My DD (21 months) started babbling and saying the odd word when she should have and now has stopped. She communicates freely with gestures, noises and her own sign language. I've looked at other posts on this topic but wanted to post my own because I feel that her issues with speech are entirely psychological. She is very shy and anxious (as am I). If strangers talk to her she will often look away or cry. With family and friends she will look at the floor or her shoes. Even with me, she will 'inspect' her shoes if I ask her to speak. Her receptive language is superb and she has no problem imitating animal sounds or squealing/laughing. She is very loving and surprisingly empathetic for her age (shows no signs of ASD). I am worried that my anxiety is affecting her and I don't know what to do. Anyone had a similar experience?
Don't ask her to speak. Our SALT says it puts too much pressure on them and they will resist it. Just repeat anything she does say (animal noises count as words) and when she points say "Milk?", "Banana" or whatever. Any gestures, signs, dragging you places to get what she wants is all good communication so be positive when she does it.
Find a game she likes, blowing bubbles or pushing car down a track or lifting and swinging her - say 1,2,3 GO! and she may copy in excitement.
At 2 they look for saying atleast 50 words, putting 2-3 together and can be understood by a stranger. Ds was not doing this but is (nearly, still difficult to understand) at 2.3. I never believed he would speak but he is getting there. The wait to see a SALT can vary by region so better to get their name down sooner rather than later.
ASD has a massive range of behaviours if you look at the Special Needs section here but gp will probably just tell you its difficult to diagnose at this age so wait and see.
Thanks for responses. No, she's not working on a physical skill but is quite advanced in what she can do physically. She loves any games that involve movement or physical activity. I will try not to ask her to speak...I know it makes her uncomfortable, but sometimes I just get desperate to try! I talk to her and wait for responses, and like you suggest say the names of what she points to and repeat what I think she said if she makes a noise. I forgot to mention that it is not just speech but any social interaction. She won't wave bye to people, but will happily wave to animals. It does seem to be a response to pressure.