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Please reassure me about late talking

(27 Posts)
ZebraZeebra Mon 04-Aug-14 08:27:42

I know this has probably been done to death smile But it's starting to get to me a little. DS is 21 months and hardly has any words. Bubble, pop, car, our cat's name, mama and bye bye. I think his hearing is fine - he hears planes from far off and sometimes bobs his head to music from cars outside. He appears to understand lots of things I say - instructions, requests, where things are etc. He chatters LOTS - he's always telling us about stuff, is very engaged with us and the world around him - it's just that we can't understand him!

I think he's pretty adept physically - he swims, climbs high cargo nets, balances on low beams, can climb those mini climbing walls in parks, goes up the highest slide and climbs those rope spider web structure things. He can manipulate small things with his hands so dexterity is fine and engages in imaginative play. So in all other areas, he seems to be developing fine. He just doesn't have much in the way of words.

I checked out the Talking Point site but it just worried me with their "normal" parameters. I read to him daily, we look at picture books and he can find the things I ask for like duck or whatever.

Please tell me about your late talkers smile All other children his age are speaking in basic sentences!

DoItTooJulia Mon 04-Aug-14 08:32:49


My ds is 20 months and says less than yours!

Like you, I think he hears just fine. I'm trying to be clam about it all, kind of waiting for the flood gates to open. I'm hoping that one day he will say a whole sentence and there will be no going back.

For now he seems to understand masses. I have an older ds, who is 9, who was chatting away to me in while sentences by this age. I have to remember that they develop differently. If the situation is still the same by Christmas I think I will take him to the GP and get checked out. I do all the right things to. I suspect it's something I can't force.

Best of luck.

BarbaraPalmer Mon 04-Aug-14 08:36:22

dd2 was late speaking. Didn't babble at all really, no word-type sounds until 18mo, everything before two was very slurred and indistinct, with constants all blurring into one eg dog was "doh", duck was also "doh", cat was "dah".

we were referred in to speech therapy before she was 2, but she'd caught up just enough by the time of the appointment not to need intervention. At 3.8, without intervention, she is not notiecably different from er peers at nursery.

OTOH dd1 was speaking in simple but very clear 3-word sentences at 15months, and everyone was open-mouthed. Again, by about three and a half all her peers had caught up, and you'd never have known which child was the early talker.

MissBattleaxe Mon 04-Aug-14 08:39:25

Don't worry. At his 24 month appt, my DS had exactly 25 words. They were a bit worried and said to contact them in 6 months if he hadn't improved. He did and he has an excellent vocabulary.

My older son didn't speak properly ( i.e mixed up consonants, garbled speech) until he was 3 and is exceptionally clever and erudite now.

I was also a late talker and there's no stopping me now! Don't worry. it sounds like you're doing everything right.

You would never know any of us were late talkers.

BrieAndChilli Mon 04-Aug-14 08:39:49

I have 3 children.
Ds1 didn't utter a word until 2yr 3 months. All he would do is point and say uhh. He could point at things just refused to talk. He is now 7, gifted and talented in English, huge vocabulary and very intelligent. Once he started talking he didn't go through the normal speech development it was like one day he didn't talk and the next he was talking like a grown up! He does have some aspergers traits.

Dd was talking in proper sentences by 18 months and has never stopped talking!

Ds2 has always talked in line within the normal parameters for his age but suffers from glue ear so it was always very hard to understand him and he failed a hearing test age 2 even though I had never noticed a problem with his hearing. Since he had grommets his speech has greatly improved.

Crazy8 Mon 04-Aug-14 08:43:17

My DS2 was 2 1/2 before he said a sentence. Prior to that he said words. I knew he could hear me and would follow instructions. When he did speak we often had to ask our DS1 5 to translate as fr some reason he could understand him better.

Crazy8 Mon 04-Aug-14 08:43:41

My DS2 was 2 1/2 before he said a sentence. Prior to that he said words. I knew he could hear me and would follow instructions. When he did speak we often had to ask our DS1 5 to translate as fr some reason he could understand him better.

ZebraZeebra Mon 04-Aug-14 08:52:08

Thank you everyone smile It's so hard not to feel like it's something you should try and "force" because I know it can't be. But it's so frustrating. Brieandchilli he also does the pointing and "uh uh uh" thing.

His "speech" sounds sound similar to something like Chinese and he has quite complex sounds and he's always telling me about things.

And then the other day, he did a handstand against the wall so I guess he's doing OK! I just want him to talk.

EugenesAxe Mon 04-Aug-14 08:52:45

I think it's still too early to worry. DD wasn't very clear until nearer 30m and at 36m is still not fantastically clear, although she does say a lot.

I have a very boring accent and speak clearly; I read to DS from when he was a tiny baby (Bunny Fluffs Moving Day, mainly) and he could speak very clearly and in short sentences around 21m. I didn't do this so much with DD, being my second - she also wouldn't cope with it as well; DS has always been a real bookworm. So I think that could have made a difference.

RandomMess Mon 04-Aug-14 08:57:03

My youngest dd was like this and she kept passing NHS hearing tests, a friend tested her for me and it turned out that she had an abnormal hearing curve - so her hearing was too sensitive in the low frequencies and near hearing impaired in the highfrequencies! Fortunately it was brain hearing processing issue and it was cured through Johansen sound therapy.

