though you may talk "to him" a lot. In an environment with other children, he will be forced to articulate more, and thus develop language. Children learn language best from other children (even some things we don't want them to learn). Daycare is expensive, but it may be a good idea to get him into a play group or some activity with other children at least a couple times a week for a couple of hours each time. Good luck!

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J.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi. My first reaction. STOP worrying. My son was the same way. He is 5 now and never stops talking. He did everything on time even sooner than expected actually. He did not talk until he was almost 3. He spoke a few words but nothing substantial and I was extremely worried. I learned through a speech therapist and many moms that each child develops their skills at different times. He walked early and rode a bike early and many others things. He just chose not to talk until later. I have a friend as well who went through the same thing with her son. He didn't talk until 3. I found this is especially true with a first and only child. I can't believe this doctor alarmed you. How rude. My doctor gave me the name of a speech therapist through the ISD just to ease my own mind. They came to our house and did some skill testing with him and told me he was perfectly fine and not to worry. He started talking when he was ready and hasn't stopped. Don't worry.

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M.H.

answers from Detroit on

A.,

I really wouldn't worry about this at all. All children talk at their own pace. My son is 17 months and we've heard him say "Mama, baba, get down, dada, but we don't hear this all the time. We have to work with him. He will repeat things we tell him, but not for long. He is just really into throwing balls and catching them. ha ha I am not worried at all. My oldest didn't really start talking until after 18 months and he is an all A student!! :) He's doing great in school. Just keep working with him and in no time at all he'll be talking too much and you'll wish you had some quite time! :)

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S.F.

answers from Detroit on

Hello. It sounds very similar to my son Max. He was 18 months old (Spring 2007) and said Mama well. Thats about it! Our pediatrician did discuss it with us, but seemed not very concerned. She referred us to an "Early on" office if intested. She also said we could probably wait a little longer and utilize parenting techniques to help encourage vocababulary. We heard the same thing from everyone about girls being faster and "They all progress at a different rate". We decided to evauate him and I thought the process in Farmington Public Schools was fantastic. They accepted him into the program and educated, supported and provided him with therepy. Therapy was like playgroup and he loved it. ( I did to!) He had wonderful services from a teacher, therapist. He speaks very well now,( and a lot). I long for those moments of silence! I think the speech therapy was great. I also question whether that if we would have waited would he be exactly the same as he is now? Who knows but he is a better kid and I am a better parent because of the speech therapy program he was involved in.

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T.R.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Hi,

I understand how you feel.I have a 5 year old that was speaking sentenses at 1, and a 3 year old who only speaks 8 words on a regular basis. Its very frustrating and hard to understand. The first step is to get tested for any hearing problems. You want to eliminate any possibilities of impairment. Just because they can hear you, doesn't mean the sounds aren't distorted in some way. My daughter passed all the tests and is very intelligent, however she is also very stubborn. My doctor recommended a speech therapist. We have been seeing her for nearly a year and she has taught us many things we can do. Sign language was a great step for us. It gave us a middle ground to communicate on. We weren't askign her to speak yet she had to do more than point and yell at us for what she wanted. We progressed further into word sounds in addition to signs. Now when she wants more of something she does the sign for "more" and make the Mmmm sound. We are still trying for words, but you can't make them talk. My therapists says that some children just refuse to talk even as late as 4-5 years old. She claims that with stubborn children they withhold speech until they relize its making everything more difficult for them or they feel confident enough to speak. These children like to have it right before they speak out loud. She has had several children like mine, and one day they just start talking in sentences. I keep praying for that day!

You won't know until you work with someone who has experience with speech delays, but they can offer so much advise and reassure you that you are taking the proper steps. Some children respond right away and others take more time, but either way you know your child is gettign the attention it needs. My child loves speech therapy. She responds to her therapist better then she does with me. Sometimes they need stimulation form other people than those they are comfortable with. I hope this helps. Don't give up.

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T.L.

answers from Saginaw on

A.,
Don't take this lightly. My son had somewhat of the same problem and I had concerns about all the ear aches and stuff he had had. I mentioned to his doctor about him no talking and when he did we couldn't understand him. He was 4 when we found out he had been born with a cholestialtoma in his inner right ear. This is a tumor and we had no idea. We took him to an ENT and then we had to go to U of M hospitals in Michigan. The autolarangoligist removed it, after an 8 hours surgery, and also had to remove his middle hearing bone, mastoid bone and replace his ear drum. We found out before this that he had hardly any hearing in that ear. Even after he lost all this in surgery, his hearing greatly improved. He could talk clear after this. A parent knows when something is wrong. Take him to a Ear, nose and throat specialist. Please have it checked out and don't take there is nothing wrong for an answer.

My best wishes for you and prayers
T.

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C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi A.,
I was in the same boat as you and my ped. wanted to have my 2 year old start seeing a speech therapist. I didn't agree with her. My son is very smart, he understands what is said to him, uses utensils, ect. I started working with him with picture books and he is already doing better. Go with your mothers instinct, if you think that he needs help see a speech therapist and if you don't, start working with him yourself. Don't worry about it. Good luck.
Chris

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