I have no training (formal, anyway) but none of my three children said or did anything like that until they were two. And they are completely developmentally normal.
My sister in-law has cautioned me that because my 1 year old daughter (16 months) doesn't point to objects and ask "whats that?" that I should be looking into an Autism assessment. I have my Early Childhood Education but have been out of the field since 2003. Also my many years of experience is with 3-5 year old and children of that age with special needs not infants and toddlers but still no red flags came up for me. Every child is different, and although it is common for children to do that I don't think every child does it. My daughter is social, gives eye contact, and says over 30 words with at least 15 that others besides me can understand. That being said my sister in-laws comment still lingers in my head.
- So is anyone who is trained in infant and toddler development out there to put my mind at ease? Experienced Mommies too :0)
Is it a missed milestone and or a concern if she doesn't point to things and ask what they are?
I have no training (formal, anyway) but none of my three children said or did anything like that until they were two. And they are completely developmentally normal.
I do not remember either of my boys doing that, and at 4 and 6 they are happy, interactive, and intelligent boys. All kids are different, and not asking what something is does not mean they are slow or not developing normally, it just means they do not care to know what that thing is! :) (or they all ready know because they heard you talk about it)
I just had to comment on this. I am a Speech Language Pathologist. You sister-in-law is incorrect about you needing to be worried about Autism. Every child develops at their own rate and if you daughter is social, makes eyecontact and says several words than you're fine. The rest will come in time! :) On a personal note, my son didn't start asking what things were and talking in sentences until about 20-22 months and now at 32 months he won't shut up!! Hope this helps
I am trained in toddler development,so maybe I can set your mind at ease. While pointing to things and asking what they are is common, it is not necessarily a developmental milestone. As long as your daughter can name and identify up to 10 things and she is relatively verbal and tries to communicate with you, I wouldn't worry about it. Eye contact is also a good indicator that she is right on track.
Autism is a buzz word right now, and it causes a lot of panic. But as an ECE professional, you know that there are many more signs of this than just one missed milestone. Children develop in different areas at different times (she might be lacking in gross motor skills but doing awesome in fine motor), and while she might be lacking in one area, she is probably excelling in others. It will all balance out in the end. There are some online resources to help refresh your memory of the developmental process, such as http://www.firstsigns.org. Do some research if you are concerned, and trust your instincts.
First, you are absolutely correct. I have been working with children for over 18 years and have seen plenty of NON-AUTISTIC children exhibit "point and ask" (often asking by pointing itself) at 2 years old. It all depends on so many things, more than I can write about here. But no, it isn't a missed milestone or concern.
Just curious, but does your SIL have children of her own? An ECE? Years in childcare?
I've noticed a trend recently: politely put, A lot of people who have no business mentioning autism have begun to "warn" their friends/relatives about concerns for their child. This is usually because the uninformed person narrowly assumes that if another child exhibits behaviors or actions unlike theirs, there must be something wrong. Add to that all the bad information traveling through the ether about autism, and it's really enough to make a lot of halfway informed people socially dangerous. And so they make really stupid suggestions or warnings, without a thought as to the mental acrobatics parents will go through. Not to be rude, but they really just need to shut up. Unless someone actually does assessment with developmentally disabled children or has a broad experience of what child development "looks" like, they really need to keep it to themselves!
Sorry you got caught up in someone else's nonsense. Your daughter sounds fine. Go with your gut.
I see you have a TON of advice already but I wanted to put my 2 cents in there as well. I have an early childhood special education degree and I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with your daughter. I am very encouraged by your description of her vocabulary, and the fact that you said 15 other people can understand her. You also mentioned that she also has very good eye contact and is pretty social. If she was indeed autistic, she wouldn't be displaying these behaviors. So, take a deep breath, relax, and remember you are doing everything right mama! From everything you have written, your daughter is right on track, and you are doing everything a good mom should be doing!
As others have said, some children go through a "what's that" phase and others don't. It's not a hard and fast milestone, so no worries if she never does it. However, she may do it a little older, say between 2 and 3. Another poster suggested bringing the topic up at your next well baby appointment with your pediatrician, which is an excellent idea; I am sure your doctor will reassure you!