DoItTooJulia Mon 04-Aug-14 10:08:40

random tell me more! I've noticed my ds is super sensitive to some sounds, like aeroplanes flying over (we are not on a flight path) and wondered if there could be something in that?

bruffin Mon 04-Aug-14 10:33:28

He sounds a lot like my ds who swallowed a dictionary 2 days before his 2nd birthday. That was the way he developed, he couldnt do something one day and then become an expert over night. He did have a little bit of speech therapy when he was older for unclear words, but he also turned out to have the grammatical reception of an 18 year old at 5 and his vocabulary was a year ahead.

My dd was completely different adding new words continually.

ShoeWhore Mon 04-Aug-14 10:46:06

A good (obv v basic!) test for hearing is can they hear you if you call them from another room?

It's really not always obvious if a child has glue ear - they will usually be able to hear some letter sounds quite well and others much less. Ds chatted a lot but most consonants came out as "d" for a long time. He had an impressive range of coping strategies that masked the hearing issues very well.

I would keep a careful eye and perhaps ask for a hearing test. So many people told me not to worry when actually it would have been much better for Ds if I'd acted sooner.

RandomMess Mon 04-Aug-14 11:17:45

I'll come back this evening,got a house to tidy for a viewing!

DoItTooJulia Mon 04-Aug-14 13:45:20

Thanks random

BeggingYourPardon Mon 04-Aug-14 15:36:39

DD will be 2 at the end of August, 3 months ago nothing came out of her mouth over than animals sounds!

Now I have I get a constant babble of mummy, carrrr, mummy, mummy, car, nanny, bubble, up pwease, car, mummy.

Strings of words with pointing with bossiness abounds.

She can understand a great deal though and you can reason with her pretty well. It will come Zebra, I wouldn't worry.

ZebraZeebra Mon 04-Aug-14 17:26:56

Thanks everyone, all these posts are so helpful.

Shoewhore would you say it's the same as the other room thing if he can hear music from cars outside when they pull up to the lights? He points to the window and dances to the music, and then stops when they drive off so I can only deduce it's their music - he mostly seems to prefer trance and hip hop wink

newnamesamegame Mon 04-Aug-14 17:30:03

That sounds totally normal and healthy for his age, to be honest. I wouldn't worry about that at all.

chocisonabikinidiet Mon 04-Aug-14 18:50:02

OP, haven't read the other replies so might repeat things.

At 21 months I would not worry about not talking. What is importantbat that stage is understanding (does he understand you, follow instructions?) and communicating his needs and wants. Does he point? Does he bring you things to show you etc?

ShoeWhore Mon 04-Aug-14 19:58:11

Difficult to say about the music - if there's lots of bass he might be able to just hear that iykwim?

This chart is quite useful.

I'm sorry I know I'm not saying the reassuring things you want to hear. Chances are everything is fine.

dietcokeandwine Mon 04-Aug-14 20:45:26

I had a similar scenario to DoItTooJulia with my older two sons.

At 20/21m, DS1 was chatting away and putting strings of words together (i.e. 'let's go back Mummy's car now'). At the same age DS2 could barely say 'car'. Interestingly though by 2.5 it was very much DS2 who had the more sophisticated vocabulary of the two, and he is very very articulate now at 4.5. It just took him a bit longer at the start to get going!

I agree with pp re understanding being the critical thing at this age. My 18m DS3 isn't saying a huge amount at the moment but he can follow instruction and obviously understands what is said to him.

Siennasun Mon 04-Aug-14 22:49:09

Shoewhore - that sounds exactly like my DS. He's 21 months and very chatty, talking in sentences but almost all his consonants are d so no one except me and DH understands what he's saying sad
I've got an audiology appointment next week as I suspect he has glue ear but unsure there's any treatment other than grommets which would be very last resort. What happened with your DS? (Sorry for hijack OP)

ShoeWhore Tue 05-Aug-14 15:49:35

Hi sienna good luck with your appointment next week.

Often with glue ear they first watch and wait as so many cases clear up by themselves. However, ds' hearing loss was bad enough that coupled with the speech issues (and bearing in mind he was nearly 4 so older than your ds) we were advised that treatment should start straight away. We were offered a choice of grommets or hearing aids.

Don't be scared of the grommets option if that's what's offered. It's such a simple straightforward procedure and the effects were instant and brilliant. Unfortunately it's not a permanent solution and ds's only lasted a few months (this is particularly short, you would really hope they would last a bit longer)

He now has a hearing aid (in one ear only), which again has been a positive experience. I worried about whether he would keep it in, looking after it, whether it would be really temperamental etc. None of my worries have proved to be an issue for us and the aid really helps him. However he is old enough to understand that it helps him hear. I think it might be trickier with a much younger child.

This guide to hearing tests from NDCS is worth a read before you go next week.

In any case it really helped just understanding things better. I got some good advice from SALT and audiology about making sure I had his attention and he was looking at me before talking to him, encouraging other family members not to talk over each other, reading facing each other with the book between us etc.

Good luck for next week, hope it all goes well.

ShoeWhore Tue 05-Aug-14 15:52:08

Oh and also I think it's a really positive thing that you are getting this checked out now. Lots of time to sort things out. Even with fairly late diagnosis, I just wanted to reassure you that with the right support ds is now doing brilliantly (he's just turned 7). He's pretty much caught up with where he should be, reading good for his age etc

Orangeanddemons Tue 05-Aug-14 15:57:11

My ds didn't talk until he was nearly 3. He's now at university.

However, he was diagnosed with dyslexia at school, and this can affect early speech apparently. He's fine now though, in fact talks a lot grin

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