My 1 Year and 9 Month Old Son Still Doesn't Talk

Updated on May 05, 2010
T.R. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
22 answers

is it ok if my 1 year and 9 month old son still doesn't talk? he walked when he was 14 months old, i'm guessing his speech is also delayed. he only babbles and doesn't even say "mama nor dada"

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Before you get up set or hire an army of advisers:

The Einstein Syndrome/Bright children who talk late.
by Thomas Sowell.

B. v.O.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'd call the pediatrician and let them know, then ask for referrals for early intervention and for speech therapists. It seems to me that a child that age should at least be saying mama or dada.


1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

Maybe, but don't you want to know for sure? You will likely get many people who say he is a boy, or that their neighbor's coisin's child was the same and is now perfect, but kids with delays look just like kids who will beat the odds and out grow it. How do you know your child is one of the kids who will?

I would go ahead and get a speech and lagnauge evaluation with a private therapist, and call EI to help you in your state also. EI is fine, but it will not be all that any child needs to maximize potential, and they put of therapy for many kids who need it because of budget cuts, so you don't want to depend on them for everythink your son may need.

Don't take chances with development. Find out for sure, because there is one reality that is undeinable...if you can get early intervention, he will be far, far better off than he would be if you miss it, and maybe he will be like that neigbor's cousin's kid and (after a little therapy) will be just fine!

I have been there...I regret waiting to see. Don't wait.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My 18 month old doesn't talk much either. I think the only reason she says "no" is because she has a 5 year old sister and she's heard it so much from her. We'll hear a "mama" or "dada" in her babbling, but she doesn't repeat it or use it properly yet. There's a lot of pointing and head nodding and shaking. The important thing is that she understands what I'm saying to her and can do simple tasks when requested: "Go get your babydoll/shoes/coat." My husband said, "I think you should work with her more," because he believes our first dd spoke more by this age. She didn't, but even if she did, there's no comparing, even with siblings. And I guess you can talk to your child, read him/her books, even do the "Your Baby Can Read" stuff, but the fact is, babies talk when they are ready to talk. I'm sure your son is communicating with you though. Have you taught him any sign language (please, thank you, more, cup, eat). Also pay attention and see if he's actually repeating his babble. Sometimes he'll be saying something over and over but because it doesn't sound like any "real" word we just dismiss it. You never know, your son may just be one of those kids who just starts speaking in full sentences one day! : )

Oh, and BTW, walking at 14 mo. is NORMAL, not delayed. My first dd, who is now a very normal and very chatty 5 year old walked at 14 months too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Here are some articles on the prelinguistic stage that I think would be useful for you read so that you can determine whether or not you have cause for concern.

A child who is 1.9 and is not talking is not, in and of itself, cause for concern. But if that child appears to not be developing prelinguistic skills, I would definitely book an appointment to have him evaluated with a speech therapist and get his hearing tested right away. Your State's early intervention program can provide you with the services you need, free of cost, but there's usually a bit of a delay from the time you actually make the referral and the time you actually start receiving services and you may not want to wait, so see if your physician can give you a referral for an ST and hearing evaluation ASAP.

Good luck to you and your son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

You can talk to your pediatrician about getting him evaluated for speech therapy, but my son didn't really start talking until he was 2, and even then, noone started understanding him until after his third birthday. He's 6 now, and totally perfect and smart as a whip!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi T.,
My name is D. W. and I am a Speech and Language Pathologist working in Newport Beach, CA and I am happy to answer your question.

At 21-24 months of age a child should be:
- using two-word phrases frequently
-using new words regularly
-relating personal experiences verbally
-using 3-word phrases occasionally
-referring to themselves by name
-using pronouns occasionally
-and at the least using 50 total words

Saying "mama" or "dada" meaningfully is a 9-12 month old developmental milestone. If your son is not babbling or saying 'mama' my heartfelt suggestion is to seek out a Speech Language Pathologist and get your son evaluated soon, so that he can improve his speech and language skills quickly. Make sure your therapist is fun and can engage your son easily. Also, ask your therapist to provide you with family education so that you can help your son at home too! The best approach is a team approach with the parents and the therapist! :)
Best of luck,
Spectrum Speech and Feeding

