Still Worried About My 22 Month Old Not Talking

Updated on November 02, 2012
K.H. asks from Norcross, GA
11 answers

My child is now 22 months and she is only saying a handful of words properly. she is in the early intervention program and is due for an evaluation to see a speech therapist at 24 months old. she is the only child and i stay at home with her so she doesn't have alot of interaction with other people besides her parents. she understands alot of commands, but is either too stubborn or too playful to want to follow instructions. i am not sure what more to do....i know she will do it when she is ready, but it is frustrating to us since we do want to start potty training her soon.... she started walking at 12 months on her bday and all other milestones were met on schedule. i am worried so much about her speech though.

is this normal for children to begin talking at this age or do the typically start to after 2 or something?

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

So What Happened?

oh i forgot to mention, we have had ears checked (like last week) and she is just fine in that department. IE requested that i do that before her 24 month evaluation. she doesn't like for me to "make" her say something either. i tried to encourage to ask for something instead of reaching or expecting me to give it to her and she just cries and does something weird with her arms she gets frustrated by me for wanting her to say what she wants! i am thinking she is just really stubborn and silly to want to do anything productive right now. everything has to be a game for her to want to participate. i sing songs to her and she likes that...she is learning to sing along to the tunes of mickey mouse clubhouse., so that is good. ummm i talk to her all the time..we don't use baby talk and never really have. i am not sure what it is.....she can imitate sounds (animals and things like that) , some words, gestures but just won't use them on a regular basis. soo if i think of anything else, i will make another edit, but that's all i have for now lol. thanks for the responses!

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

I'm glad you have her in IE. As with everything, children start at all different times--normal range for walking is 9-18 months. Have they tested her hearing? A huge difference in receptive vocabulary (what they can understand) and expressive vocabulary (what they can say) is usually a red flag.

My oldest son could understand just about anything, but didn't say much. We had his hearing tested and he had 100% fluid blockage in one ear and 50% in the other. He wasn't hearing well enough to repeat the sounds. He needed tubes.

My youngest son was also speech delayed. At 18 months, his receptive vocabulary was 18 months and his expressive vocabulary was that of a 6 month old. He is now 27 months and just graduated from speech. He has well over 200 words and easily puts 3-4 word sentences together.

Yes, with some kids it just takes time. But, stay on top of it--just in case there is a real problem.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter was just like this. We too took her to speech therapy. The lady told me, "She sure is stubborn" Ya, think? LOL

Not kidding, just two months afterward she just took off and started talking. She just didn't want too, until she was ready. Just hang in there, keep working with her, she'll get there. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

Sounds like my oldest daughter. She really wasn't talking much (or clearly) at 2. Now (at 3 1/2) I can't hardly get her to stop! We were over at a friend's trick-or-treating last night and the husband was telling me what a chatterbox she is. Yep. If she decides you're an okay person, you're in trouble and your ear will fall off before she is through talking to you. :) Try not to worry so much. You're already doing what you can to improve the situation. Try to take things in stride!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Our little boy is 22 mos too ... we're in the same boat you are. I do think he's being a little stubborn, but we may have some ear problems too (going back to the ENT middle of this month).

We are teaching him some signs to help with his frustration. We have all of the Signing Time videos and use Google to find the signs that aren't included.

We have used pivotal response successfully ... if he wants something we KNOW he can say, he has to say the word or use the sign. I am the mean mom who put all of his balls and Elmo characters on the mantel and he had to use his words to ask for them before he could play with it. Hated to do it, but the screaming and crying when he couldn't tell me what he wanted was getting really bad. We were as frustrated as he was / is.

Early intervention has been great for us and supportive of the pivotal response and signing. When the Early Intervention worker comes in we focus on one thing (last time it was MOO and he is still saying MEOW for EVERYTHING on 4 legs).

We're track the sounds, words, and signs he knows, but we don't document it as "known" until he uses it spontaneously.

I think it takes time and sometimes, it's just in their own time. Try not to stress ... she'll get there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

each child is different. around 2y is when most kids become more vocal. if she is saying some words, you just need to help her expand her choices. Talking to and about things is key.

When playing ball, keep saying 'ball', 'roll', 'catch'
When feeding, keep telling her what you are feeding her. 'carrots', 'fruit', 'water', 'cup', spoon', etc.

When you give her a bath, use the words: soap, toy, towel, dry

Try singing the ABC song, nursery rythems, twinkle twinkle, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Speech development has a wide range, so this is not totally unusual. You can help her by talking with her all day. Name things, ask her questions, explain what you're doing in the house. You can involve her in your housework so that you have more chances to talk. Potty training also has a wide age range. 2 yrs is not impossible for potty training and some kids get it down within a day. But other kids take years to really get the hang of it or are too stubborn to even try until they are 4. Focusing on the journey instead of the destination will help you see the little steps that you can take to help her as she grows. It sounds like she has a great mommy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

All research shows that kids acquire the most language by following mom around. As long as you are constantly talking to her, and trying to get her to talk, she will get where she needs to get (unless there is a real problem). One on one conversations is the key, so use words. "Mommy is turning on the light now. Do you like your milk? You look sad." Put a layer of words on everything she sees.

Give her some time. Most kids don't talk till after or around their 2 bday.



answers from Spartanburg on

My son did not say ANYTHING at 18 months, no mama, no dada, NOTHING. It was the pointing and crying thing. He also is an only child. We had him evaluated at about 19 months. The evaluation showed his expressive language (what he said) was behind by 10 months, his receptive language (what he understoood) was ahead by 6 months. We started teaching him sign language for everyday things he might want to ask for (started with more). Us responding to his use of that first sign seemed to open the flood gates. When he was re-evaluated 3 months later his expressive language was 6 months AHEAD and his receptive language was off that particular test (which tested up to 3 years). We also never used baby language with him and his vocabulary has remained well above age level since he decided to start talking. At 18 months he had 0 words, at 22 months 10 days he was using 1000 words, in full sentences. Between 2 and 3 he was using complex sentences, including using therefore correctly in a sentence before turning 3.

My advice, have her evaluated just to ease your mind. Keep talking to her and trying to encourage her to talk. If she likes play then do some role playing with her. i.e. What does your doll say when she is hungry? What does the kitty say, etc. Also try teaching her some signs. I really believe that's what got my son started.



answers from Boston on

I'm so glad you are working with EI. While all children develop at different rates, she should be developing the use of more words and EI will help. For now, I encourage you to consider that speaking out is not yet natural for her, rather than think she is silly or stubborn. It's rare for a child to get up each morning and think "I'd rather not communicate. I'll just be stubborn and frustrate folks." Please don't let other adults (family, friends) pressure her. Just support what she does say. After working with EI, she begin to blossom and they will show you ways to increase her vocabulary. For now, just talk, talk, talk, and don't ask her to repeat what is too difficult for her. All my best.



answers from Augusta on

My daughter was ahead on all milestones BUT talking. Couldn't understand a word she said , beyond a few words ( mama, dada, baba and a couple of others) Then suddenly when she turned 2 it was like a switch flipped and she could say everything. Everyday after she turned 2 she added a couple of new words. She hasn't stopped talking since.



answers from Los Angeles on

You may want to have her evaluated by a Developmental Pediatrician just to rule out high functioning Autism or other developmental disorders. Most likely she is just speech delayed but if something else is going on you want to know as soon as possible. My son is autistic but because he was so mild we missed a lit of the cues and just thought he was speech delayed until a developmental pediatrician diagnosed him at 2 1/2. Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions