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17.5 month old not making progress with communication/gestures

(16 Posts)
NovMumOne Tue 03-May-16 20:47:11

I wonder if anyone can either put my mind at ease or help me out with what I need to do going forward, as help from GP/HV/other medical staff is just not happening.

My little girl was sitting at around 7 months, crawling around 11 months, and has only just started walking unassisted just less than a month ago. At around 10 months we started to get 'dadada' and 'bababa' and one or two 'daddies' but since then she does nothing but inconsistent babbling and shrieking or similar high pitched noises.

She also does not point, wave or clap. The only obvious gesture we can pick up on is her putting her hands out to say she wants to be picked up. She will sometimes give us eye contact, and seems to comprehend when she is being told not to do something (ie seems to hear 'no' and associated tone of voice) and also when she is being praised (she laughs and smiles at this).

She cannot replicate any animal noises, if I ask her if she would like water/milk she doesn't know what I mean until she sees the full cup right in front of her and she doesn't offend respond to her name.

Friends and strangers have commented when she doesn't respond to them, and even way before I thought there could be an issue one particular friend constantly went on about the fact that she wasn't trying to talk yet since before she turned one.

We sing to her, read to her and play with her every day, as well as describe what we do and overemphasise our hand gestures to try and encourage her to copy. I work part time so am with her a lot of the time, and my parents watch her when I'm at work and they are very hands on in interacting with her and trying to help her develop her communication.

I have taken her to a private paediatrician who said he suggested a hearing test with the NHS but that it was hard to tell at her age if there were any communication delays/autism. I don't think there is a problem with her hearing as she can hear a food packet from another room and will turn to watch the tv if she hears a theme tune from Paw Patrol etc.

Has anyone had a similar experience where their children have developed successfully in terms of speech and language or can anyone tell me what I should do? I'm feeling very low at the moment as I don't know what to do to help her and don't want to be fobbed off when we could be getting her help now. Thanks in advance.

whatamess0815 Tue 03-May-16 21:04:46

hearing test is probably a good idea. other than that you should be seen by a developmental paediatrician.

not speaking at 17 month is one thing but the lack of communication would worry me. I would leave the HV aside and run this via GP. you may have to be very persistent.

do the M-chat online and if it flags up anything, print it out and take it along to the GP. be a pain. good luck.

Artandco Tue 03-May-16 21:07:05

It's worth looking at for reassurance

However, neither of mine spoke at all until after 2 years. They were fluent in two language by 3rd birthday. They just seemed to spend first 2 yet as watching and absorbing rather Than actually using

whatamess0815 Tue 03-May-16 21:16:23

art, having a child that does not talk but develops otherwise fine is very different from a child that does not communicate and has significant difficulties understanding language. confused

NickyEds Wed 04-May-16 16:32:10

Definitely get her checked out by the gp. My ds is 2.4 and has very few words (we've seen the speech and language therapist)but his understanding is good, so at 17 months would go get his coat if asked, go to the sink if I asked if he wanted a drink, the fridge if he wanted a snack etc. Have a look at the M chat test too. It is worth getting a hearing check done (ds is having one in a couple of weeks) even if you think she can hear ok- glue ear can effect certain frequencies so a child can hear but not well enough to learn to speak.

Artandco Wed 04-May-16 17:08:23

What - op says her child doesn't talk, or point etc. Neither mine have ever pointed or did hand gestures. So like op child surely?

whatamess0815 Wed 04-May-16 17:35:18

OP made it clear child doesn't understand much either. that is not a typical development. some children just catch up but some will need lots of extra help. no one here is able to tell into a which group OPs child falls. hence it is important to be seen by the right people.

my child did not talk, point etc at 17.5 months. she is now 7, has a dx of autism and severe learning diffs. ignoring it until 3 or later just because some other children caught up would not have done her any favours.

NickyEds Wed 04-May-16 17:48:07

I agree whatamess I've had a bit of stick for contacting hv, gp and salt quite early, lots of "he's just a boy, he'll catch up" and "my ds didn't talk until x,y,z". The way I see it, if he catches up , great if not then the help is in place. We're on the fucking endless waiting list for SALT already, we can always cancel an appointment if it turns out to be unnecessary.

bialystockandbloom Wed 04-May-16 18:47:50

OP I think I'd ask for referral to developmental paed too - it may be that she is delayed rather than a pervasive difficulty, but it'll certainly do no harm to get in the system, as it's often a wait to see someone. By the time you are, you may be more comfortable about her development anyway, but either way nothing to lose.

Non-verbal communication is much more important and significant at this age, regardless of when a child starts talking - tons of children don't talk till 2/3+ but development in all other ways is fine. Expressive language isn't so important on its own. The importance of things like pointing (certainly in respect of autism) is that it might indicate a lack of joint attention, which is a key impairment and can be (not always) an early symptom of autism.

Good on you for being on the ball about those subtle things. She is very very young so plenty of time to catch up, but you have nothing to lose by getting the ball rolling now.

bialystockandbloom Wed 04-May-16 18:51:57

Btw I also agree with hearing test too.

Also, is there a SALT drop-in near you?

NovMumOne Thu 05-May-16 06:46:19

Thanks everyone for your input. I did the M-CHAT first test with my husband last night and going by that she would fall into high risk, though this morning the little monkey is making us question some of our responses!

I think the only thing we can do is persist with health professionals to get things moving 'just in case'. The way I see it is if there was nothing to be concerned about having a little bit of extra help won't hurt her either, and if there is something then hopefully we have caught it in time to help her with any difficulties from an early enough age.

Would a SALT drop in be with a Children's Centre do you think? I haven't heard about one but will look into it.

NickyEds Thu 05-May-16 07:59:35

Our SALT drop in is at the health centre. You can find out by contacting either the community health team or your hv.

bialystockandbloom Thu 05-May-16 13:25:24

I think you're absolutely right, it would be brilliant for her to have extra help and intervention whether she 'needs' it or not. Good for you smile

NovMumOne Thu 05-May-16 14:21:39

I spent most of this morning trying to find out about SALT drop ins, only to be told you have to be referred to a drop in - surely that defeats the purpose of 'dropping in'! hmm

However I have got her enrolled on a programme at our local Children's Centre which is to encourage children under two to use their voices. Apparently the workers there observe the children's behaviour partially one on one and keep notes of what they pick up on or need help with. I think this might help when we finally do get to see someone.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 05-May-16 14:30:08


In your shoes what I would do today is look for a private speech & language therapist in your area to get an apt ASAP.

I did this with one of my dc because I could not stand the wait.

Yes it was expensive for that first assessment but I was very reassured by what they told me.

Obviously they cannot diagnose things like a paediatric consultant can but they do work with children who have delays etc and they might be able to tell you if all is well.

With me they said yes a moderate speech & language delay but their gut instinct was nothing else wrong.

There was two of them - a language expert and a speech expert, well I say expert but you get the gist!

NovMumOne Sat 07-May-16 11:07:10

I have booked to see a private SALT now, in the phone consultation she did stress that she is still very young and these may not be signs of anything more serious, but willing to see us to help us with strategies to encourage her to talk.

Thank you everyone for your advice, I think I just needed to know that I wasn't completely overreacting and others thought seeking help was a good idea too!

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