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think you have to worry! There are so many milestones out there that only confuse parents because there are certain guidelines...and that's exactly what they are guidelines, not written in stone!
I read once that children develop speach between 1 and 4 years old...some are early and others are late bloomers but it's all evened out by age four! So you have lots of time! I also heard that by age 2 a girl know 100 more words than a boy! That's alot of words! But again, it evens out in the end!
My neice started talking at a very early age but her little brother hasn't started talking yet and he's almost two!
Actually, the only thing he says is "mama or dada"! But he's developing normally!
Finally, my friends child didn't talk for a long time and it was pretty late when she started forming words! She ended up needing a little speech therapy when she was four just for the pronunciation of some she 8 and I would've never known! And I didn't even notice that she really had any problems with pronunciation!
I'm sure your child is developing just fine! If you want to be sure, maybe your doctor can offer some tests but other than that I would'nt worry!
I hope this is helpful!
Much love!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I would think that you should at least bring this concern to his pediatrician the next time you have an appointment. One possibility could be that he is hard of hearing , that could delay his speech. Do you make it "easy" for him to get away without using vocabulary? Don't "guess" at what he is wanting, try to get him to SAY what he wants: " What do you want to drink sweetheart?" Don't frustrate him to the point of tears or tantrums but if he indicates with pointing or motions that he wants milk...try to get him to say "milk" before you give it to him. I also agree with the other Mother about the use of sign language. If you go online and google "baby sign language" and you will find tons of websites that will teach you how to get started. Our oldest daughter and her husband have used sign language with their son ( now 28 months old) from the day he was born and he had a "library" of probably 150 signs that he used before he was able to speak. Even though his spoken language is flourishing now, they will still occassionally ask him "is there a sign for it ?" when they aren't understanding what he says.
I don't think this is something that you need to be in a panic about but I would talk it over with his pediatrician and get some really informed feedback from him/her.
R. Ann
PS one day, you will look back on his pre-speech days with fondness when you hear "but Mom...what's THAT!!!" for the hundreth time that hour!!! lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My son is 20 months old and although he does know a lot of words, he rarely uses them. He says something once or twice and then we never hear them again. He also will not say mama or dada (although I know he knows them), and he won't ask for things with words. For example, he know water, but he won't say it, he'll just scream until he gets it, or can get it himself. I know he is smart, I know he knows the words, I think he just isn't ready to use them yet. We put a lot of pressure on our babies to talk, or walk, etc., but they all grow at their own pace.

The babbling is good, my son does that a lot too. Also, does he understand what you're saying? I think that's more important than talking at this age. My son will get his/my shoes, his water, a certain toy, etc. if I ask him, and he can follow simple commands (clean up, go to the kitchen).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I would not wait to talk to your pediatrician - if he does need some help it will be easier the sooner he starts. I would self-refer myself to ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). This service is totally confidential, testing is free, and is provided by your city or county. You can usually find thier phone number on your county's website, through the health department, or through the school district office. They will send someone to meet you to evaluate your soon to determine if he is delayed or not. That way its not on you to figure it out. Get a free professional opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

Textbook "average" for learning to walk is 15 months, so even if it seems like "everyone else" was walking earlier, your son's motor skills don't appear to be delayed.

I didn't speak at all until I was 3 years old; many kids wait until they feel they can truly express themselves. I wouldn't worry unless he appears not to hear or understand sounds in general.



answers from Honolulu on

Every state has FREE services for children under the age of 3 years to assist with developmental delays. Ask your pediatrician for a referral to your state agency. Being a state function, it takes forever to "get into the system" and there is a good chance your son might start talking before he can be evaluated, but just in case, you want to get the ball rolling (since it is free, y'know!) He might be just fine (I had a late talker, too) and he will surprise you someday, but I'm sure you'd feel better knowing that you are giving him every chance that he needs to develop well.



answers from Dallas on

Does he make any sounds at all? My son was over 1 when he first started talking and now we can't get him to be quiet. lol. If he has older siblings that could be the cause of some of the delay.

I have an older daughter who would do all the talking for my son, so he didn't want to talk. However, he still made sounds.

Another thing could be his hearing. A good friend of mine has a son that had trouble talking. He made sounds. However, he couldn't form the words correctly. She finally took him to a Ear specialist and they found out that he needed tubes in his ears. Because of the hearing problem he wasn't hearing the words correctly. Everything was mumbled. His learning was a little delayed and he had to got to speech therapy for a while. However, he is now in the 3rd grade and doing fine!