Good luck, and just be sure to relax and enjoy your precious daughter! Oh, and don't forget that you are a good mommy! :)
My son never talked until he was 2 1/2 and now he is four and says all kinds of big words. My SIL is a grade 2 teacher and she says she has kids is her class that don't know the alphabet like my son does! don't worry. I think often so my pressure and expectations are put on children under 2 and us parents need to stop comparing every milestone with our friends kids etc.
Mine didn't. She actually barely said anything at 1. maybe a handful of words (mommy, daddy) and a few signs.
She is two now and perfectly normal and chattering away in two languages. Her language development really stared to pick up at about 18-20 months and now she surprises me with new words every week.
I would just ignore your SIL's comments or if you are really worried, talk to your pediatrician.
Pffft! My 15 month old points to things and only sometimes says "dat?" but the only other words I understand of his are "dog" and "buhbuh" (brother). I have never even given thought to him being autistic and I certainly still don't. Your daughter knowing as many words as she does means she understands a good amount and just may not feel the need to ask what things are. Apparently she already knows! Chalk your sister-in-law's comment up to ignorance and let it go.
I think that the scare of anything being "wrong" with our children is always in the back of our minds. I have twin little boys..well there almost 4 now. I had then tested when they were two because I thought their speech wasn't quite up to par with the other kids. I put them in daycare 2 days a week and I could tell that my little guys weren't talking as much as the other kids. I too, thought that there might have an autism disorder. With all the talk shows and articles out there how can one not think there might be something wrong with there kids when they seem to not catch on as fast or are misbehaving. With my little guys, they are total opposites, but when it comes to there speech they both struggle. I had them tested and now they are getting some help. I can tell you that putting them in daycare with other children has helped them alot. I could tell within a few months that they were picking up words alot easier. My kids never really said "whats that". They are only going to say words that you say. So if you don't say that phrase then they aren't either. They are only going to learn what they are exposed to. For example, we have an auto repair business, so we are around cars all the time. My boys will go down the road and name the types of cars going down the street. Volkswagen, Chevy, Ford...etc. If a child is not exposed to that then they are not going to know it or learn it. So I guess my point is, get them her tested on her speech, talk to her pediatrician about any of your other concerns. Sometimes I think my one little boy is bi-polar, but then come to find out he is only three and that is the way some three year olds act. Take care.
You have no reason to worry! All children are different and your daughter is well within the norm. No pediatrician asks during a well child check if the toddler says "what's that?" because that is not a requirement or even an indicator of development.
I think your gut instinct is correct. If she seems fine to you, she is probably fine. I read your letter, and I wanted to begin my response with "baloney", but I decided to be polite and tell you that question comes at different ages for different children.
My children never did the what's that question. They did the why question and that went on forever. Count your blessings if you only have the what's that question.
I would not worry about it! Our daughter, who is now 3, never pointed and asked "what's that?" She's extremely verbal, athletic, social, empathetic, happy and always has been.
I also could not get her to giggle very much, and her 8 month old sister is the same way. Some kids you can just get going, others-- not so much. It didn't concern me since they're both so outgoing and curious about the world, and friendly and happy otherwise.
On the other hand, I definitely think it would be appropriate of you to ask your SIL what OTHER behaviors she sees that would cause her to tell you something so concerning. I can't imagine one milestone setting someone off to the point which they would cause another person to worry. Is she perhaps misconstruing shyness or standoffishness as lack of social interaction? You know your daughter best, and if she was genuinely struggling with something that could potentially be on the autism spectrum, don't you think you'd have a "gut" feeling by now?
I wouldn't worry about it too much. Perhaps mention it to her pediatrician at the next appointment--which I'm sure will result in him/her telling you your SIL is silly!
I definitely say that your SIL's statement is bull, sorry for the wording here! As you say yourself, every child is different. Our daughter is going to be 2 next month, and still doesn't ask us for the names of objects. If her child wants to know, great. Our daughter is more the tactile type and likes to explore things herself. As long as your daughter is social, speaks, etc. just follow your own instincts. If there was something wrong with your daughter, you would notice it, and your pediatrician would also recommend intervention if necessary.
First, yes, my daughter was asking "what's that" by 1. That being said, she's exceptionally verbal. She's 2.5 but speaks like a 5+ year old. So I don't really look at her language development as being normal. I worry about autism from the other side because she's out of the norm.
