16 month old has "lost" all his words.

(45 Posts)
magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 10:38:29

DS had 3 words and about 5 animal sounds at 8 months. At 13 months he had 15 words including "all gone" when he'd finished eating and "hot" if the radiator was hot or the fire was on so not just nouns. However for the past 3 months he rarely says anything other than Daddy and Mama and random sounds. He understands everything we say but he's definitely frustrated so I don't understand why he isn't using the words he knows. Has anyone else been in this situation where their child has stopped talking? Dont know if I should be worried?

Branleuse Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:52

did anything happen around the time he lost them? medical treatment? trauma?

magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 11:00:35

no just teething, which is very bad at the moment, 5 new back teeth in 10 days but he has had very sore gums for a few months, I wonder if that's it?

MariahHairy Tue 12-Feb-13 11:32:48

Any loss of skill/regression should be looked into imo. at this stage it is quite common to loose the odd word but not to loose all the words (and your DS had quite a few). Have you talked to your GP yet? if not I would see him ASAP.

do you feel your DS also lost other skills or just his speech? any other changes? I would also ask for a referral for a hearing test to rule our hearing issues (such as glue ear).

but I doubt teething is responsible for his loss of words though.

SocietyClowns Tue 12-Feb-13 11:38:56

Please get his hearing checked. My dd1 did the same and went from a lot of words at 1 to talking gibberish at 18 months. I put it down to her being bilingual and didn't notice she had developed severe glue ear and could hear very little! Didn't find out until she was more like 2 1/2 and it took her to 3 1/2 to recover her speech fully. She has caught up well now at 5 and sometimes I wish she'd stop talking for a minute!

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 12-Feb-13 11:45:50

Take him to a GP. Has he regressed in any other ways?

magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 12:07:48

he has had two ear infections recently so I might get his hearing checked. I had a quick google after I posted here and it seems regressions can be due to the child focussing on other skills. He is very physically advanced for his age and is climbing lots , trying to jump, loves dancing etc so it could be that he's just focussing on that? he does occassionally use his words, he might say dog or car but not as often as he had been doing. He is well able to communicate lots of pointing and yes and no. He understands and carried out instructions like "put the nappy in the bin", "give that to daddy", "where are your shoes" , he always responds top his name so he can hear quite well. I will get him checked anyway.Thanks for all the replies.

SocietyClowns Tue 12-Feb-13 12:27:24

OP my dd had no obvious ear infections and also still followed instructions and responded to her name. Which is why I didn't have her checked for so long until I realised her speech was suddenly behind when she was over 2.
Won't hurt to get his hearing checked just in case.

magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 12:33:42

I will society thanks.

magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 12:59:05

just realised he got the MMR vaccine around the time he stopped talking, is there still a link between autism and MMR?I thought that it was disproved? just saw DM has an article on it today.

Branleuse Tue 12-Feb-13 13:01:53

its been disproved I think, but there are still a lot of people individually who believe there was a link for their child

nickelbabe Tue 12-Feb-13 13:03:31

no - it has been totally disproved.

it is more likely to be related to the ear infections.

magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 13:06:28

God Im panicking now, thanks for the reassurance.

Jakeyblueblue Tue 12-Feb-13 13:35:50

Don't panic, take him to get checked just in case but my ds went through about a month of not using any words or sounds he'd always said. I wouldnt say he was frustrated at any time though. He was 15 months and I was fretting because he wAsnt saying six words anymore and coming up to 18 months. I asked the gp and he asked if he'd advanced in other ways, like you he had started running, jumping etc. he said not to worry and give it a bit more time which I did. Now at just turned 19 months he says probably 100 words and is setting to put two together. I don't think he regressed or lost words, I think he just didn't want to.

silverfrog Tue 12-Feb-13 13:39:08

I would investigate any loss of skills.

yes, toddlers can sometimes plateau while concentrating on a new skill, but to lose so many words, and, crucially you say it is frustrating for him - so he wants to communicsate but is unable to.

I would set the ball rolling wrt looking into this if I were in your position.

magoosmom Tue 12-Feb-13 14:02:35

well I said he's frustrated but what I meant really was he's having alot of tantrums if he doesn't get his own way so I don't necessarily think he wants to talk but can't. I felt it was more that he wasn't bothered because as I said earlier he will say words occassionally so they aren't lost. I doubt he;s austistic because he's very sociable and when I bring him to his music class he's often the only child up dancing and copying the teachers actions while the other kids (up to a year older than him) cling to their mothers.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 12-Feb-13 14:04:04

I'd always have any regression checked over. My step daughter began to regress at a similar age starting with just the loss of a couple of words and then continued into her pincer grab, then all use of her hands, her ability to swallow, all gross motor skills etc. It turned out to be caused by her having Rett Syndrome, children develop normally then regress at about 18 months. She permenantly lost all of her skills and is now very severely disabled.