Talk to your pediatrician and see if there is a way to check his hearing and to make sure that there is nothing wrong with his mouth. such as a clft palate or tongue-tied. Also try working with him everyday. If he has older siblings have them help as well. I had to ask my daughter to stop talking for him and to help him start talking. She was 6 almost 7 at the time. I told her that since she is so smart, that mommy needs her help to teach her little brother. She thought that was really neat and within a few days he was talking.

My parents told me that I didn't talk til almost 2 and my first word was hippopotamus. My mom was sooo mad. I could talk just fine. However, I had a sister that did everything for me. So all I had to do is grunt and someone would rush to get it for me.

Hope this helps.



answers from Denver on

HI T. - there are resources in every state to help you get your son tested for speech and developmental delays. You can contact your local office of Child Find - do a google search on Child Find Part C CA and you might hit on an office to call for further information.

You can also contact a speech therapy or developmental psychology office to have him tested. Also check with your local childrens hospital or local autism resources. (I'm not saying he's autistic, they just have good info)

I found my pediatrician didnt have much info for me at all except to say lets wait and see what happens. I wasnt willing to do that with my son, so I took finding resources into my own hands.



answers from Los Angeles on

Kids always develop at their own pace- that being said, consult a developmental pediatrician to get all your concerns addressed. There are benchmarks in developement that kids have ranges on.



answers from Los Angeles on

Talk to your doctor there may be some thing wrong physically do it now A. no hills



answers from Tulsa on

babbling is good mine didnt talk till about a month ago and today is his 2nd bday. he went from babbleing to saying complicated words. anywhere from 2 words to a sentence. the only word he repeats on a constant basis is sit. we tell the dogs to sit and him to sit. (when he is standing is a chair) relax one day his babble will have a few understandable words in there and your going to be like (did he really say that)? listen for the words in the babble they will show up here and there



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi T.,
You are your child's best advocate and you are right to question, inquire and research anything that makes you wonder if you're on the right track. That's what we do... right?!
Definitely, don't stress out about this (your child will sense it), but since you are questioning potential delays, check with your pediatrician. Also, you might want to research or contact Regional Center.
If your child has a delay in his development (whether significant or not), it's certainly worth looking into early intervention. There's nothing to lose by looking into it - you can learn a lot about new approaches and techniques that can be helpful for any child at any developmental level. So, even if you're child isn't delayed - you just might give yourself more tools to use as parent regardless.
Researching, inquiring and learning is what it's all about anyway. You're doing a great job and I applaud you for continuing to grow with your child.
Wishing you and your family the best, -P. (



answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't have time to read the other responses, but I read the book by Thomas Sowell, I think it's called Late Talking Children.
My middle child hardly said a word until he was 3. We thought he might be on the autism spectrum, except that he clearly engaged us, he just didn't talk. Sure enough, eventually he talked, and last year in kindergarten he got the student of the year award. He is very bright. Also a great athlete, you just never know. God has a unique plan for every child. If no other red flags, and evaluations come back without any red flags, I wouldn't worry :)



answers from Los Angeles on

Dont worry yet!!!! My first daughter had only a few words mastered at that age, but didnt say nearly as many as lots of other kids the same age. At around 26-27 months she started speaking in 3-4 word sentences!!! It was like she spent all that extra time absorbing what she heard, and when she started really talking, it all came out at once!! Now she is a very bright, verbal child, she is in school, and is one of the best students in her class!! So relax... words come at different times for different kids!!! The other thing is... the sooner they talk, the sooner they talk back!!! (Seriously!!! Enjoy the peace!! LOL!)



answers from San Diego on

Hello, My now 14 year old grandson started walking when he was 13 months old. That was older than our own children had walked, but he was moving around in other ways. He didn't talk early either and in fact wasn't speaking in a way you could understand until he was three years old. He is now in all excelled classes and getting almost straight A's. He is one of the fastest runners in his middle school and has been in track after school and in Junior Olympics. Did his delays mean anything? At the time, yes. Now, no. If your son is developing well in other areas, I wouldn't worry. If he isn't saying basic words by 2, I would talk to his doctor about it.
Good luck with your precious little boy.
K. K.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions