20 1/2-Month Old Does Not Talk

Updated on April 20, 2008
R.W. asks from Corona, CA
144 answers

My son (20 1/2 months) is not talking and I don't know if I should worry or not. According to all the online resources and magazines I read, kids his age should be saying a handful of words. The ONLY word my son says is "Mama." When I ask him to say "Mommy" he'll say "Mama." When I ask him to say "Daddy" he'll say "Mama" (which at first made us chuckle...now it's not funny anymore). His other ways of communicating include clapping his hands together when he wants something (which we taught him means "please"), shaking his head 'No', or by pointing his finger to whatever it is he wants. Do I need to be concerned at this point, or should I give it more time? It's almost as though he doesn't even want to make the attempt to say words. He identifies words well though (i.e. he can point to his nose, eyes, tummy, colors, cars, etc.).

My husband and I read to him, talk to him, sing to him...I just don't know if there's something else we should be doing?!?!? Just wondering if any of you have gone through this with your own kid(s) and if I should just be patient or if I need to really be concerned?

Side note: My second son was born 3 months ago...maybe he's just reacting (by not talking) to having a newborn in the house?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!

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So What Happened?

*Thank You* for your responses! :) I am somewhat relieved to know that my son isn't the only one out there who isn't speaking. Based on what those of you who either have (or know) autistic or speech development-assisted children, I'm not sure that's the case with my son. He does hear and understand us (if we ask him to "get the [toy] dog from the toy box" he'll run into the family room, open his toy box, and search through it to get the dog and then bring it to us) so that tells me that he knows and understands what we're saying. I think we just have to be patient at this point, and I will definitely bring this to the attention of his pedi!

Thanks again for all the responses!
~Rae

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S.F.

answers from San Diego on

I am a kindergarten teacher and mother of 2 boys. I have a friend who had 2 sons and her second was langauge delayed. He got support in his preschool years and as a result was not behind when he started kindergarten. Don't hesitate to talk to his pediatrician about it. It sounds like he has great comprehension he just isn't able to verbally express himself. It should be easy to get the support he needs.

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, I would not worry, it is effident that he understands you. Why should he talk? does he get what he wants without talking? Are you giving him time to talk? Pick a few things and work on them only. Maybe start with sounds, a dog says bow wow, a cow says moo.. you get the idea. Make it a fun and special time with him, and wait he will start and you will say, why did I want him to talk. Personal, my son talked all the time at home, but in pre school- age 4-never said a word.. Now he is grown and is a confident speaker. Just love him. Mom of 2grown boys, men.

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had basically the same thing happen...first my daughter, was 2, hardly spoke but then I her go to private daycare while I started to work and with days I could not shut her up!!! She knew all along how to speak but just didnt.

With my son, same thing. But realized...I did and anticipated everything...he didnt have to ask. I would say 'want a cookie?' see his expression start and then just give it to him. He didnt have to talk, I was there all the
time ready and eager to do or give them stuff or talk and basically answer myself. He was 2 also and then just started
yapping away. Both kids were very bright and did very well in school. Don't worry too much. Try asking him things and
let him respond, unlike what I did!

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

My Barking Niece:
My sister's daughter, Serafina, is now six.
Until the age of two and a half, her only word was "woof". Well, it was more like "Voof". She walked pretty early, 11 months I think, but took her time talking. She was an active part of the family: picking up, waiting her turn, etc. She was polite as a toddler could be. At about 2 and a 1/2, she attempted other words...like "Aunie Woof"(auntie), "Daa"(dad), "Um"(mom) and "Eo" (brother).
Her mom and I noticed that when my niece did start increasing her vocab, she leaned toward putting together sentences.
My niece is now six. She is starting to read. She is super talkative. She watches her peers and her environment before she jumps in to any social situation, but is a good listener and a good playmate.
I thought I would share the success story of our "little puppy".
Best of luck with your son!
A.

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

He may have a speech delay. If that's the case, the earlier you start intervention, the better. My son - now 4 1/2 - had a similar start, and is speaking pretty well now (but is still delayed). It's a lot of work. You should ask your pediatrician what he thinks (rule out hearing problem), then there are a lot of resources available through the Westside Regional Center. WRC is a government-funded agency (our tax dollars at work!) and works with kids 0-3 years to help get them ready for school. WRC sent a speech therapist to our house FREE until my son was 3 and worked on his speech 2x/week. You can call them, answer a few questions, have a coordinator assigned, and they'll send someone to your house to do an assessment of your son's needs. They offer services not based on financial needs, but are based on your child's needs. This was a real life-saver for us. It's a tough road, but I am so happy that we got an early start. For my son, we started at about 18 months. Good luck!!

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V.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Get him assessed through your local regional center. I did and my son is eligible for speech therapy. Trust your instincts.

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am not sure where you live (I am new to this site) but you should contact the Regional Center in your area to have your child evaluated. Most centers work in similar ways. I live in San Bernardino County and can relate my experience. I am a SAHM of a 16 month old girl and am 4 months pregnant with #2. My daughter was not talking at 15 months and I was told to call the "Inland Regional Center" to request an evaluation. (they also have a website with lots of information) When you call you are asked a series of developmental questions about your child. Once the phone interview is complete, your answers are sent to a review committe to decide if your child qualifies for intervention. He/she must have a 30% delay in any one area. This can take a few weeks. If your child qualifies, things move very quickly from that point on. They contact you and send out a case worker and teacher to your home to evaluate her/him personally to verify the delay. To my great surprise, my daughter qualified in a couple of areas, not just language (I thought she was doing fine in the others). Now a teacher comes to my house (in Apple Valley) twice a week for an hour each day to instruct/play with her. They work all development areas, not just the delay. My daughter has made great improvements in the six weeks since the teacher started coming (especially in fine motor). She is not talking yet, but she is saying some animal sounds and trying to communicate with more signs. She was doing none of this before we started.
All of this is completely free and provided by the state to all qualifying children under three years old, regardless of financial status. There are also many other programs provided(speech therapy) etc. depending on your child's age/need.
Another thing to consider is if your child has consistent access to other children. If not, it is recommended that you set up playdates and/or enroll your son in a class where he will be around other children. The idea is that kids want to be like other kids and this encourages them to interact/talk with them, where they won't make the effort for you. I have been trying the playdates with some success and am trying to get my daughter into a class at the community center for kids 18 months to 3 years. It is a parent and tot class for learning and interaction. Most community centers have similar classes (but these are not free).
Good luck to you and I hope this gives you some ideas of where to start. I always feel better doing something proactive, rather than sitting around waiting and worrying!
K.

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.
Have you had your son's hearing checked? Even a little bit of a hearing loss can have a big impact on language development. It's always important to make sure a child is hearing well when they are slow to speak.
L.

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O.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,
I would encourage you to contact a really great resource called Regional Center. Perhaps the closest to you is Harbor Regional Center, located in Torrance. They're a government-funded organization that helps kids with all kinds of developmental disabilities. They're free! They can schedule an evaluation with you or maybe even give you help over the phone. I worked with one of their physical therapists when my son was a little behind in his gross motor skills. She was terrific and now all his issues are over. There are lots of kids who are late talkers, but if I were you I would contact someone like this (or your doctor) just so they can monitor your son.
hope this helps.
O.

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L.D.

answers from San Diego on

At this point I think I would take him to the doctors and have a few test run. You never know there might be some underlying medical problem. My grandson were all slow talkers, and like your son knew what was being said and could respond. We found out that they all had hearing loss and it was difficult for them to repeat the words. With hearing aids they are now talking up a storm. You can also try the old way of doing things and do not give your son what he wants until he says what he wants. Or you can slowly say the words carfully forming the words with your mouth and see if that helps. But try the doctor first. Good lduck

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P.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please take your child to the doctor to be checked and tested. If there is something slightly amiss they can tell you almost immediately. Once you explain your concerns to the doctors and specialists they will perform a series of tests, then I'm sure you will know if there is anything wrong with your childs hearing or motor skills, etc.. My friend time is of the essence!

Be blessed

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Talk with your Dr. and let him know what is going on. You could also look into getting a hearing test (I would rec. calling John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles and set up a hearing test -it's free###-###-####). It's important to check his hearing because you want to rule out if a hearing loss could be causing his lack of communication- it may be that there is fluid in the ears and he is not hearing well enough (fluid can be removed - by tubes, simple easy procedure). But Don't wait, trust your instinct and get it checked out. Good Luck.

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R., before I give you any advice I need to ask you, is your son on a pacifire? if so get rid of it, if he has a pacifire in his mouth he's not going to talk. If not, here' some advice, if your son can get what he wants by clapping his hands, pointing or shaking his head, there's no need for him to talk, when ever he wants something you need to tell him use your words, if he doesn't then don't give him what he is pointing at. When my now 24 year old was a toddler, I made the mistake of telling my son show mommy, when I didn't understand what he was saying, so the words he was saying he just quit and started pointing at everything, when I realized what I had done, I told my husband, that our son was no longer to get what to wanted by pointing, and had to use his words, and he did, and by 21 months old he was potty trained.
Hope this helps. J. L. If you would like to talk more, my e0mail address is [email protected]____.com

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S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

To be on the safe and conservative side, I think you should have your son evaluated by a speech therapist. Because doctors tend to "wait and see", I would demand a referral for a speech evaluation. I've had to demand referrals myself. It wouldn't hurt anyone to do so and might help put your own mind at ease.

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son did the same thing and Doctors told me oh, boys are just slow he'll get it just wait. I didn't beleive this for a minute because other boys were talking, and as far as development he walked two weeks later then my girls. So that was a bunch of bull, some children are slower then others. Yes, but boys slower then girls not really at this age.

The school district will help you, Here in Corona they call it the "Rocket Program". My son started when he turned 3, I had only found out about it 3 months earlier, and I was told by the counslers that they could test him and place him but when they turn 3 they have to be re-tested, for the older program, So I just waited and potty trained.

The program for younger children is a tutor who will come to your house (I believe)thats how it was for my friend. They do speech therapy with them and give you ways to keep it up. They will do testing on your child to see how to help him. It's great! My son was saying his sisters names in 6 months, but other words right away. I would do it earlier if I were you. My son was in the program 2 years. He would talk but some words he still used a "W" sound Like woggy instead of froggy. When they start younger they teach big words not baby words, in the older class they were happy to get any type of word. He now speaks perfect and is very intellegent.

So go call the school district and put your mind to rest. I wish someone would have told me this info earlier, I was so stressed that my child was going to have big problems. (Sad thing is my nephew had this problem and they didn't get him help until he was 4 1/2. She told me later that she new my son had the same thing but never said anything to me about getting him help early). So make sure you pass this info to those you see in the same boat as you.

Good Luck! JP

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you taken him to a pediatrician to check his hearing and eye sight? If he has problems with these functions it could delays in his development.

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J.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello R.:

My name is J. and I have an 18 mon. old grandaughter which does not says any words yet, even though she can socialize very well. My daughter is a therapist for autistic children and she noted some signals of autism in her daughter. Now my grandchild will be tested for autism first. You know? you never know if your child could be speech delayed or something else. You should check with your pediatrician first. This is how my grandchild was referred to a neurologist first. God Bless you and your family and hope is nothing serious with your son. With so many children with autism you should do some research.

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J.F.

answers from San Diego on

It wouldn't hurt to talk to your pediatrician about this and perhaps have him screened for Speech and Language Services. There are a lot of resources for early intervention for children with speech/language delays. Remember you are your child's advocate and if you have any concern about anything don't feel silly about asking your child's doctor and if you don't like what he/she has to say find another doc. Having a supportive ped. and someone who listens to your concerns is CRITICAL!

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C.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

I would definately go to your pediatrician and have him/her write a prescription for a Speech/Language Evaluation. You are right. He should have many words by now and be combining words. He should also be imitating sounds/words. A Speech/Language Evaluation will not hurt him in any way and can only help identify any problems early on. Early intervention for speech skills is EXTREMELY important. I am a Speech/Language Pathologist and work with early intervention. Do it! It can't hurt. Good Luck!

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S.F.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi R.,
Do everything medical to ease your mind. But- my brother evidently did not speak until after 2. He is now a doctoral ecologist who is world known for his work. Just to show you that unusual doesn't always mean there is a problem.
S.

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

R., just to be on the safe side you can look up your local Regional Center and request a speech evaluation. FYI -Speech impediments occur more frequently in males than females and can be hereditary (but not always the case). If it is determined that he does in fact have a speech impediment, he can then recieve speech therapy through the Regional Center free of charge. An important note - the earlier your child receives intervention the better!

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M.R.

answers from Honolulu on

Aloha,

Each child develops at their own pace. Of my 3 kids, some talked quickly and my youngest one didn't talk much until past the age of 3. I don't know if your state has a "No Child Left Behind" policy with the schools. If you do, you can talk with a speach therapist at your local elementary school and see if they can test him which is done at no charge. If they see a need, they might refer your son for testing on his hearing. My son was tested at the age of 3 and he was even tested for particular sounds and pitches. His hearing was fine. He did qualify for speech therapy at school to help him when he started talking. He just wasn't ready to talk when he was younger. He is now about to turn 7 and his speech is almost as good any kid his age and his reading is above grade level. All kids are different. So unless there is a medical reason....he'll talk when he is ready.

I hope this helps,

Marie-anne :O)

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Your Dr. may refer you to get his hearing checked when you take him for his 2 year old checkup. The general guide I've heard is they should be saying about 20 words at 2 yrs.old. In my opinion, it is probably nothing to worry about, they all develop at their own rates, boys are usually later than girls, if he is learning two languages that could delay it as well.....plus as you mentioned with the new baby that could be affecting him as well, but checking the hearing doesn't hurt. Even if you don't think it is an issue, it could rule it out for sure. Limiting TV time and spending time talking to him and encouraging him to talk instead of gesturing helps him develop as well.

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M.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hello, My grandson (same age) had similar symptoms and was diagnosed with apraxia. He is also very smart and speaks in garbled words. Good Luck, Aunt Maddie

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I also have two boys under 18 mos. apart. My youngest said his first words at 3 yrs. of age! Tonight, we're waiting to find out if he got accepted to UCBerkeley and tomorrow, Stanford. (He already got accepted to 7 colleges.) I hope this makes you feel better.

PS- His first word was "wolf"! :-) We have a picture of Einstein with my father's Uncle. We thought maybe he was going to be like him? Einstein was delayed in talking too! We did teach him a few sign language words so he wouldn't get frustrated.....eg: more He did take speech when he was younger to help with articulation. When he started 1st grade, he learned how to spell hard words when we didn't understand him....... came in 2nd place out of 1700 6th graders in our school district Spelling Bee.

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K.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,

I have a lot of experience in this matter. I'm not an expert but I went through this exact situation with both of my children (daughter and son). My son didn't speak until he was 27 months and he was about the same age as your son when I started to get obsessed and overly concerned. My daughter then did the same thing and didn't speak until 26 months. Both children were and are fine now. In my case both children were very active and were concentrating on physical rather than verbal skills. Moms tend to worry as the child starts to approach 2 because of all the pressure to compete and compare with other children their age who's verbal skills are much more advanced. My suggestion is to keep working with him but don't become overly concerned at this point. When you take him to his 2 year visit, the pediatrician will then access what he does say and more importantly his comprehension. I was told in both cases to give it until 2 1/2 to see what develops and sure enough, my children had verbal explosions in that time frame. Yours will most likely do the same.

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A.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

It would not hurt to get him checked out. Better safe than sorry. What does your Pediatrician say? I would strongly suggest you ask your Pediatrician to help you seek a speech evaluation. You can also try the North Los Angeles County Regional Center ###-###-####. Their services are free up to age 3 and then the LAUSD will cover any further treatment. He could be missing out on necessary speech milestones. Good Luck.

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M.V.

answers from San Diego on

My neice has a 4 1/2 year old son who was diagnosed, just a little over a year ago with Autism. Has your doctor checked your son for this condition? There are many website....I like autismspeaks.com (or maybe its .org) There is alot of useful info & links to other similar from there. Best of luck to you & your family.

Monie...mother of 5.....4 boys & 1 girl....yes, in that order!

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S.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you had his hearing checked?

You could start teaching him sign language. Sometimes boys are slower at developing speech, but he should be saying more than one. Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? Have they checked him for signs of Autism? I'm not trying to scare you, but there is a certain window of speech development that has to be taken advantage of while the child is still in this age group. 1 in 94 boys are being diagnosed now and 1 in 150 children have some type of Autism. Please let us know what you find out and don't wait to see what happens.

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L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Let me start out by saying that each child develops at their own rate. You say that, other than "Mamma" he is not speaking but he is pointing and, I have to tell you, as a mom with a son who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, that pointing is a big deal and I mean that in a positive way. Pointing is actually a pre-linguistic skill that comes before spoken language. I'm sure that he is showing other pre-linguistic skills as well, such as eye contact, shaking his head "yes" and "no" and, if so, I wouldn't worry too much about the language delay that you are seeing.

One thing that I have learned is not to talk for your child. Sometimes, especially with boys I think, they tend to allow their moms to fill in the gaps with their language and they never really have to speak. They say "A..." and mom immediately jumps in and says, "What do you want Baby? An apple?" and they never really have to speak (Does this explain a lot of men that we have been dating for so long??? hehehe!). To help him increase his vocabulary, start labeling as many objects as possible but do so by holding the object close to your eyes, near your temple, and slowly saying the word so that he can look at you and see and hear how you are saying it. And really, sit back, as painful as it is, and allow your son try his hand at talking. Target one area at a time like having him say the word "more" when he wants a snack. You can start off by having him learn the sign for "more" (which is tapping your fingers together in front of your chest), and then, after he has mastered that, you can work on having him actually say the word. At first you will give him, say, one cheese puff and then, when he wants one more, he will probably sign for "more" but you will hold off on giving him the cheese puff and, instead, will put the desired item close to your eyes and say the word "more". He will probably say "mmmm" at first but that will be good enough because he is trying to say the word "more" but after a couple of more times, you will up the ante and try to get him to say some kind of assimilation of the word "more."

I know this sounds like a lot to take in but it does work. At 20-1/2 months, my child wasn't speaking, but once we worked this technique with him, he started labeling things by the time he was just before 2-years old and by the time he was 3-years old he probably was able to say at least 150+ words, and this is with a child with a learning disability. I'm not sure if your child does, but the pointing at objects is a really good sign. Of course, it is always good to have him checked out by his pediatrician and possibly a ENT for hearing. If there is something more serious going on that needs to be attended to, which probably isn't the case, each State by law is required to provide early intervention services to the children, free to the parents, to help them overcome whatever condition is responsible for their developemental delay. The professionals who will work with your child, up until your child turns 3, will come to your home at a time that is convenient for you, and the ones that we have had have been fun and just one more playmate for your son to associate with. And that brings up another item, make sure that you child is getting enough time to play with children his age or older. If you have a newborn, you may not be getting out as often as you used to because of his or her feeding and nap schedule.

Okay, that's all I have for you for now. Good luck.

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
my advice to you is to try a couple of things like stand behind your son without him seeing you and say his name or clap loud and see if he responds back.Or if you call him from another room does he come? Or do you have to go and get him. Do you see him concentrate by looking directly into your face when you are talking to him before he responds? If he has a hearing problem he could have adjusted to watching words formed from watching your mouth. Children will find ways to communicate. I would also just have a check up with the doctor to rule out any hearing problem and to answer and explore any of your concerns. Boys are usually slower developmentally and usually isn't a big concern. Before you know it one day they just all of a sudden start doing everything and you can't get them to stop.I hope this helps.

A little about me: My name is L. I have three grown children a son in his Junior yr. of college, a daughter in her freshman yr. of college, and a daughter in her junior yr. of highschool. I worked as a Librarian for almost eight yrs. and then worked for California Association for the Gifted for seven yrs. I currently live in Redondo Beach CA., but in a few short weeks will be moving to Hawaii.

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G.R.

answers from San Diego on

hi there,
i am in the same boat, the doctor had all these reasons for my girl not talking. I knew somthing wasn't right, should of went with my gut. We waited to long, my little one is in speech therapy and is 3 1/2 and can only say about 50 words. When she turns 3 she can get free services from your local school.I have talked with western and holistic people. Try as much signing as possible this helps connect all the roads in the brains together that help with her speech. Its like adding a bridge to two roads that weren't connected. Your doctor should also have referrals . Don't wait to long. I am so sad because I am missing out on so much bonding with my daughter and now she is aware that she can't talk and that adds another dynamic. Good luck and stay on top if it. I know two kids can be tuff, I have 3!

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
my name is S.. I have a grandson that recently turned 2 years old. Your son sounds exactally like my grandson. He has recently been diagnosed with autisum. He is going through some therapy now. We took him to his dr. And told him his symptoms, and he sent therapist to his home very quickly. My daughter has very good insurance. Please dicuss this with your dr. It was very hard for us to hear, but we are working with him, and hoping for the best. From what i understand, there are different levels of autisum, some worse then others. I don't mean to alarm you, but my grandson sounds just how you discribed your son. Does your son put anything in his mouth? Does he eat table food? Does he spin toys?
I hope i have been helpful. Again, i do not want to alarm you, but i do think you should check into this.

Sincerely,
S.

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C.C.

answers from San Diego on

R.
our son is almost 2 and he has the same vocabulary that your son does. Our son does sign language instead of talking. I am a little concerned that he doesnt' say more, but everyone I have talked to says they all start talking at different times and that we should wait to see what he does within the next few months. His doctor is going to conduct a well visit at around age 2 and at that time she will access his vocabulary. So we are not concerned yet and I think you should not worry yet. Good luck.
C.

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R.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey R.,

Since he is communicating with you in other ways you don't need to worry about the big ones like autism etc. If it seems he understands everything but just isn't saying a lot, he may just be a late talker, or he may need a little help. I have a friend with a little girl who wiggles her jaw around a lot and now with a little speech therapy her vocabulary has grown tenfold in a couple of months (she is two and a half). I would recommend not worrying about it, but taking him to see a speech therapist just to rule out any additional challenges he may have. He might even have a slightly tied tongue or some other anatomical feature that just makes it a little more difficult for him than for others.

Good Luck
R.

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,
I'm L., and I would be concerned. My son hardly said any words, even at that age. We finally took him to a neurologist, a speech pathologist, had his hearing checked(which was fine). We were able to get him going in early intervention programs by the time he was 2.
I would start w/ all of these, especially the speech, neurologist. Don't wait any longer. My son had severe oral motor, verbal apraxia, along w/ other issues. The oral motor was weakness in and around the mouth. He wasn't even aware of his tongue. Does your son ever stick his tongue out at you? Verbal apraxia is like word retrieval. The SLP said he knew in his head what he wanted to say, but the connection wasn't being made to get it out.
We did a lot of essential fatty acids, omega's which helped, along with a lot of other biomedical interventions, which has made a difference of night and day.
Please let me know what you decide, and how he's doing.
Do you live in Southern Cal?
My email is
[email protected]____.com

Please email w/ any questions. I'd love to help more.

L.

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L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

What does his Dr. say? When my son was 13 months, he wasn't saying anything, not even pointing. The doc refered us to a free service for kids under 3. They evaluated him, did a hearing test etc. And then scheduled visits at our home with an infant specialist who got him to talk by playing games. The specialist came to our home for less that a year, and it worked great. He is 6 now and is the most articulate kid you would ever meet. The service was free and it wasn't based on income "need" (or we never would have qualified). Ask you doc., it was one of the best things I ever did.

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S.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Unless there are other indications that there's a problem, or your pediatrician thinks something's wrong, I wouldn't worry at all. It is not unusual for boys especially not to talk until 2 or 3 years old. My son, who is just fine and very bright, didn't start talking until he was 30 months old. The pressure from the other moms to bring him to speech therapy was really annoying to me since this is not unusual or a sign of other problems. Don't let the development competition of other moms (or that which we place on ourselves when we observe what other kids can do--or what the "norm" is according to Baby Center) make you doubt your child. If everything else is good, let him develop at his own pace. Good luck!!

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A.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Don't worry, my husband nephews didn't talk until they were almost 3, and once they talked, they're chatters :) As long as he can do baby talk, or say one or 2 word, like your son can say "mama", his speech is fine. Just continue say name of things he enjoy playing/watching slowly so that he can copy you when he wants to. Read board book w/ him, point at pictures and read it for him will help too. Let him take his pace and say words when he's ready, don't worry, he'll talk :)

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C.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
I say when in doubt consult with his doctor. I would suggest requiring a hearing test first.
good luck,
Ceci

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J.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.

Has his hearing been tested? My dd doesn't talk much either and we had a hearing test done just to rule out any possibilities. Does he understand you when you say things to him, such as, where is the ball? If he understands what is said to him then most likely he is just a late talker. I have a relative whose son didn't talk until after 3. I'm sure he is fine.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Do not be alarmed but as a Speech/Language Specialist, I can say that he should be talking more by now. There are two types of language skills, expressive and receptive. It seems as though his receptive skills are coming along, but those expressive skills are lagging a bit. Have your pediatrician suggest a qualified speech/language therapist to complete an evaluation. OR call your local school district and depending on your state, they may provide you with a complete assessment for free.

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M.L.

answers from Honolulu on

You should probably mention it to your pediatrician. My youngest, 18 month-old boy, only says 3 words. He points, grunts, nods and screams otherwise. He understands and follows directions very well, but gets very frustrated when we don't understand what he wants. Our pediatrician said that if he's not saying close to 2 dozen words by 21 months he will refer us to a speech therapist. My oldest, a girl, started talking by 1, my second, a boy, didn't speak much until about 15 months. All kids are different, but it's best to get him checked.

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N.L.

answers from Reno on

Hi R., My daughter is 'delayed' with her speech as well(she's 19 months old). She does say 3 words but her little friends are talking A LOT. I talked to her pediatrician about it & he said that he doesn't worry about it until the child is 2. If, at 2, the child isn't putting together 2 word sentences he will recommend speech therapy (or to be evaluated). His advice to me for time being is to really overdue talking to her. Have a conversation with your child as if he/she is going to join in. Overdue talking when dressing "let's put your arm in your sleeve, oooh, there are your fingers..." that type of thing. Hope this helps!

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T.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son who is now29 months was also a very late talker. He too could follow directions but until 27 months could not put two words together. Then, all of a sudden he became a little chatter box. Do not worry for now as all kids I believe have an internal time clock. I am a physician and allowed all of my other physician friends to make me feel concerned as their children all appeared more advanced. What truly matters is his ability to comprehend you. He will start to talk at his own time. My son now talks non stop but only I can understand a majority of his words.

sincerely,
T.

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

First and formost, does your older son go to a school or have opportunities for social development with other children? If not, I would start taking him to Mommy and Me classes, Gymboree, or even play dates with other children. Try not to get too frustrated or at least let your son see it. Another thing that might work is sign language. There is a great tv program on called "Signing Time" They use common signs for children and speak the word as well. Also, Baby Einstein has a sign language DVD too. I hope this helps.

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K.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 29 months old and was diagnosed with a receptive (understanding of language) and expressive speech delay of about a year when he was 23 months old. This was just weeks before my daughter was born this past Fall. We qualified for services through the Inland Regional Center and Early Start Program and so we have someone come to our home one hour per week to work with him and I take him to speech therapy 2x per week. In the past couple of weeks, as he is getting closer and closer to 2 1/2, he is starting to repeat us more and more. I would say that he has 50-100 words right now whereas he had less than 10 when he was diagnosed. Unlike your son, he is not a big pointer, which was an initial concern, but he is starting to do that more and more. We've met with several therapists in the past 6 months and they all feel that he is just late but that he will get there on his own schedule. We work with him constantly and know that it may take a few years to catch him up but he will catch up. Autism has been ruled out, especially since he is picking up more and more each week but we did have initial thoughts on that. Regardless, his course of treatment would not have been much different. It sounds like your son may just be doing things on his own time, like mine is, especially if he's more physical (my son tests at a 3 - 3 1/2 year old level physically). I noticed several people noting on here that he should be checked for autism and I just wanted to share one thing I learned with you. Autism is a very hot topic right now and early intervention is always best but I would caution against thinking that way right now. Our speech therapist was telling me that she has been referred many, many children whose initial diagnosis was autism yet she found that they were simply speech-delayed. A speech delay is a common characteristic of autism; however, many children are, quite simply, speech-delayed. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your son. For what it's worth, all of my son's friends were talking at age 2 but I understand that mine is just going to get there in due time. Every child is different. It's required a lot of patience on my part, especially with a new baby in the house, but it's also very exciting to see the almost daily changes we are seeing! Good luck to you!

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

There may be nothing wrong, but I would go to your local regional center to get him checked out anyway. They will evaluate him for developmental delays for free. If there is nothing wrong, no harm done. But if there is a problem, the sooner the intervention the better. You can never be too careful.

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds as if you are doing all the right things - reading, talking to him, and singing. It's really important that he hear the language and have opportunities to respond. I am a former resource specialist teacher and have taught kindergarten. I had a student who didn't speak until second grade and then never stopped! That was quite exceptional, however, so I would suggest you talk to a speech and language specialist just to allay your concerns. This is a critical area in all learning and she or he can help you to become familiar with speech development milestones. You might stop by your closest elementary school and find out from the speech specialist there what services may be available to you in your community.

D.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,

My son was the same way - then all of a sudden, when he was about 28 months old, he started saying all kinds of words! Now he's 2 1/12 and he repeats EVERYTHING you tell him... we really have to watch what we say these days! Don't worry about it, I am sure he'll be just fine. He sounds like he's communicating well with you and your husband - he just doesn't do it with actual words yet.

Hang in there!
D.

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A.W.

answers from San Diego on

Do not be concerned, just like walking, it happens on their own time. Keep up the communication and he will catch on on his own time.

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S.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

honestly, i'm not sure i would worry about it at this point. yeah, it's a little slow and maybe mention it to your pediatrician but it could be that your son has become so good at communicating without speaking that he just isn't quite in the mood to try. will he be starting a school/playgroup program at 2 or in the fall? he will very likely begin speaking the minute he is no longer with you or a babysitter that gives him one on one attention. my daughter spoke a bit but was SO unclear until she started preschool. i mean we couldn't understand a word of her babble. her speech gets better every week now. good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

My daughter was the same way. I called our state agency - ask your ped. - every state has an intervention agency which helps kids 0-3 years old that have developmental delays. It was all free and they came to my home and "played" with her in a developmentally challenging way. also you can try using sign language with him - see babysigns.com. I'm sure he'll be fine.

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S.C.

answers from San Diego on

The fact that he is pointing, shaking his head and clapping is great. The fact that he can identify words is even better. But you still may want to have him evaluated -- you can get free evaluations through C3 (a collaboration with Children's Hospital) or the Early Start program of the San DIego Regional Center for the Developmental Disabled. Your insurance company may also pay for a speech evaluation.

I may be more likely to suggest evaluating your child than others because my son is autistic and the big tip-off for us was that he wasn't talking. Our pediatrician was taking a wait and see attitude, which we eventually ignored. (Our son was NOT pointing and shaking his head no like your son is, by the way.) I have a friend whose daughter wasn't talking at your son's age and it turned out she had some speech problems, which have greatly improved with speech therapy.

He might benefit from learning some sign language to help him communicate, which could diffuse some frustration. I really like the Signing Time videos. Also baby Bumble Bee is a good series to help kids talk (it's free on Cox OnDemand in the kids free zone).

Good luck!

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would seek the help of a speach therapist. B/c if there is a problem,(which hopefully there isn't) they would be able to diagnose early on and you can get him the help he needs. Good Luck.