At our 15 month well baby check, her ped asked if she was speaking 3 words. Not 3 in a row, 3 total. That was their gague of what they wanted to see developmentally. Your daughter is definately doing that! :) At 18 months, I think they asked if she was putting two words together and had at least 10 words. If you're concerned, ask your ped about it, but she sounds like she's definately just fine! We socialize with lots of kids and there's a huge range of what they were doing at your daughter's age. They're all between 2 and 3 and there's still variety in what they do, but they're still all normal. :)
I wouldn't worry about it.
My daughter is 18 months old now. Somedays she talks more than others. It just depends on her mood I guess. :)
She didn't crawl until 11 months, didn't walk until 17 months, got her first tooth at 16 months.
She started saying "what's that", "who's that" at around 17 months. I think she only says it because when she points to something I always say "what's that" and she is mimicking me.
When people would comment that it was odd she wasn't doing any of those things sooner I just tried to ignore it. Every child is different. Your doc would let you know at well child check ups if something was wrong.
I havent read the other responses yet, but my gut tells me that you shouldnt worry. You are right many kids develop at different rates and this is not a concern at her age. I have 4 children and babysat newborn to age 12 for over 10 years. This does not sound like a concern for autism. I also havea niece that is Autistic and babysat her from the time she was 6 wks old. It sounds like your daughter is hitting her milestones in a reasonable time. My niece didnt say anything but mommy and daddy when she was 16 months old, and had just started walking, (hit alot of major milestones late) She did a lot of screaming and did not communicate her needs/wants as others that age would.
As always you can run your concern pasther doctor.
Enjoy your baby!!!
I don't believe your daughter has any problems. You described my daughter in a nut shell at that age. My daughter is now almost eight & she is at the top of her class. She is well above state levels for her grade.
My 2.5 year old twins were speech delayed and didn't point until MUCH later than the 16 months that "they" say is normal. I was so worried about it. Now I realize that some kids just point later. Truman started pointing around 20 months and Spencer not until 24 months. T is caught up with speech and S is catching up rapidly. And since your daughter is not delayed in speech at all, I definitely don't think there is any reason to worry!
Your sister is crazy to worry you like that. A lot of kids does NOT talk until after they're 2 years old and some not until 3 and they turned out fine. I have a total of 18 nieces/nephews and everyone developements differs. A lot of them are teenagers now and they're all "equal/normal" even though some spoked at 1 years old...some didn't walk until 2 and a few didn't talk until two.
I don't remember my boys saying "what's that" at that age. I think it was closer to two. If you weren't concerned before she said anything then I wouldn't worry. If she has no professional experience I would let her know that I appreciate her opinion but do not feel the same way and let it go. People are too quick to judge and label children these days. They all grow at different rates and meet milestones differently. If you just can't stop worrying then make an appointment with your doctor to clear your mind. Good luck.
My daughter is 28m and as far as I can remember (thinking of it now) I've never heard her say "what's that". I never realized it until you just mentioned it now. For some reason it's just not a term she picked up. Otherwise, she is advanced for her age in motor skills and speaks in 5-6 word phrases, says her alphabet, etc. I wouldn't worry at all. Not every child says everything the same. If she's on target in other areas I would not be concerned. I had someone mention that because my daughter refers to herself in the 3rd person a lot (Ellie go nigh nigh, Ellie eat lunch, etc.) that it might indicate a problem. Uh, no. She's 2 and just beginning to understand who she is in relation to the world. If she's still doing it constantly at 5 years old, then I'll worry.
Every CHILD is different. My grandson is 21 months old - doesn't really talk that much - walked at 13 or 14 months (my kids walked at 9 and 10 months) (I know of a little girl who didn't walk until 16 months) - he is healthy, happy and doesn't point and say "what's that" but is very inquisitive. As long as your child is healthy - interacts with children and adults on a regular basis and is curious then I wouldn't worry about it. Your child may NEVER point and ask "what's that". Mine never did and they are grown up with kids of their own.