I'm not saying your son has Rett Syndrome, but wanted to highlight the importance of having any regression brought to the attention of a medical professional.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 12-Feb-13 14:05:48

I doubt he;s austistic because he's very sociable and when I bring him to his music class he's often the only child up dancing and copying the teachers actions while the other kids (up to a year older than him) cling to their mothers.

My son was like this, he got his ASD dx last year!

redwellybluewelly Tue 12-Feb-13 22:55:33

My dd was babbling away with a dozen or so words at one, then lost all words when she started walking. She was dx with an 80% hearing loss at about 20months due to repeated ear infections and at 2.6yrs has a noticeable speech delay.

Worth getting checked out

exexpat Tue 12-Feb-13 23:00:35

The MMR/autism link has been thoroughly debunked. I have read that regression at that sort of age is common in children who are later diagnosed with autism, whether or not they have had the MMR or other vaccinations around that time. But yes, it is also very common for children to stop doing things they have mastered while they move on to learning new things, so no need to panic.

banana87 Tue 12-Feb-13 23:19:07

How are other skill areas? Does he socially interact with other children (or the amount that is developmentally appropriate?), does he copy things you do in play (I.e. put a phone to his ear and babble), does he play appropriately for his developmental age?, have you noticed any repetitive behaviours?, does he make eye contact with you and seek your attention or does he prefer to be alone?.

I would take him to the GP immediately and get his ears checked as well as ensuring they document your concerns regarding his regression in case you ever need to rely on it.

Although the MMR-autism link has been "disproved", I do believe there is a link between vaccinations and autism in children who are susceptible to autism (but how any parent would know that is a mystery!). He is far too young to be getting that type of diagnosis anyway, but keep on top of your GP and health visitor so that if things don't get better you can do something about it sooner rather than later.

alto1 Wed 13-Feb-13 00:09:57

My dd started saying words at 8 months too, then started losing them from 12 months - it was glue ear and she had bilateral grommets at 16 months. Her vocabulary tripled in a few days. We could tell from her reaction to her toys that she'd never heard the sounds they made before.

The operation was a doddle by the way - she was her usual self as soonn as she woke up and had a meal smile smile

HansieMom Wed 13-Feb-13 00:18:14

Rett Syndrome is almost exclusively girls. It is tragic to think about.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 13-Feb-13 08:57:58

Yes hansie, but I was using it as an example of why it's important to have any regression checked out.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 13-Feb-13 09:04:18

And sadly it's even more tragic for the small percentage of boys who do have RTT as their life expectancy is far shorter than their female counterparts. That's one thing we were thankful for (if thats even the right word to use?) when SD was dx, that we'd have much more time with her.

SocietyClowns Wed 13-Feb-13 13:02:58

alto1 [envious] that your dd got grommets so young. They don't consider them here until a child is at least 5! angry

magoosmom Wed 13-Feb-13 17:09:42

Thanks for all the replies. He is very sociable and loves other children especially older boys. He's very empathic , if I pretend to be sad or cry he'll hug and kiss me. He can follow most instructions -turn on the light, pick up the teddy, get your coat, even more detailed instructions like give me a kiss on my nose. He's very physical and follows the rules of games like hide and seek, can build lego towers etc. I don't feel it is autism , myself ,DH, SIL, BIL and MIL are all primary school teachers and have experience of Autistic kids and between us we'd recognise some signs . If he had glue ear for example would he love music and songs so much? He loved dancing and knows the actions to wheels on the bus and twinkle twinkle . The CM says he dances even when he phone rings! He loves cartoons and laughs so he seems to follow the story. I Rang the public health nurse and she said she'll get back to me tomorrow.

MariahHairy Wed 13-Feb-13 18:38:34

no offence OP but as the mum of a DC with autism I can say that most teachers (and HV's and GP's for that matter) know very little about autism (though they seem to all think they do) .

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 13-Feb-13 21:06:19

I agree mariah.

HotheadPaisan Wed 13-Feb-13 21:20:17

What happens if you offer him some chocolate on condition he says x word?

Teachers are pretty hopeless at recognising autism in young children. It is only once their needs have been unmet for many years leading to them to display disruptive behaviour patterns, that their issues are identified.

That doesn't mean your ds has autism. But I wouldn't rule it out from what you have posted either. The safest thing is to get to your GP for a paed referral with your list of concerns.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Wed 13-Feb-13 21:51:56

Unfortunately OP, your reasoning against autism, social behaviours doesn't rule out autism, but autism is such a huge umbrella of varying "behaviours" which is why it is dx by a triad of specialists, and it's the combination of the results of different assessments which determines the diagnosis.

however a hearing impairment, such as glue ear, can present like autism.
My severely deaf dc has a great love of music and can dance along without hearing aids, likes being the centre of attention, so would be up next to the teacher, I think it's because of the frequency dc also loves watching cartoons and laughs or gets upset in the appropriate places,, and can lip read. which took us by surprise always turned to name, despite not actually being able to hear it.

I'm not saying your ds is deaf or autistic, but would advise that you see a doctor and have have a referral to have them ruled out.

babySophieRose Wed 13-Feb-13 22:02:41

Nothing wrong with your child. He is occupied with mastering walking, climbing, looking at the world around him. My DD is almost 16 months, she has few words one week, forgetting them on the next week, coming up with new ones later. She is currently climbing, opening all drawers looking at everything with great curiosity and does not have time for many words, just bubbling and singing when going around. This is just the way they grow and develop.

babySophieRose Wed 13-Feb-13 22:24:39


babySophieRose Wed 13-Feb-13 22:25:00
daytoday Thu 14-Feb-13 10:55:31

Glue ear can come and go. My daughter suffers but you really wouldn't know!There are also different sound frequencies which can be affected - so although they might hear some noises - the subtler ones might be underwater.

Sometimes, if there is subtle hearing loss (glue ear etc) they can hear ok if its just you - but any background noise (other children, radio) can make it impossible to discern.

jenduck Thu 14-Feb-13 18:45:19

My ds2 has just turned 22mo & said his first 4 words at the weekend. But he hasn't said 3 of them now since Monday! is this ok? I have been worrying anyway as he was a slow speaker & hoped this might be the floodgates opening!

jenduck Thu 14-Feb-13 20:24:32

Literally the minute after I posted this, my little monkey said one of his words not once, but 3 times for good measure, so may well be guilty of panicking too soon blush

alto1 Thu 14-Feb-13 22:54:40

shocked to hear about the no grommets till age 5 rule, we had the surgeon leaning on us to accept them (not that we needed leaning on but he made it clear what he thought was the right choice). If it's just glue ear with no other probs I can understand waiting but if there's significant hearing loss and speech is affected time is of the essence.

alto1 Thu 14-Feb-13 22:59:10

btw dd adored music and songs, used to request favourites by signs and obviously enjoyed them so she wasn't completely deaf by any means , just enough to hold her back with language

AbbyCat Thu 14-Feb-13 23:08:23

[hmmm] my DS did this. He had about 5 words- mama, nana, gone, that, nah(cat) and eventually even lost the mama and nana. Till 22m when he suddenly has a huge vocabulary and is stringing words together. I worried about autism too- very afraid of change and new social situations, but he seems to have come out of his shell of his own accord. I was concerned to begin with, but it wasn't hard to see the he understood a lot and could point out various animals, colours, vehicles etc. he would just say 'ugh' instead of the word. I think there was just some sort of barrier mentally to actually forming the words. I hope your DS will be fine too!

onedev Thu 14-Feb-13 23:08:49

Please get him checked out. My niece was exactly as you describe & has recently been diagnosed as severely autistic. Again, not trying to scare-monger, but definitely worth checking out.

firawla Thu 14-Feb-13 23:54:27

I would get him checked out, and keep a record of the words he had and words he lost - just incase you need it.
My ds who is 3 lost words at around the same age, he is only just learning to talk again now, he has a dx of autism but he is also very sociable. the social aspects of autism can actually go the other way - rather than them being not wanting to interact with anyone, isolated etc, it can be that they dont have boundaries and will just go happily to anyone, very trusting etc so appear very sociable.. my ds is like that
although it could also be hearing, or it could be just one of those things and nothing, but the social thing doesnt rule out autism

magoosmom Fri 15-Feb-13 17:57:42

Rang public health nurse she seemed unconcerned but advised going to the dr to get ears checked. Have made an appointment for next week. We were feeding ducks yesterday and he said duck clearly many times and also kept saying duck at home in the bath last night. We were on a farm today and he said tractor repeatly so it's not as if he'd saying nothing, still says mama daddy yes and no occasionally dog and car. I suppose it's words like light that he could say at 12 months but yesterday pointed to the light and said gaga hmm DH was golfing today and his friend who has a DS 7 weeks older than our DS and he said his DS doesn't say a lot of the words he used to say, he volunteered this info before DH mentioned any of our concerns so he didn't say it to placate us. DS was walking about on his tip toe this evening , a new trick, so I do think his new skills are more in the physical domain these days. Not so worried anymore but will go to the dr next week.

Wallace Fri 15-Feb-13 21:18:57

My ds3 had heaps of words at 16 months, then hardly learnt any more until he had turned two, and also did lose some words. He went from being what I would call a fairly advanced speaker, to rather behind.

Just after he turned two his language exploded and now at 2yrs 3 months he can say hundreds and hundreds of words and speaks in 3 or 4 word phrases.

I think he was concentrating on his physical skills - he could ride a bike before he could talk!

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