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H.R.

answers from Sioux City on

My nephew wasnt talking much either. My brother took him to the doctor and he needed to get tubes in his ears. Apparently he couldn't hear them very well to learn the words. Since then he has said many new words. I would try getting his ears checked. I am not sure about the newborn brother being the reason why. My sister has 4 kids and it seemed to effect the younger sibling rather than the older as the older child was speaking for the younger one.
I hope this helps you.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI R.,

I have a friend who's son didn't walk till he was 20 months & didn't say very much till he was 22 mo. He was always sick (cold, fever, cough), getting better, then back at it. The doctor determined he had fluid in his ears & put tubes in. Well come to find out, his equalibrium was off because of the fluid, so he didn't want to walk...then started talking up a storm because he could hear himself now. Not sure if this will help, but this was my friends experience.
Blessings

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D.K.

answers from Reno on

My husband and I went threw some what the same thing. When I was taking my son (at that time 18 months old) to his regular check ups the doctor told me that he should be saying at least 10 to 15 words...she told me that he may be autistic. With the big autistic ordeal going around I got a second opinion from a doctor that was a family friend. She brought out her medical dictionary and proceeded to read the definition of autism and the signs...none which he had so-----she told me some kids say words slowly and work up, others, like mine, are just taking in their surroundings and before you know it they will be saying sentences and clear ones at that. Well....that's what exactly happened. He is now 5 and speaks clearly, he also speaks so much that my husband and I hardly get any "airspace". If only his first doctor could see him now!!!

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H.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I was really worried about my daughter when she was about that age (she is now 3). She wasn't talking either. I knew that most of my other 3 children had started speaking, at least a little, before then. I wasn't really worried at first - I thought she would pick it up in her own time, but then I started to get concerned when I heard other children her age talking a lot. All she could really say was 'drink' ('gink'), 'car' ('caw'), and 'mommy'.

One thing that is important to remember, is that all children develop at different times. The ages that your children reach milestones will be different than others. Some milestones they will reach earlier than their friends, and some they will reach later. It's important that you as a parent don't get too frustrated with him as he is trying to learn, or compare him to other kids in the neighborhood (or to nieces and nephews). He could be either showing his frustration with being 'dethroned' - meaning his place as being lone prince of his castle has suddenly been taken right out from underneath him, and now he has to share the title - or he might just be waiting until he really understands the language a little better. He might be a little nervous about expressing himself until he can do it right. Sometimes I don't think we give our children enough credit for their complex thought processes. Just because they can't express them - doesn't mean they don't have them. It could also be that he is just developing in other areas first - maybe physically in leaps and bounds instead of verbally.

With my daughter, I was really starting to get concerned, so I called our school district and asked if they did early testing for speech problems. Most states should have some type of program for this, although I believe most wait until they are at least 3 to actually enroll them. They came out to our home and tested her, and found that although she could understand quite a bit, her speech skills were exactly halfway between 'average' and where they would step in. She wasn't challenged enough to get help, but she was definitely challenged. The only help would come for us if we got private help (a very expensive option).

We decided to wait a little while and be patient. It took several months, but after awhile I started noticing her finding more words and understanding more. Very suddenly, she went from saying one word requests or comments, to putting several words together at the same time, to form a more complex thought. I think that now, having just turned 3 in January, she is actually farther along in her language skills than my other children were at her age. She forms very thoughtful full sentences, and is extremely detailed in her requests or comments about certain things. She is the one picking up all of the information in the background that no one else is paying attention to, and then commenting on it for us. It has completely thrown me for a loop. My husband and I just laugh and shake our heads now. You just never know...

So, advice in a gist -

-Check with your local school district to see what programs and services they offer, and if they offer testing.

-Be patient, and resist the urge to compare your little angel with someone else's.

-Ask your doctor if you are concerned, and get their opinion. Maybe they know of other services that are available.

-Learn a few signs in ASL (American sign language) to teach him. You should be able to find a lot of these on the internet. You don't have to learn a lot, just enough to bridge the gap and help him feel empowered - words like 'drink', 'eat', 'need', 'toilet', 'hungry', 'tired', 'mine', 'yours', 'his', 'hers' - you get the idea.

-Remember that YOU are the parent, and no matter what anyone else says (friends, family, doctors, etc.)- you need to trust your instincts. We are given 'mommysense' for a reason. If you really feel there is a problem and do not feel like you are being taken seriously (in any instance actually), investigate it further yourself and push it. You are their most important, and often only, advocate.

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J.I.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

I have the same concern. My son is 2.7 years. He still doesn't talk in sentence either. He only knows about less than 20 words to say. The first time he said papa was when he was 11 months old and mama when he was 13 months old. The doctor kept saying that he was normal - not autistic or anything. Last week he still said that Jordan is still normal - a bit late but nothing to worry about. However, he asked me if I wanted him to refer Jordan to a speech therapist - I am still working on getting that referral letter. Jordan also understands well when we talk.
I don't remember if Jordan had any progress at all in his vocabulary in the past 10-12 months. I take it back - he just learned how to say mooo as in the sound for a cow and croak as in the sound of a frog last week. I let you know whether or not Jordan gets to see a therapist. Good Luck!

A little about me: first time mom at the age of 41 and enjoying every second of it.

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L.C.

answers from San Diego on

Hello -

Take him to an ENT doctorn (Erencologist) - I am sure the spelling is wrong - to check his ears and to have a hearing test. My son was delayed as well. He would talk but we could not understand what he was saying. He had tubes put in his ears (twice) and now he is much better (he is 3 1/2 years old now). Now, we are going to taking him to speech therapy offered thru the school district because hs needs help with his articulation. Good Luck!

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B.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Some kids don't start talking till they're 2, 3, 4...sometimes even older. It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with them; they're just not ready to take that developmental step until then. Einstein didn't speak until he was 4!

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N.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

If you have ruled out physical reasons why he couldn't speak then I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it yet. Make sure you spend plenty of time talking to him each day so that he is exposed to language, but don't make a big deal about him responding. Also a great great thing that I would recommend to any parent is teaching some basic sign language skills. A great source is Signing Times. It cut out so much frustration for my children - to be able to communicate before they could speak. When your son does start speaking it will have helped him because he will already understand the relationship between things and symbols or names for things. One other thing, I have a brother with genius level intelligence. My mom said he didn't start speaking until he was almost three and then started out speaking in complete sentences with perfect grammar. He just wanted to have it all figured out before he tried it.

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N.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I personally believe that there may be nothing wrong. I have a cousin who did not speak until he was 4 years old. He pointed at everything he wanted and we gave it to him. I read two or three books to him at a time every day. He said names of the chosen few and that was it besides NO. One day he picked up a book and I thought he was bringing it to me to read to him and he read it himself from memory. He began speaking in sentences. We asked him why he had not spoken until now and he said that "He had nothing to say, everything he wanted he got by pointing at it or grunting" and he is a brilliant kid (now 32 yrs old). The Doctor's told us not to worry and they were correct. If he did not speak AT ALL then I would be more concerned. Hope your child turns out like my cousin. Good Luck

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R.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I've heard that every kid is different. Some don't talk early. My neighbor, who is know a very intelligent history teacher, who does talk, told me that he didn't speak for the first 2 or 3 years. I heard Einstein didn't speak till he was four. You can always talk to your pediatrician. Check his hearing. But then if they give the all ok, go easy on him and yourself. He'll let you know. Maybe you are right. And he is processes the new changes in his life. Maybe he is like Einstein. When Einstein first spoke, he said "I want milk". HIs mother having wanted him to speak for four years said, "Why didn't you say anything before". He said, "Everything has been in order". So your son might just been quite content with how things are and he doesn't feel the need to speak. Hang in there. I'm sure it is overwhelming, but it sounds like you both are loving parents and give him a wonderful life. So it sounds like he is got a great life. ;) Hope some of this helped. R.

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S.K.

answers from San Diego on

R.,

My son who is 21 months can repeat almost anything I say, and has a standing vocabulary of over 50 words. Most children at 18 months can say the basics, like Mom and Dad and ball, and bottle. My gut says you should see your pediatrition.

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A.P.

answers from Reno on

I know a few people who had the same issue with their child. One needed tubes in his ears, and the other was diagnosed with severe autism. It sounds like an ear issue since he is communicating with you and your husband. Good luck!

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Y.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Instead of wondering if there is a possible language delay, set your mind at ease, and find out for sure! Your local regional center (your pediatrician can tell you how to contact, or look online) will come to your house and perform a free assessment. If they determine that there is a language delay, they will begin free services almost immediately!

My son was in the same situation, diagnosed with both an expressive and receptive language delay at about 19 months. He has been receiving services through The Regional Center for about 7 months, and now says almost everything! Of course, he may have began speaking on his own with or without services, but I've been extremely pleased so far, and it can't hurt to have the support of professionals.

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I'm the mom of an almost 4 year old girl and 13 1/2 month old girl. I used to work as a Speech Language Pathologist in the schools before my kids were born. My first piece of advice is to NOT worry that your son says mama and not mommy. The repetitive syllables are very common for his age. As for him not saying more words, I would suggest that every time he gestures to something that you encourage him to use his words to let you know what he wants. I know that we all get so tuned into our children that we know immediately what they need/want. I am guilty of this myself. But just continue to encourage your son to verbalize his needs/wants. Also, having your son around peers his own age is a good way to stimulate language development. Its amazing what kids pick up from one another. Also, his ability to understand language is a good sign...just give him some time and I'm sure he'll be talking your ear off in no time!
Keep in mind, I have never seen your child, but I have had lots of other moms ask me the same question and the above advice is what I would give them. I hope this is somewhat helpful!!

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H.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

My son will be 20 months next week and has not been talking either. Our doctor said not to worry since he follows directions & communicates in other ways(pointing)& boys generally talk much later. However, we started doing sign language about a month ago and it has really helped. He is starting to say words with his signs and the amount of signs he has learned in one month is amazing. The siging has helped him communicate so much more & really helped his speech. Baby Einstein has a signing DVD and also PBS has a show Signing Time on Sundays that is realy great.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

R.,

Some kids are just late talkers but some kids actually do have problems. I'd recommend getting him evaluated. If you are in the U.S. you should have an Early Intervention office near you. I'm in Las Vegas and here it is in the phone book under "Nevada Early Intervention." All you have to do is call for an appointment (you can "self-refer"). The evaluation is totally free. They will test his hearing for free. If they decide he's eligible for services, the services are free. If they decide he doesn't have any issues and is just a late talker, you can quit worrying about it. If he is language delayed, the sooner you start services the better. The further behind they are the harder it is to catch up. My older child was very language delayed. At 2 years old he spoke 4 words and his expressive language skills (his ability to speak) was at the 9-12 month level and his receptive language skills (comprehension) were at about the 12 month level. It took about a year and a half of pretty intensive services (both EI and private speech therapy) before he started to talk. At 4.5 he's still language delayed but he's doing great. I'm really glad we didn't just wait to see if he'd catch up on his own because he wouldn't have. But we wouldn't have known that until later and it would have been just that much harder for him. Good luck!

T.

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E.W.

answers from San Diego on

I can't say for sure if you should be concerned but I think not. My mother says that I didn't say a word until I was 2 and then I spoke in sentences. My son (now in graduate school to be a physicist ) used few words until he was older. As a preschool teacher it seems to me that often times boys speak later than girls and that many children under two are not saying much at all. That your son responds to you is a good sign even if the type of response is not what you are seeking. By the way, saying "mama' for his father is not all that unusual. I think it's a general word that he uses to acknowledge anyone he loves to be with.

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N.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello R.,

You should probably get your son tested for Autism. Ask your doctor to send you to Neurologist and have them test him. I have three boys with Autism and I came acroos this exact same thing with my 9 year old. He eventually started talking at the age of three. But it took alot of prompting and help from the Therapists. My son was diagnosed by Dr. Kerry English from the HUB Clinic, he is a great doctor with lots of experience in Autism. My son has gone through alot but he has been breaking all the barriers slowly but surely and so will your little boy. My best wishes and please be patient, children like ours are very special and the lord has put them in our paths for a reason.
N.

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D.M.

answers from Lawrence on

hi R., I just read your concern and I have a son who will be 2 on the 30th of this month. I was concerned also cause I didn't think that my son was talking enough. I asked his Dr. if he was on the right track for his age ( I asked him about 2 months ago) and he said that for his age he should be putting 2 word sentances together. He told me that he should know close to about 50 words so, I would say that you should be concerned and you should talk to his Dr. about it, that way if something is wrong you can catch it now before it's too late! Good Luck with everything, take care and God Bless!

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R.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

My 5 y/o son barely said a handful of words until he was 21 months old. When we went for his 18 month dr's appt., they asked, "Can he say 5 words?" I could barely think of 4 words that he said. When he turned 21 months, it was like a switch went on and he started saying all kinds of words. In his 2's and 3's, people would comment on how clearly he could speak, so who knows, maybe he was waiting until he was more "ready" to talk. Prior to 21 months, my son did babble; I don't know if your son does that. Additionally, I do hear from other moms of boys that some of them are slower to speak than girls. Hope this helps.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My Daughter is 2 1/2 and she has been dignosed with Speech Delay. At 20 months she had 1 word it was "ish"(fish) My doctor was not concerned because he did not feel it was Autism which is the main cause of Speech delay. Finally at her 2 year check-up he referred us to Westside Regional Center. They have been very helpful, she was evaluated (which took about 2 months) for all causes then diagnosed with Cognitive and expressive speech delay. It was also comforting to know there was no psycological cause. Now (which started in January, she turned 2 in September)she has a speech therapist twice a week and her vocabulary is growing, but it is still a challenge. Many sounds are very hard for my daughter, as her muscles have not developed since she was silent for so long. She also has some bad habits which have to be changed and retaught.

My advice is not to wait any longer, call your doctor and get a referral. There is a shortage of speech therapist, so it is hard to get one, I called my case worker all the time until we found one. Also many of the programs available- like pre-school for speech delayed children are on wait list. My daughter is now unable to go to one of these preschools as they only go to three years old and prefer to have a child for a minimum of six months. I wish I had taken action sooner so I could have helped my daughter more.

Good Luck!

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
I have three children, and I would say that as long as it CAN say words, and can hear you alright, don't worry. I was about to take my daughter to a specialist, because she wasn't talking. She was doing signs (which I taught her), but she wasn't really using words. It wasn't until she hit THREE years old that she began talking, and it wasn't just words, but complete paragraphs! Crazy, right?! It was so funny. Now, she won't stop talking, and is probably more articulate than most children.
Remember that with a first child, it is common for them to have a more pensive personality, and to learn by watching. As long as he can make sounds, and will turn around when you call his name, then he will be fine. I don't think there's any cause for alarm. Many children with this type of personality, watch and then do. Keep encouraging conversation by talking to him like an older child (not using baby talk), and I'm sure you'll see some results very soon.
Let us know how it goes.
-J.

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T.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

It could be that he is reacting to your new addition. However, he should be able to say almost 15 different words by now. At 2 years old he should be able to complete a sentence. Not all babies share the same acheivement so soon though. I would talk to your pediatrician and see what they think. I know everytime I went for my sons shots they would always ask me can he say and do this. If he could not they would let me know if there was a problem. I have a friend who's son is over two and he could not say anything. She took him in and he has a speech delay. He has to go to speech therapy everyday. He has come a long way, but he still has a long way to go. I do not want to frighten you, but you really should have the doctor look into it. It is always better to be safe and then to wait until it becomes a serious problem. I hope this helps and I wish you all the luck. Please let us know how things turn out.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
I went through something similar with my now very talkative 4-year old. We ended up using sign language with her and it was like a light-bulb went off and suddenly she was signing for everything. I highly recommend the "signing time" DVDs. They were created by a woman who has a deaf child but she is also a music composer so she combined song and signs for some very entertaining DVDs. They are very upbeat and fun and they use lots of children signing and, as you know, children are fascinated by other children.
Basically, we learned sign language along with her and I started signing and using words simultaneously. Before long, she started using the words along with her signs and then eventually dropped the signs. But it was amazing how fast her language development caught up with her. I guess I have to admit that she was a little delayed, but now as a 4-year-old with a huge vocabulary who is learning to spell words, its all a distant memory. On another ironic note, my son, who is 22 months, has been using words since about 15 months and now is speaking in 3-word sentences. So each child is so very different! Good luck!
S.

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J.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi. My son was the same way. Keep talking to him and reading to him everyday. He will soon start to pick up some more words. My son didn't really talk until he was 25 months old and now at 28 months old he talks all day long. Just be patient, it will come.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am also blessed with two boys 10 and 5. My first talked very early...but my second did not talk and before his 3rd birthday I made an appointment with his primary doctor and got a referal to a speach therapist, I also went to the school district and demanded my son to get tested. I got him help right away. I also worked with his preschool teacher, therapist, and doctor for the past two years and needless to say my son has no problem and is right in line with all the other 5 year olds...trust your motherly instincts and there are many people that are willing to help- just make sure you keep good records of all the diagnosis so that there are no delays in getting the help if any is needed.

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sometimes it's hard to tell about speech problems at 20 months, but there's a great resource for you in the Regional Center. The Regional Center (for Developmental Disabilities) has a prevention program for children from birth to 3 years old. They will do a developmental assessment at no cost to you, and if they feel that your son would benefit from speech therapy they will provide that at no cost to you as well. It's a wonderful resource and a lot of people don't know about it. Find the one that serves your area and give them a call. But, don't wait because they will only work with your child until they're 3 years old unless they have a major disability.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would wait a few more months before worrying! I was a preschool teacher of 18-24 month old's for 3 years and most of the boys didn't talk until they left my classroom and were well into the two-year-old room. It will happen all of a sudden. Also if you're teaching your son two or more languages at a time, that always makes words come a little slower because they need extra time to process everything. Hope that helps!

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.!
It looks like you got a whole bunch of responses and I am sorry if the information I am going to give you is some you have already received...but I can relate to your situation and felt like sharing my story. My first boy was not talking (maybe two words) when he was 21 months old. I was concerned even though everyone around me had a story about how they knew someone who's kid didn't talk until 3 or later but it just wasn't comforting enough for me. I would talk to everyone around me about it and finally talked someone who had been through the same thing and refered me to R.C.O.C. which is the Regional Center of Orange County. This is a state funded program so I am sure they have one in Riverside County (I think that is where you are?). It is a state program to help with kids 3 and under with delays. If your boy isn't talking much at all at 20 months he will qualify for free therapy for up until he is three years old. I had my boy evaluated and they came to the conclution that he was actually ahead for his age in every other development area except for speach. So just with that he qualified for free therapy. He is now four years old and is very well articulated and speaks very well. During his speach therapy it seemed that one day something clicked with the therapist and from that day forward he improved by leaps and bounds. Now who knows if it really was the therapy that helped or if it was something in his brain that was just ready to start speaking. But I will say it didn't hurt and he loved going! Maybe you can go on the Orange County's site and see if there might be a referal for your county. www.rocdd.com.
My youngest boy (2 1/2) has been talking since he started walking, about 10 months old. It is amazing how different they are. I know how hard it is when your child is behind in some way compared to others around him but it isn't your fault, you did and are doing nothing wrong. :) Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my son or the therapy.
J. B.

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M.S.

answers from Honolulu on

It could be that he is trying to get more attention. Has he had frequent ear infections as a baby till now? My son was behind in his speech also and I learned it was because of all of the ear infections he had in the middle ear. My advice is to let your child's doctor now your concern and see what test he can do to evaluate and help you come up with a solution. Maybe your doctor will shed light on something you haven't thought of.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

R. - Oh my :) you've gotten a lot of responses - how nice!! I will be short - I am a speech pathologist and when I run into kids like yours or parents of kids like yours I always encourage a speech and language evaluation. Best case scenario - your son maybe needs a bit more time, worst case scenario he goes in therapy for a bit (don't worry!! kids love it and it's fun!). Go to your pediatrician and request a prescription for an evaluation.

In the mean time create an enriched language environment at home by narrating *all* of the things you are doing and model what he might say if he could. For example: "See how Mommy is stirring the soup? The soup is hot. When it's all done cooking we will have it for dinner", "Oh! - I see, you want the car! Say, ""Momma! - I want the car!"". When you can, use shorter phrases to model what you know he wants e.g.: "more, more please", "All done, I'm all done", etc.
I hope this is helpful. :)
Blessings,
A. L

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I.A.

answers from San Diego on

My son is 3 1/2 and is a late talker. He was doing the same thing your son was at your son's age. He seemed to have no desire to talk.

If you live in Poway, they have a Preschool Assessment Team at Morning Creek Elementary that can do a full speech evaluation of your son and also provide speech therapy for him...free of charge! They are obligated by the state to do that. But you have to wait until your son turns 3 to do that. The County of San Diego has free speech evaluations and therapy for kids under 3. I cannot find their number, but if you call the San Diego County of Ed, they might have that info.

My son is doing so much better...he began speaking 2 months after he turned 3. Speech therapy and daycare have made a huge difference.

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T.C.

answers from San Diego on

addressing the sibling rivalry...My first son was almost two years old, he was potty trained and off the bottle. And along comes his baby brother and...I now have two kids in diapers and drinking out of bottles. I wouldn't worry too much about it, they grow out of it. We were able to potty train the younger a little faster because, I think...he wanted to keep up with the older brother.
My third son was a delayed talker. He pointed and grunted, and silly us, we went along with it. He ended up spending a few years in a 'special' class for the delayed speech when he got in school. If you stay at home, you will probably be able to work with him a little more, and I'm sure he'll be alright. I had my hands full, with three boys and working full time. But, thanks to the school...it all worked out ok.

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L.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

First I would have your pediatrician check him out and make sure he isn't delayed in any way, and then relax. He'll talk when he's ready. I highly recommend the signing time videos. They encourage communication with sign language and reinfoce with verbal communication also. Children who watch these have been proven to communicate faster both ways, and they are fun!

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D.R.

answers from Las Vegas on

I wouldn't stress it. It sounds like you are doing a really good job of reading, singing, and talking to him. Just remember what ever children hear they will pick up so no baby talking. Also talk to him like you would anyone else. You said he points at things this is Gods way of showing us that he does hear and is understanding us. I have found that with all my experiance with children that boys do tend to be a little quieter then girls. Not wrong just different. Children love repitition. As for Mama first over daddy the M sound is much easier to produce than the D sound so this is natural. My first child (a girl) said Mama first and my second child (a girl) said Dada first. All children are different and grow and learn at different rates. Soon he will talking just keep doing what your doing. D.

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C.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would check with his doctor. One of my friends son's was the same way and they got him into speech therapy. It is amazing how much he is talking now. It is music to everyones ears. I would say it is better to check it out now and it be nothing then for you to wait and learn you should have done something sooner.

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F.C.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R.,

Your son is probably just reacting to the new baby. My 3yr old was the same way. Everyone thought he wouldn't speak because his vocabulary was so limited; but when I had my baby girl who's now 19mos. He used to mimick everything she said along w/the cooing. He eventually grew out of it & now his little sister is mimicking everything he says or does. He loves to sing and speaks so clearly now. Just be patient and he will eventually say a new phrase & start from there. Hope this helps :)

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G.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello,

I think you should wait until he is two, then mention it to his doctor. I have lots of information and resources on early start (children under 5). Let me know if you want me to send you information. I have a goddaughter who is 17 months and she is not talking either. But I have an idea why she isn't talking.

Take care

G.

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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello R.!!
My son was the same exact way....he understood everything we said, could follow commands, point to colors, numbers and letters but he just did not have the vocabulary( he used alot of sign language..that he invented himself ). Thank God his Pedi was aware and cared that he wasn't talking...she sent him to our local Harbor Regional Center to get tested...he was diagnosed with a phonological and articulation disorder....he received speech therapy til he was 3 then was transferred to his school district where he entered Special Ed Pre-K...well he is now in General Ed Kindergarten w/ speech twice a week....he is so smart, loves school, loves to learn and has lots of friends. If his pedi didn't take action like she did...he would be sooo behind because the teacher and other kids would have a hard time understaning him. SO...GET HELP NOW!!! Don't wait another day.

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B.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am a speech language pathologist. Your son needs to be evaluated. He has an expressive language delay. Sounds like his receptive language is fine. At one year old he should be saying single words. Mama, dada, labeling things like cat, dog etc..or making cat or dog noises. Meow, woof... When he is 2 years old he should start putting 2 words together. It is great to get intervention early. I always tell parents to be careful what they wish for. Once he starts talking he won't stop. Good Luck. Start with your insurance first.

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've read many places that language development is quite variable, and it doesn't sound like cause for concern. I also read that the speed at which a child develops language skills doesn't correlate to academic performance later in school. Many children who develop language late turn out to be high performers in school. I'm sure there are additional activities you can do to encourage his development, but I don't know I good source of activities off hand. (I Google everything and usually find things to try; there are lots of parenting sites, of course).

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L.H.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

My middle child was speech delayed. They are all sooooo different. At three and a half they let him into the speech program provided by the school district. He was tested then they came to us with articulation help to provide. I'm sure there are other programs available that you can find to help you guide the way for him to find his best self. My son is now in third grade with a few speech "things" that we continue to work on. He is also one of the most intuitive children I've ever met. He has his own gifts to offer. WIth you on his side, your son will soar though any bumps along the path to his future. Good Luck to you. L.

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T.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had a daughter first and then two sons. In comparison or not, boys do not talk anywhere close to how soon and how much girls do. Both my boys were very non-verbal and my two nephews were the same. By the time they were about your sons age, they did say a handful more words though. I would not be concerned per se, but I would have him looked at to make certain nothing is wrong and it is just his own timing. Good luck and God Bless You!

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E.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Most of the kids start talking at different ages.
But on the other hand, if you are concerned, talk to your pediatrician and ask for advice, should you see a speech therapist?
Did your son was born at full turn?
May be is nothing to worry about it, but just for your own tranquility, I will consult with a specialist.
When my eldest son was growing up, sometimes I fell he wasn't listening, I was worry if he was hear impair. I asked his pediatrician to give me a referral for a specialist.
It turn out he was perfectly fine.
The corollary, I stop worrying, and actually he was concentrating in what ever activity he was doing.
Give him some time. Boys starts speaking latter than girls.
If he doesn't say any words after he turn 2 years-old. I definitely will ask for advice.
Good luck!

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M.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Although it is not the norm for a child this age to only have one word, it is not unusual and should not put you into a panic. From your post I can see that your son understands how to communicate by using gestures and can hear your words and respond to them these are both important elements of speech. The third thing you need to watch for is, is he making a lot of different types of sounds when he is babbling; i.e: duh, buh, kuh, ooo, etc... If he is doing all three of these things I wouldn't get too worried but I would get him assessed by the regional center. You could be eligible for free speech therapy which definitely couldn't hurt.

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C.C.

answers from Reno on

I have to say that it happens in time and in my experience boys tend to be a little later than girls on most of these milestones. My son was about 10 months old and clearly repeated "monkey" on top of using mama and dada etc. but after that it was “hit and miss” to get him to say anything. At 2 he was still the strong silent type and only spoke words when he felt like it. I bought the Baby Einstein DVD collection and by 2 years 3 months he said everything. I don't think it was the DVD's but just his time and once he started talking that's all he did. He's now 4 and we can't get him to be silent for more than a minute. The wheels are always turning in his little head and there is always something for him to talk about. Now I look back to that time where I kept asking "when is he going to talk" and now think "when did he start talking so much".

My niece is just turning 2 this weekend and she talks all the time and most of it is clear, my other niece will be 2 in June and only talks when she feels like it and not quite so clear and then there is my nephew who is almost 5 and all he has done for the past 3 years is talk. All kids are different and ultimately they talk when they feel the need and body language is much easier so why not clap or shake your head instead of trying to use those vocal cords?

I would suggest putting his body language into words for him and requiring an answer. For example...Do you want milk?...he claps his hands or shakes his head...you say "yes I want milk" as you give it to him. Ultimately children learn by example and sometimes you have to talk like a child for them to get the idea.

Our son had developmental delays but the more we narrated and expected him to say...the more he said and I think that was because we showed him how to reply. So when your son says "yes" with his body, try reiterating it with your words as you give him what he wants. Best wishes and don't worry too much about him being typical all the time because those who aren't always typical in one area excel in another and that's what makes us who we are. We as mothers really over think it and we need to just enjoy where we are. I looked back in our online photo website of our son and it’s amazing what you miss while you are there and look back at later and wish you hadn’t wasted time on worrying so much. You will absolutely know if your child has a major delay and if you have a good pediatrician they will know it too. Enjoy, encourage and don’t worry.

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N.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

from heart to heart , hi there !
both my children are big now - and here is my advice :
Please try NOT TO WORRY !
let's not forget, we are all individuals-
my bestest friend reminded me , that WHEN I worry , I always worry for NO-THiNG !
so ...
I asked myself the question : who do I truly belong to .
GOD ofcourse . I belong to God .
and one important lesson in my life was to learn
NOT 2 WORRY ,
because I always worry for NO-THiNG.
And If I decided to WORRY - I'd get No-Where really ....

So I made that my life's motto .
I do not worry , I am with God , He is my protectionshield in good and in not so good times , I am hippy and/or happy .

And I also speak to God ... singing Gospel with Elvis
yes , PEACE iN THE VALLEY !
and also with .... the animals ...
ofcourse we have some miss-understandings ,
but that's o.k.
I keep on learning ...
these days speaking with my cat ...imitating her noises....
I just want to wish you all the best from the heart
and please try not to worry ...
My daughter started " reading " from fairytalebooks- making up her own stories - long before she could even really READ ...
Your son will surprize you !
And you must also PLEASE try to surprise him ...
a visit to the ZOO with Mommy - would be groovy ,
if Mommy would try to imitate animal noises ...
can you imagine ? ....
I wish I could be mouse then ...
Lot's of Love and Laughter!
don't worry bee happy !
N.

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L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you ever had his ears checked out?

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B.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,

my now 22 year old was just one when my neice 6 years old, came to live with us. At that time Paula spoke some words, mama and dada, once Sarah was here to stay Paula stopped speaking. She did create her own language, Weesa was Sarah and so on. Paula used sign language that all of us understood. Her brother Gabe was 5 at this time. Until Sarah came Paula was right on track, then nothing. her hearing was fine, all was normal, she choose not to speak as she was a displaced princess. she finally decided to speak by the time she went to Kindergarten. if you have ruled out physical issues it could be just a choice.

let me knwo if you want to chat more.

B.
[email protected]____.com

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T.V.

answers from Reno on

I would have his hearing checked just to make sure everything is ok. My friend went through the same thing, then the day before the hearing check, her daughter starting spouting words right & left!

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M.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.. I too am a mother blessed with two boys. Mine are 16 months apart and are now 7 and 6. You could contact your Regional Center -- the Westside Regional Center is located in Culver City. Their number is ###-###-####. Ask to have your son assessed. It could be something as simple as he's a late talker. It could also be something else. The upside of the Regional Center is that if your son is a late talker, or what ever, they provide services free of charge. The way I look at it -- it can't hurt him at all. If anything it will give him a leg up. PLUS all services for this age are "play based" so it's entertaining to him as well as helpful. I'm not saying this is what's happening with your son -- however, my oldest (Jonah) was silent. With my sons born so close together I assumed he was regressing because of that. My peditrician (who I LOVE) at Jonah's two-year appointment told me not to worry. It was a parent at a park who told me of the Regional Center. I used to introduce Jonah as "my son who doesn't talk." Luckily I made an appointment to have him assessed and he got lots of help. Both of my boys are on the autism spectrum and both received services and are doing well. You know your child more than anyone else. You see him day in and day out. If you think that there is something wrong -- just check. Can't hurt. Right? Good luck! Jonah and Gabriel's Mom

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you tried sighn language? It sounds like he is already using some hand gestures to comunicate so sign language would be a great way to comunicate with him plus it is supposed to help develop language skills. There are these great DVDs that can help teach both you and your son how to sign. They are called signing time and you can get them at www.signingtime.com. Hope this helps.

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H.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Let me just tell you...feel blessed! My son was just a little older than that and he hadn't started doing more than the basics. They wanted him to have speech therapy, blah blah blah. Well, one day, he said a whole sentence. And then...he NEVER STOPPED TALKING. It's likely a reaction to the new baby. But don't worry yet, especially if he's otherwise normal in development. Remember Einstein didn't talk til he was 4!!! (That always comforted me). Really though, he'll probably do like mine did and start with full sentences out of no where!!!
Enjoy the silence : )

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D.B.

answers from San Diego on

My two-year-old son has maybe 10 words, and thats if we are generous with the definition of word. He doesn't even say moma, just "DA!" for both mom and dad. Boys are often slower with words, especially if he is the oldest. He is probably just focusing on mechanical things. What our pediatrician told us was if he understand you, can point to familiar things, can get his favorite toy when you ask where it is, things like that, then you shouldn't worry.

Good luck, and keep reading.

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M.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

It could be a number of things. There is often regression with a new baby in effort to reclaim the spot light for themsleves. Yet, you might try not responding to his clapping, pointing, etc. Then he will have to use his words.

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.~

I have a daughter who is 29 months. At our 24 month visit, I was concerned that she wasn't saying much, but the doctor assured me things would change and that every child is different. Almost overnight the words started coming. Now she is using semi-sentences and will attempt to repeat anything said to her.

I wouldn't be concerned with the lack of words just yet, just keep doing what you usually do with him. And you will wake up one mornign and he will say something to you and you will be amazed!

I do have a co-worker who has a son who is not quite 2 yet and he doesn't talk at all, just grunts and points, and my personal opinion is that they keep a pacifier in his mouth all the time so he isn't able to practice any words.

We have also found that Sesame Street has really helped her with her ABCs and counting...she watches it every morning.

Good luck!

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A.H.

answers from San Diego on

My brother did the same thing when he was young and one day my mom told him he needed to talk if he wanted something. It didn't take too long before he was talking in sentances. As long as my brother could get what he wanted without talking, he didn't, but when he stopped getting what he wanted, he started to talk.
You could also have his hearing checked to make sure that that isn't an issue, then go from there.
Good Luck!

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E.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think you need to worry about it. My son didn't really start talking until 2+ years old. Now he is 36 years old and is still quiet but doesn't have any problems communicating. Maybe your son is growing up to be a good listener. Don't worry or push it. When he wants something, he will ask for it. Just don't talk baby talk to him. He will come around. Sounds like he is smart enough to sign & point. My grandson is 20 1/2 months and still doesn't say many words, but I know once he starts, watch out! You are doing a great job, I'm sure. My youngest son (now 29) told me he remembered when I asked him to call me mom instead of mommy. I thought he was too old to call me mommy. I was wrong.

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T.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would be patient especially with the new baby arriving. However, try baby sign language with him to reduce frustration. There is a great video called...Baby Signs or Baby Talk that has things like please, thanks, apple, bread, cereal, mommy, daddy... My daughter still can use the signs that she learned at age 1! She (who will be 4 in May) is going to speech therapy now at the local elementary school because she was delayed in speech too. (In CA, they qualify for free speech help at age 3; before that, they go to a regional center for help.) She has two older brothers and a doting mom, dad and grandma who seemes to know what she wanted and "talked for her!" Also, is he a pacifier baby? My daughter LOVES hers, and consequently, has had speech articulation troubles. Anyway, the mommy daddy confusion is normal, but I would encourage you to try simple signs. --Jami Lou

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D.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

Laurie D is right on target -- I had experience along these lines, though not exactly the same. Speech Therapy was the key to unlocking our child's hidden vocab. At three, she still said very few words clearly and routinely gave long 'gobbeldy gook' speeches to us that we couldn't understand. We'd been concerned at age 2 but by age 3 we were downright worried. Her brother was only one year older -- we couldn't get him to stop translating for her (he thought he was helping her).

As Laurie indicated, there can't be a 'translator' handy. The child needs to do the linguistic work to get what he wants.

I took my daughter to speech therapy at age 3 and lo and behold! She had the vocab of a six-year-old in her head, but her mouth needed training. She was trying to say too much, too fast and she didn't have the skills. But it was a pretty simple fix. I noticed adults understanding her within 3 months of starting speech therapy. (By the time she turned four, I needed earplugs. Still do!)

Your child sounds like he's got all sorts of words bobbing around in his brain -- probably with surprisingly good syntax. And you're doing all the right things to build that mental vocabulary. Just get a little tougher about 'saying' rather than 'signing.' And get him to that speech therapist. She'll get it sorted out so clearly that you'll wonder what on earth you ever worried about!

Good luck!

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I suggest you call the Parenting Warm Line, where a group of professional child development specialists answer questions dealing with development. They are a good first step before you see a developmental physician. The phone service is free. If they want to see you and your older son, there is a sliding scale fee. Sometime language comes in (in a big way) after the child turns two years old.

Good luck!

Judy

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L.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Mom,

Yes I would be concerned. You need to go to your pediatrician and make a big deal about his speech and language delays. He needs his ears checked by an audiologist and a speech and langauge evaluation by a peditric speech pathologist (early intervention specialist). By 2 years of age, your child should be using 50 to 250 words and he should be using 2 to 4 word phraes. I would not wait. He may be a late talker, but you can not risk it. You are supporting his langauge well at home. However, a speech pathologist can help you support him even more-

Good luck!
Luz

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 2 1/2 as is now starting to talk a lot. Before a few months ago, he only put about two words together at a time and his vocabulary was very limited. Before he turned two, he only knew about two or three words. His doctor, however, said that this is completely normal for boys. The part of the brain that controls physical development is more active right now than the part that controls language. Some time during the next year, he will surprise you and start using a ton of words all at once:-)

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N.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,
My name is N. Barrows and I am a speech therapist. Although every child develops differently, there are some milestones we do look for: imitation of sounds, babbling, looking to locate a sound, etc. These are all important precursor skills to further language and speech development. Has your son had frequent ear infections? Is there a family history of speech delays? I understand if you would rather discuss this in ‘person’ or through a private email. Fell free to call me at ###-###-#### or email me at [email protected]____.com. Overall, I would say, it is a good idea to have him evaluated so that you know where he stands and how to best help him develop his emerging language. Please keep in mind that children with speech and language delays typically do extremely well with early intervention/speech therapy!

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,

Does your son have frequent ear infections? My daughter did and she rarely spoke until she was over the infections at about 3. She is 16 now and I can't get her off the phone!

L. Bauer

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R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

give him more time but still work with him. when you are going to do an activity with him ask out loud....who wants to read book? who wants to play in the park? and raise your hand and say out loud meeee!!!. keep doing that and see if eventually he'll respond me instead. Also play tag with him say you're it, you want to start with simple words. work on colors every day, once he has mastered his inner language he will start to use his voice.

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N.Z.

answers from Las Vegas on

I wouldn't worry if I were you. I have two boys one is 8 yrs old and my other is 14 months. My oldest turned 3 years and he was barely saying some words, not even sentences. Now he's in 2nd grade and he gets A's and B's. I took my 14 month old to his check up at 12 months and the doctor gave me a referral to some speech doctor because he still doesn't say mama or dada. She was shocked he still didn't say some words. I got upset because I don't think there's a problem with my son. I told her that he's only one year old and all children are different and go at their own pace. These doctors today sometimes expect too much. They're gonna start to walk and talk when they're ready and that's just fine. If your baby can hear you well and babbles then there's no need to worry.

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F.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi I'll introduce myself as married w/3 children. My oldest is 14 years old and when he was 2 years old I noticed he wasn't talking and was limited to a few words. I thought it would pass but my husband was really concerned. As a baby my son had a history of ear infections, which prompted us to get a referral to a Hear Center in Pasadena,CA. After further evaluations and assessments he was diagnosed with speech delay at the age of 4 years old. From the time he was 5yrs old until age 11 he received speech services. Having the speech delays did impact his ability to learn due to he was considered behind academically. Getting diagnosed early will help you to get the help you need for your child. If you have a slight concern, please act on it. Hope this helps, take care and good luck.

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D.L.

answers from Reno on

My son received speech therapy assistance through the local University (the speech pathology graduate students work with the kids w/supervision). Our doctor referred us and I believe it was free (or based on income). They have some great ideas, use play therapy and really helpful to parents. They worked with him and we didn't - we simply enunciated words when we spoke, but didn't try to force him to speak. It made home a "safe" place while he learned to talk.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I would be concerned but not alarmed. If he is responding to your words and you sense he is comprehending what you say then he is acquiring language. He may not be able to say words yet. I had a nonverbal child that was intermittently deaf due to ear infections and he did NOT comprehend spoken language at all and was also autisitic, so this is not your situation. I would tell him that every time he says a word correctly (besides "Mama"), he will get a reward. Make it something he likes and make it immediately after he does it. Positive reinforcement can work wonders. Hugs, lots of praise, stars on a posterboard, special time with mommy or daddy, trip to grandma's, a new book. If you don't get any response from him after trying for a couple of months then I would talk to your pediatrician to see if you could get a referral to specialist. If he is not talking by age three then you need to contact your local school district and have an assessment. But I am very encouraged that he appears to understand language even if he is not verbal yet. Enjoy.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
I had the same issue. At first, I had his hearing checked. I knew he could hear, but I was not convinced that he was hearing me "clearly". His hearing checked out ok but did show signs that he may at one time had fluid behind his eaer drums that could have slowed down his learning of language since everything he heard would sound as though it were under water. After his hearing checked out ok many of my speech therapist friends encouraged me to contact Regional Services for a very informal evaluation. I don't know where you're located, but wound up contacting the Regional Center of Orange County at ###-###-####. I had never heard of regional services and didn't know anything about them. Basically, they came out and asked me a bunch of age appropriate questions about my son and observed him at our home. They work with all sorts of kids and provide early intervention services in order to help the kids long before they incounter the problems at a school age. And until the age of 3 all services are paid for by the state. Anyway, through that evaluation they were able to determine that he should be provided with speech therapy and refered me to a kids achievement center in our area. The center evaluated my son and decided they wanted to work with him once a week for one hour. Honestly, I thought that one hour week would be no time to achieve anything and I was very scepticle. But I have to tell you the results have been AMAZING! My son is almost 3 now and his vocabulary is very similar to that of his peers. It has been such a blessing. He was so frustrated before because it was so difficult for him to communicate. He is a much happier now. And we are thrilled that we can now understand him. It's amazing when we realize that almost a year ago he had NO words at all. What a blessing that we found regional services. They really do great work. Good luck to you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all.

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K.M.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi R.,

Children all do different things at different times. If you really want to stimulate talking, get him into a play group where there children just a little older than he is. Make sure there are some inside activities (to force vocal interaction)...He will begin to communicate verbally just to keep up with the children who are a little older than him. I have watched this happen over and over again!

K.

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B.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear R.,

You've probably received several responses - but here are my two cents, too. I don't know if it's time to worry or not - have you asked your pediatrician about this (I assume you have), and what does he say? There may not be anything WRONG, but this is definitely not normal. now, mind you, we had our own issues in this house that were not "normal" (ours were related to weight gain and growth issues), and my children 15-17 years later are fine. But my first pediatrician (who I loved and was broken-hearted when our insurance changed and I couldn't afford to see her anymore!) told me once as she was ordering tests, "I don't think there is anything wrong, but we owe it to him" (my son) "to find out if there is." And we are starting to hear more about children who cannot speak at all or if they are not in a "safe" place for them. I would ask your pediatrician what he thinks it might be - and don't let him blow you off - ask, insist if you have to, to see a specialist - so that if there is something wrong, you can start to help him learn to communicate in a way that will be effective for him. And if nothing is wrong, then - YEAH!

Good luck! and
God bless!
B.

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J.T.

answers from San Diego on

Dear R.,
It's not uncommon I have found that some boys talk later than others. Of course you have every right to be concerned, so if you have not already spoken to your doctor, you should give him or her a call and see if you can get a referral to a speech therapist. If your insurance does not cover this service, you can contact your local Regional Center and have him evaluated. If they find that there is a speech delay you can get services for free!
A couple of resources for you.. check out the speech dealy article in Parents magazine last month. Also, when you are talking to your son, and asking him to say a word, put the object (if possible) by your mouth so he sees your mouth move to make the sound/word. Also, if you are not already doing this, try to get him to say the word of something before you give it to him. Even if it causes an upset. Let him know that just clapping his hands is not enough anymore. Lets say he wants "the ball," try to get him to at least say "ba."
Baby Einsteins also has their new DVD "Baby's First Words" (or something like that) out now. I just saw it at Target on sale for $11.99.

Good luck. I am sure he will be talking soon! :)

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A.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

That almost scares me a bit. I have been doing a lot of researching on autism and scientists and prescribing higher doses of immunization shots to kids which is the trigger of autism. Not sure. I dont want to scare you. but maybe it could be something to look into. Just to let you know once a child gets autism they stop talking. they go from talking normally to not talking. Not sure if yours was talking before or not. Hope this helps

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K.B.

answers from San Diego on

There are free programs that evaluate children for speech delays. In San Diego you can call the San Diego Regional Center for more information. If you are in a different city they should be able to refer you. I am setting up an appt for my almost two year old son who isn't talking enough. It's pretty common and free speech therapy is pretty helpful to catch them up IF your son is behind. He may be fine but the earlier the better if they need a boost.

Good Luck,
K.

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R.Z.

answers from Las Vegas on

hello, first i would tell you to relax a little i have a 20 month old who just recently started saying more words just out of nowhere and like you we read and all that good stuff. he knows his his nose,tummy,eyes all the samethings in spanish and english. my reasoning for saying not to worry is that i also have a 17 year old who a dr told me had a speechproblem and once theytested her and put her inspecial classes she regressed and now also has reading problems as well as spelling. im not saying to watchhim and talk to your dr but be careful. i was alsotold she had an extremely highiq when they first tested her then she ends upnot be able to readafter they got her in special ed. this is in las vegas so if you live somewhere else you mayhave much better luck.i hope so .good luck
R. z

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey R.,

Have you thought about using Sign Language with him? It really does help and you can find a lot of information about the benefits of using sign language with hearing children who don't yet speak. It helps them with being able communicate their needs which leads to less tantrums. It has been proven that it is beneficial to speech aquisition. It has also been shown to increase IQ scores. There are quite a few other benefits that you can read about to help you. Here is one website you can look at but there are many you can get more info too.

http://www.signingbaby.com/main/

I am a sign language interpreter and have a 2 yr old son. I've been teaching him signs and it has been really helpful.

Its just a thought and a suggestion to check it out. I would also however talk to your dr about your concerns with his speech.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. My email is [email protected]____.com

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J.P.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi there-- Don't have any direct experience with what you are talking about, but I do have 2 boys and my oldest is now 5 and my baby is 11 weeks old. When my new baby came along, my older son was very good at everything, slept in his own bed, went to bed and to the toilet on his own, ate neatly, was starting to lose his "snuggle bug" behavior. After the new baby came, my older son is a cling-on, sleeps in our bed again, wants to be accompanied to and wiped while on the toilet, makes an incredible mess when eating, etc.. I have heard of children reverting to old behaviors and would never have thought it possible in the case of my big boy, but there it is. I suspect that the talking will come and he is just being the baby again and needing more from you because he is adjusting to the new baby. It sounds like all the pre-talking communication is where it would be normally so I would just give it a bit more time and try not to pressure him. The reading is definitely key, and lots of love and attention which it sounds like he already gets. I remember one of the most helpful pieces of advice I ever read was to make sure your child goes through all the steps in achieving a skill rather than when (at what age) they do it. All the best. JP

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L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

we were having the same "problem" with our daughter. we found out through the local hospital they had a free speech therapy for children under 3. twice a week a speech therapist named Priti started coming to our home for an hour and working with Maya (she was 2 1/2 and only said mama and dada at the time). Maya just turned 3 at the end of February and can say hundreds of words and sentences more than 7 words long!! So find a speech therapist for your son and he'll be talking in no time : )

best wishes, L. S.

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A.I.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

I am a speech-language pathologist and my recommendation to you is to call your local Regional Center (that's what it's called in CA). In every state they are mandated to offer Early Intervention services to children from 0-3. You can have him evaluated for free. It sounds like you are doing everything right, but it never hurts to check it out. A two year old child should be putting two words together and have a vocabulary of approximately fifty to three hundred words and should be adding words constantly. I realize your son is not two quite yet, but it is coming up fast. Good luck!

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A.N.

answers from San Diego on

I have been working with 3 years plus children professionally all my life with focus on early years and special need education and by 3 years we do expect a good conversational grasp of language, even from boys. Even though some children with no physical or mental problems elect not to speak until 3 or later this is a sign of not wanting to communicate - which is sometimes another cause for concern.

I suggest you ask for professional advice asap and that probably means your being seen by a developmental psychologist - just to find out what's happening.

does he join in the singing?
does he babble or talk to his toys?
what happens if you don't settle for pointing etc?

you don't say how is his hearing or if there any behaviors that seem unusual.

ps
why does clapping his hands mean please?

I wish you very good luck and hope you can get some answers asap!

;-)

A

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J.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

You can check with your doctor (of course) but let me help you feel better -- our first boy didn't talk until well past two years! He said "mama no" basically until then, and just pointed at stuff. I also have a friend who has a (now 4 year old) who didn't talk at all until he was 3!

The doctor told us that if he understands everything, can follow tasks you ask him to do, enjoys books and songs and is engaging with you, then not to worry about speech.

Trust me, once the speech comes, it never stops!! So enjoy your baby! He sounds normal to me, but I know us moms worry about every single thing. Trust your guts.

julie, mom of 3

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, I can respect your concerns and just keep thinking about his ears... does he hear you when he isn't looking at you? I only ask as my son had chronic ear infections and one of the reasons we did not go to tubes was because his verbal(thus hearing) skills were progressing well. If there is fluid, inflammation and later calcification around the ear drum, hearing loss follows. If he is always looking at you when saying mama, it may be that he can't hear other things you are saying.... your pediatrician can do a test called a tympanogram to see how the ear drum is vibrating and if they sense it could be the ears, they would send you on to and Ear nose throat specialist - find a good peds one! - to dig deeper. I am rereading and see he can point in response to things, so this may be way off base, but just a thought. I wish you peace of mind. Take your time in adjusting to life with two... it is a big change for the whole family and takes patience... didn't feel normal for me till about 6 months.
Bridget

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C.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've noticed that a lot of times girls talk way before boys do. My brother wouldn't say a word, just grunts and laughs etc, until he was well in to 4 years old. My nephew didn't start saying more than the word "that" until he was almost 3 1/2 years. I don't think you should worry at all. He is just observing and taking it all in and soon he'll just start blurting away!

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A.B.

answers from Reno on

By the time your child is aged 2 and a half, your healthcare provider may suggest that he should have more words, but at this time they won't do much. Sometimes the "words" the child will use will be something that no one else will recognize but that his family will know because he consistently uses the same sounds for that word. By the age of 3, if the situation has not improved, they may suggest that your child attend speech therapy. The speech therapist will be able (after some work with your child) to determine what should be done.
At this point, you should minimize your son's TV time and invite him to speak more often. If wants something, encourage him to say the word. "Do you want some milk? Can you say milk? Milk." Don't deny him his milk if he can't say the word, just keep saying the word to him and let him hear you talking. As a SAHM with young children, we often feel there is no need to talk, since we don't really have anyone to talk to or much to talk about. But we need to spend any time with our children talking, "Here's your milk. Milk has calcium to give you strong bones. Let's go for a walk. Mama will put the baby in the stroller. Are you wearing your hat? Do you like your blue hat? Hats keep our heads warm." I know it seems silly, but they need this exposure to everyday language. You can also sit down with your son and help him with his vowel sounds (vowels first, consonants later). Let him see your mouth when you speak, and exaggerate how your mouth moves to form the sounds. Other than that, just keep trying, he'll get there. And don't feel badly if he does have a language delay. Both of my boys had expressive language delays, but were perfectly able to understand what people said to them and there was nothing else wrong at all. Just give it some time, and don't stress about it.

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

You might have his hearing checked. If this proves to be OK, then I believe he will speak when he wants to. Our daughter only said a few words until she turned two. It was frustrating because our son (1st born) spoke sentences at 15 months! Our daughter would point, fuss or babble when she wanted something. Then suddenly right before her second birthday, she started speaking and singing in sentences! We were shocked at just how much she knew!
You son may just want to still be a baby, because there is a new baby in the house. Be Patient!

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J.A.

answers from San Diego on

My first child (boy) did not talk till very late. We taught him a few sign language signs and he communicated very well with anyone who knew the signs. Then he started creating his own language which I came to understand very well, but nobody outside our family could. When I put him in preschool at age 3 1/2, he was significantly behind in speech than the other kids his age. After 2-3 weeks of preschool his language ability had improved ten fold. Although he has no speech impediments now, I do have him in speech so that he can get extra help with how to express his thoughts and feelings. He is extremely intelligent and at the top of his class academically now (8 years old), but communication has been something he has struggled with despite it.

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K.G.

answers from San Diego on

I would have him evaluated just to be sure. They are usually talking by now. If he was talking and stopped when the baby was born that would be different. He could just be a late talker but it is always better to check just to make sure. Have you asked the pediatrician about it?

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