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18 months old and not a single word...referral?!

(17 Posts)
Clare123 Thu 04-Apr-13 14:29:45

My gorgeous ds is 18 months old and doesn't utter one word that we can recognise. He understands a lot, for example I can say lets put your shoes on and he gets his shoes. He also points and makes it very clear as to what he wants, and is very engaging - lots of waves, massive smiles and generally a lot of fun! But no words!!! He is my 3rd dc and I know my other 2 were saying a few things by now. Do you think it's time I asked the hv to refer him or wait a little longer?

EggsEggSplat Thu 04-Apr-13 14:33:41

DS couldn't really say anything at 18 months - I think he had just about started saying mama around then - but had a few words/two word phrases by age two (not very comprehensible to anyone else, though) and a much bigger vocab by three. I think 18 months is still pretty normal not to be really talking, so I don't think I would be panicking yet, specially if he is obviously understanding lots.

mummy2benji Thu 04-Apr-13 17:19:32

Do you have any concerns about his hearing? Or any other forms of his development? If not, I wouldn't worry - ds1 didn't start to talk until he was 2, and then a large vocabulary suddenly spilled forth from his mouth! I guess he'd been saving it up until he was ready to talk in sentences!

anonymosity Thu 04-Apr-13 18:12:24

I think every child is different, even within families and you probably don't need to worry. My DS was fairly incoherent at 2 yrs old. Then I learned to understand what he was saying and I told him he needed to be a bit clearer for others and eventually he was. I know that sounds simplistic, but sometimes its just about timing and when they're ready etc. If he understands you perfectly well and has no behavioural issues, I wouldn't draw attention to it and see how it plays out.

quesadilla Thu 04-Apr-13 18:19:35

I don't think 18 months is worryingly late -- it may be slightly on the late side but not to the point where you should assume there's a problem. I remember talking to a HV about my dd when she was a little younger than that and not talking and the HV said if they appear to be able to understand things (as your DS does) then you shouldn't worry too much. Its only if they don't appear to be able to communicate at all that there's a need to investigate.
Having said that I'd talk to a GP/HV just for peace of mind.

forevergreek Thu 04-Apr-13 18:41:10

No words here either until 2 years. Perfectly clear and bilingual at 3

Jakeyblueblue Thu 04-Apr-13 23:25:09

My ds didn't have any words at 18 months.
He's now 21 months and has well over 100 words and is starting to say sentences. His language exploded from nowhere!
Don't worry just give him a bit more time.

TheDegglyDonkey Thu 04-Apr-13 23:27:33

Ds3 didn't say anything at 18m, he started saying things shortly after his 2nd birthday - mummy, daddy, that sort of thing.
Two months on, he's learning new words every day.
If your ds points at things and understands you, I wouldn't worry.

GsyPotatoPieEyed Sat 06-Apr-13 18:47:10

They will probably refer at 2 year check but I would imagine only earlier if there were problems with comprehension too. Ds was referred to Salt at 2, signed off just before starting reception. Dd has just turned 2, only says mum and cheese so will probably be referred at her check in the next couple of weeks., both had/have very good understanding/comprehension.

QuanticoVirginia Sat 06-Apr-13 19:13:46

Ahh! this is so familiar. My brother, youngest of three, was like this. At three he still didn't didn't say anything recognizable and my mother took him to a speach therapist.

It tunred out there was nothing physically worng with him but with a mother and two sisters waiting on him hand and foot he had no need to make understandable words so didn't.

He was given words to practice but my mother was told that we must not get him anything unless he asked for it properly. He would point at a biscuit and say 'googlygar' (so the words he said bore no resemblance to what he wanted) and we'd go running to get it for him but all that stopped.

Everything was sorted by the time he started school at 4. Not sure if anything resonates with your situation???

Clare123 Sat 06-Apr-13 21:51:39

Thank you all for the very reassuring replies! I must admit his sibling and I are all very willing to pander to his every whimper so I'm sure his "need" to talk is less than it should be! Although saying that we think he said "daddy" today, which is great, but I couldn't help feeling a little put out considering his difficult birth, breastfeeding him for a year and generally putting my life on hold for him only to have daddy has first word!!! :-)

anonymosity Sat 06-Apr-13 22:08:59

Yes that's familiar. My DS called me "Dadda" for probably the first 3 yrs of his life blush

AgnesDiPesto Sat 06-Apr-13 23:40:21

I would refer - most areas have speech therapy drop ins now so its easy to be seen - I would also self refer direct to speech therapy you don't need to go via GP or HV usually

There is more to lose by ignoring it. You will hear lots of stories about children who speak late and its all fine but you have no way of knowing if yours will be one of them. A checklist is here
There is also another useful list here

No words by 16 months is the trigger for referral. 20 words would be the minimum for expected progress

honeymoonmum Mon 08-Apr-13 19:38:47

As a paediatric SLT working with early years I'm afraid you are very much mistaken agnesdipesto. It is entirely normal to have no words at 16 months as long as child is making communicative attempts eg pointing and making noises. We would not accept a referral until over 2. Relax, encourage symbolic noises eg moo baa woof to practice sounds and model language back eg he says goo goo you say , it's a car, you've got a car brumm brummmm! Hope that helps!

NappyHappy Mon 08-Apr-13 19:47:27

Hi, ds1 was the same as yours and started talking just after he was 2. He's now 5 and you cant shut him up, he doesn't pause for breath most of the time! I did get him checked with SALT though and they said its normal and not to worry.

Ds2 is 18m and doesn't say any words either, just baby noises. Im not concerned as I had it with ds1. shock

Arm yourself with earplugs because when they start talking they never stop! winkwink

PoppyAmex Mon 08-Apr-13 20:36:07

Honeymoon thanks for that post, I was ready to panic and start researching when I saw that comment about 16 months!

iMe Mon 08-Apr-13 22:37:58

Clare, thanks for starting this thread. I came on here to start a thread about the exact same thing, almost word for word as you put it! I'm very relieved to read others' experiences and to learn that this is normal. Phew!

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