That's crazy. Oh I wish that other people wouldnt say such things to scare new mama's. I have 2 daughters. One of them didnt say much of anything other than mama and cat until she was about 18 months old, then her vocabulary blossomed. My youngest however is 18 months now and has been a nonstop word imitator for months... but she doesn't point and say whats that. I think all toddlers develop at their own pace. their time as babies is short so rushing them with expectations that if they don't meet get labeled with a disorder from aunties is unfair to both you and your daughter, you should proudly let your in law know that you are astonished by your daughters development and that she is fine. You would know if she was Autistic. Trust your instinct and have fun with your little one.
My son is 16 months old and does not say what's that. He can say about 15 words but he does not put 2 words together yet, unless you count night night :) Your sister-in-law needs to get a life and not concern herself with your childs development. :) Our pediatrician told us you can't even tell if a child is autistic until around 2. There is a test they do then. Your daughter sounds perfectly normal :)
OH forget that! I can't believe she would scare you like that! My son is nearly three and has finally gotten to the full blown "whats that?" and "why?" stage. Give her time. My son was in a child care facility who tested kids all the time and because the 10-15 minute test she did on my son when he was 1yrs old she told me she thought he had speach developement issues and possibly hearing loss. I was so pissed I scheduled a doctors appointment... The pediatrician wouldn't even give him a hearing test because it was absurd. You can't expect a child that young to appease you and follow everything within your time frame. If you want to clarify talk to your pediatrician. My middle brother didn't even talk until he was nearly 3 years old! Your daughter sounds like she is doing fantastic! Go with your gut. Just because your daughter may not be doing the things your sister in laws children were doing at her age does not mean that she is behind in her developement or that god forbid she have autism. Go with your mommy instinct! The fact that your daughter can say all the words she can and that she is social and interactive with others is excellent. I guarantee that is what your pediatrician will say. If you want to feel more at ease read about autism online.. I'm sure they will have many tell tale signs on there for parents to look out for. Good luck and listen to your own instincts! I hate it when others intimidate/scare new mommies like this!
My opinion is that your SIL is WAY over-reacting. Neither of my children had much verbal proficiency at 16 months. At 21 months, our daughter is just beginning to put words together and is way ahead of her brother. Our pediatrician has NO concerns.
If you are concerned, I'd ask your pediatrician at your next well-baby visit. The earliest that they can begin to detect Autism is around 18 months, and even then, it's difficult.
I would say your daughter is perfect from how you're describing things, and your sister-in-law (though her intentions may have been good) has given you unnecessary worry.
Hi T. - Yes, kids develop at different rates. My oldest son did not start asking those questions until older & he only did it for a very short time (a week or two & I think he was older than 24 months when he did that). He is just an observant kid & loved figuring things out on his own. He is now a "typical" kid in the 3rd grade who loves to read (lots). Now I have my younger son who developed much slower. For him he did not have any "words" at that age & we started him in speech therapy when he was about 18 months. He is doing much better now with his language/speech skills but still needs work. He is not autistic, but we are taking one day at a time with him(he does have a few other issues unrelated to the spectrum).
My thought is if she is communicating well with you & those around you (including the social positives you mentioned) then just let her be a kid who will develop at her own speed. You do have experience working with special needs kids & you did not have red flags - do not stress about it at this time. Thank your sister-in-law for the concern and let her know that you will keep an eye on things but at this point there are no flags for you to be overly concerned. Maybe after this chat with S-I-L she might share some other reasons beyond speech questions for her concern. Just because a kid has some language/speech issues/struggles/delays/etc does not mean they are on the spectrum (granted I have several friends who kids are autistic so I am familiar with it), they may just have to learn how to properly use their mouth muscles or they are just a quieter kid (like my oldest) who likes to watch.
Now, if you still have a nagging feeling talk with your peditrician (write any concerns down prior so you dont forget) at your next normal well-child visit (there should be one about the 18 month mark when they will look for typical milestones). They may say that everything is just fine but if you have any doubt you can always contact the local Infant & Toddler program (state run) and they can help you do a quick assessment to see if there are any valid concerns. So unless there is, then do not let this stress you out! Kids are kids enjoy them. God Bless
I raised 3 kids, with my middle child not speaking until he was almost 3 yrs old. He was dyspraxic and once he started talking you would have thought he was injected with a phonograph needle. I wouldn't worry. As long as she is interacting with you, talking and her vocabulary is increasing, no problems. Maybe she doesn't ask what is that is because you've done such a great job of narrating your day, so she hears the words, the descriptions. As a matter of fact, our speech pathologist told us that's what we had to do for our son, narrate all the activities, describe things, give him the words.. as he also had multiple ear infections so it compounded his issues. Our pediatrician told us to identify things as we saw them with our first child, give them the words, not cutesy baby talk words, but the correct words. You're find. Your daughter is fine. Enjoy this time and every moment going forward. Happy 2010!!
I have also been wondering about this recently. My daughter is turning one next week and also not pointing. She pretty much just crawls to and grabbs what she wants. She says Mama, Dada and Nanna and does a lot of babbling and definately expresses her emotions! She tries to copy me when I do and say "down" when getting down from her highchair...she has also tried to imitate me saying, fish and kitty, etc. She will also imitate me doing the sign for 'more.' I was hoping she'd have more words and also be pointing. My son has Autism and up till now, she's been the complete opposite of what I noticed in him. So I didn't worry. Maybe I still do not need to worry...but have contacted early intervention anyway. I am already breaking down emotionally over this and just want her to be ahead just so I don't need to worry!
If your daughter is social, makes eye contact, and is acquiring the ability to use language, the likelihood of her being autistic is vanishingly slim. The thing that worries me most about "milestones" is that children are individuals, as you have observed, and not every child will perform on schedule. Your daughter may well be doing something else ahead of schedule, or uniquely her own.
Developmental markers are useful in totality, but not so much individually. I wouldn't worry about autism unless your wonderful baby girl begins to exhibit a constellation of unusual behaviors.
At 1 yr my son would point, grunt, and I would know exactly what he wanted. It's not that he couldn't say anything. I just didn't wait for him to articulate before I responded to him. By 2 yrs, he was talking up a storm and I was missing his pre talking time for a little bit.
I wouldn't worry about it. It could just be her personality. Only one of my 3 children went through the stage of saying "what's that?". That is only because he is a very vocal person, and still is to this day. I also think he did it to get my attention. My oldest didn't even really talk much until he was about 2 1/2. He is an academically gifted, straight A student. He is just the quiet observant type. My youngest never really had to ask "what's that?" because she has 2 older brothers and there was always conversation and activity going on around her. She is also one to learn more by observation than conversation. Unless your daughter doesn't respond to you or outside activity, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Don't let your sister-in-law get to you. She may just be jealous of your beautiful little girl and is trying to find something wrong with her.
I don't think that's a milestone. I've read many articles discussing characteristics of autism and have not seen that one on any of them.
My grandchildren did play the "what's that game" with us. I think they did that because from the time they were around 5-6 months old we would point to things and say the name. We talked a lot with them, telling them what we were doing and identifying objects and activities. Once they started to apparently form words we'd then ask, "what's that?" At first we gave the answer. Then they began to give answers some of the time and then eventually they would point and ask "what's that?" I've always thought that we had "taught" them to do this.
As long as she's saying words I wouldn't be concerned. I would probably want to talk with my sil about why she thinks autism is a possibility. If that is the only sign she sees and if she's not had "up close and personal experience" with autistic children, I'd thank her for the information and then put it out of my mind.
My grandson may be on the lower end of the autistism spectrum disorder and we were told when he was 1 that his development was on target even tho he only said 3-4 words. This reinforces for me the idea that speech patterns, such as saying specific words, is definitely not indicative of autism. I believe it's a learned pattern that a one year old might or might not choose to use.
To say that she should be assessed for autism because she doesn't say, "what's that?" would be analgous to saying because she doesn't say, "want milk" would mean she is in need of autism evaluation. I also know that letter combinations such as "th" are more difficult to pronounce than single letter sounds and therefore are rarely used by a baby just learning to talk. My grandson would point and say "dat?" As I remember it my granddaughter, whose speech development was "normal" didn't say "what's that" clearly until she was older.
My daughter didn't really start talking much until she was 20 months and is totally normal. Because you are concerned, speak with your pediatrician about it and see what he has to say. My understanding it that the language takes off around 18 months old, some a little sooner, my daughter a little later. Though she too has always been very social her primary focus was mobility up until then. When she turned 20 months she was all of a sudden popping out 3 word sentences!
From your description of your daughter she sounds like she's completely within normal guidelines developmentally but do ask your pediatrician if your SIL comment is still bothering you.
I have three children and my first was very well spoken at one and my second hardly said a word until he was 26 month and my third child referred to herself in the third person until she was three!
Each child will develop at different rates as I am sure you have read. But, it only takes one person to make us doubt our parenting skills. My youngest, my daughter was and still is tiny, people would ask her age and were surprised by how much she spoke yet she was so small. Well she had two older brothers that she picked her speach up from. But, I was continually questioned about her size, well she was and still is little like I was at her age.
Anyway, it sounds like your little girl is on the right track, she doesn't need to ask questions to be on track. Never with all of my kids did the pediatrition ever ask if my children asked "what's that?" She is speaking and she may be exploring with her hands instead of asking what something is called. When she wants to know she will ask.
Besides my own children, my mom has had a daycare for 30 years, I grew up around children as well as my children attending daycare with other children in her care. Over the years she had eary talkers, late talkers and no talkers! As well as late crawlers, walkers, and teethers.
It sounds to me like your daughter is right on track, if you still are worried after reading all of your responses just contact your pediatrition to set your mind at ease. Sometimes well meaning family say things that they don't know enough about. Is your sister in law a pediatrition or childrens speach therapist?
Ignore you sister in law. Not all kids ask "What's that?" and it's absense is in no way an indicator that your child has anything wrong with her. Neither of my daughters did that much, and certainly not at that age. They are both quite normal.
Just pass her "concern" off as just that, and if she mentions it again, let her know that you don't think it's a problem at all. If she pushes it, perhaps let her know that you've heard her concerns and thank her for her interest, but you're done with that topic.
By the way, neither of my girls spoke as much as yours does at that age. Different children have different interests. My oldest would learn a word and then not repeat it again, not really speaking until she was three. She was very quiet and shy, but not anymore (She's five). My second is everybody's friend, jabbers nearly constantly, with the occasional nearly-understandable phrase coming through. She can out-climb her big sister and is equal or superior to her in most grossly physically-coordinated tasks. She's two and a half. Everyone is different.
My son didn't say anything until he was 2.. He's perfectly fine and not autistic. I wouldn't worry about your daughter, each child is different. :)
Mine didn't have more than 3 words until after he was 2 (COMMUNICATED fiiiiine, just didn't use words). I have some "oneupmanship" relatives, who have no medical, psych, or early childhood ed/ special ed training who spouted doom and gloom (while those of use with psych/med/early childhood kind of laughed at them).
Milestones have a range for the good reason that one kid may be focused on fine and gross motor while another is doing the verbal thing, and then they switch. Kids develop in leaps and bounds, instead of a steady line. Most kids are early, on time, and late (aka all 3) with milestones. Being early is not better, hitting them at all (OR skipping), is what is important. (For example many many babies skip crawling. Nothing wrong with that. Missing a milestone is different from skipping).
My son was "late" on most of his milestones, but we weren't worried, because a) he hit most of them, and b) there was usually good reason. EX) He barely talked until 2, but his facial expressions were AMAZING, he still quite frequently "talks" with his face. When he did start talking, it went from mama, baba, dada... to : "The squirrels are mocking meeeeeee. They ACT like they want to play, so I run to them, but they run 'way, so I stop. Then THEY stop. They just keep mocking me that I'm too slow to play with theeeeem!!!" in a month. 6 months later he taught himself to read (see? Late milestoners can hit them early too... just depends on the kid... this one went into language full out). His verbal development happened it it's own time. He was having too much fun learning to use his body prior to that. At 4ish, he gave up language development again in favor of physical development. With him, it moves in cycles. Physical, mental, physical, mental.
Crawling was the same thing. He didn't walk, not more than a step, until past 18 months. He'd tried cruising the furniture... but this kid has always liked to be fast. He was lightening on hands and knee/foot... so that's what he did. It wasn't until he concieved of the notion of jumping off the couch (doesn't work well crawling) that he put up with learning how to walk. But he did it, becuase he wanted to jump pff the couch. It was fun to watch.