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Almost 2 year old not talking

(27 Posts)
digitalpaintartist Thu 21-Jul-16 15:02:05


I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with this. My son will be 2 at the end of August and is yet to say his first word. I need to stress that he really hasn't said a single word as when I bring this up with other mum's at my local group or at work, they tell me that their child was the same but then say, 'apart from 'mum' and 'dad'' but my son hasn't said one, clear word. He babbles and points and responds to instructions. We have been for a speech assessment and been referred (still waiting for an appointment) but I'm trying all I can to encourage him in the meantime. Anybody been through this or have any tips? I know people will suggest Autism as that's all Google ever throws back at me but has anyone had an example of this where there child has suddenly started to talk?

DixieNormas Thu 21-Jul-16 15:06:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

albertcampionscat Thu 21-Jul-16 15:52:48

'Word' at this stage means any sound consistently associated with something. So 'vroom vroom' for a car or 'miao' for a cat or even 'squgglibbibbit' to mean milk would all count.

Lovelymonkeyninetynine Thu 21-Jul-16 19:28:09

My son was just the same, not sure he even said 'mama' or 'dada' really. Then after his second birthday his language exploded! By 2 and a half he was chatting away in sentences, it was brilliant. I had been very worried.
The main thing in hindsight for me was that his comprehension of words and questions etc was really good before he started talking, he was obviously just storing the speech up!

coffeemachine Thu 21-Jul-16 21:53:00

if you worry about ASD then Google M-chat and see if it flags anything up.

DC1 has ASD and at 2 didn't talk but would not point or understand much.

I would get a hearing test sorted though if you haven't already.

BackforGood Thu 21-Jul-16 22:57:00

Nothing in your op says 'autism' to me.
Have a look at the iCan website. Lots of tips and ideas on there, and they have a helpline where you can speak to a SaLT.

CocktailQueen Thu 21-Jul-16 23:06:02

As long as they understand what you're saying, and can follow instructions, don't worry too much.

Dd's speech took off after 2 - she started talking in sentences!

Also, have her hearing tested - glue ear can cause delays in talking

digitalpaintartist Fri 22-Jul-16 09:01:01

Thanks for the replies. I will arrange a hearing test. The M-Cat site was interesting, thanks for that suggestion. The reason I have been worried about ASD is because both my mum and MiL seem hellbent on that being the cause and are constantly asking about DS talking and development. I know they're just concerned but it just makes me paranoid!

ceara Fri 22-Jul-16 09:59:06

Has anyone had an example of this where their child has suddenly started to talk?

Yes! Much like lovelymonkey's experience up thread. No words by 2nd birthday except mama/Dada (and query whether those were just babble). Half a dozen words at 2.3. Hundreds of words and full sentences/conversations by 2 1/2. So it can happen! But I think the issue is that late talkers who will spontaneously catch up are really indistinguishable at 2 from those who will need more support, so seeking support early is wise, particularly as there are often long waiting times for SLT.

I will admit to filling out the MChat questionnaire a fair few times before he found his words... but it always came back low risk. There are many reasons for late talking including "no obvious reason whatsoever".

Does your DS point, make animal or car noises, play back and forth games like peekaboo or ball rolling games? These are all positives, as is good receptive language/understanding.

For ideas on how to support your DS, the Hanen Centre website is good and their book "It Takes Two to Talk" is expensive but a really practical and accessible resource.

You're probably doing this anyway but strategies our SLT encouraged were:
1. Lots of 1-2-1 play time following his lead and narrating what he's doing, using simple phrases and repeating keywords at least 3 times ("we're eating bananas. Mmm, tasty bananas. I like bananas.")
2. Not pushing him to say words but doing lots of modelling what he might say (he points to a banana, you say "you'd like a banana")
3. OWL-ing (see
4. Praise any communication attempts and give masses of encouragement!
5. Makaton or other supportive signing is good to practice 2-way communication if the words aren't coming.
6. Write down his new words as he acquires them, it will be useful to the SLT.
7. Don't ask lots of questions, especially not questions to test Eg "can you say "banana"? Or "what's this?"

Good luck - and don't forget to have fun with him and enjoy his toddlerhood, don't let the worries about speech overwhelm that.

digitalpaintartist Fri 22-Jul-16 11:01:24

Thanks Ceara!
DS isn't making sounds for cars or animals (unless I'm not listening close enough). But does make a repetitive sound when pointing to the sky at planes (he's completely obsessed with searching them out). It does sound like 'look' but isn't actually the word. He will pass a ball back and forth, engages in a lot of imaginative play and seems to understand most instructions. M-Cat did say my answers put DS 'at risk' but that 90% of the time it's just a development delay rather than ASD. I don't know. It's so difficult not to worry but then I do feel that whatever the outcome, we will just have to get on with it and do the best. Would like the speech therapist referral to hurry up and seeing GP next week to get referral for hearing (although DS hears the planes way before I do?!!). I am SAHM so able to spend a lot of 1-1 time with DS so do spend time on the floor describing his play and every time he has something I say what it is etc. Perhaps I'm a little to desperate to hear as word so do ask him if he can say XYZ too much. Will stop that. Thanks again.

pleasemothermay1 Fri 22-Jul-16 11:04:50

Boys can be a bit lazy with there development and are known n for taking the path of lest resistant

So if they can be understood with out having to do the hard bit they will

Mine didn't speak until 29 months he's 16 can't shut him up now

He had some delay but don't be tempted to jump on the special needs train

Childre are like athletes they finish the race at Diffrent rates but they all finish the race

He will speak he won't be 18 and not be able to say anything so don't worry he will catch up

Read to him talk to him love him

ceara Fri 22-Jul-16 11:52:53

On the M- Chat, did you look at the follow up questions as well? They are designed to drill down a little further into answers that on their face suggest an "at risk" screening result. Sometimes this removes the worry. For example, my DS hates hand dryers which was a "risk" answer on the basic test but drilling down further through the follow up questions demonstrated that in his case it wasn't a concern. You can find the follow up questions here
If you're still concerned then at least you're seeing GP next week so can bring it up then?

Being able to give him lots of 1-2-1 time is great. My DS is also at home with either me or DH as we both went P/T. Are you at the point yet of wanting to thump the next person who makes a concerned face and suggests that if you read to DS / talked to him / turn the TV off.... or sent him to nursery...? I know I was!

Be prepared too for the SLT to reiterate the obvious and to recommend a lot of basics that you've already been doing. I really wanted to be told that we'd been doing it all wrong and there was a magic bullet... sadly not! But it's still reassuring to get professional confirmation that you are doing the best you can for him and advice on anything you can tweak.

digitalpaintartist Fri 22-Jul-16 12:00:17

Ceara, yes, exactly that! I really want to scream at everyone to leave us alone. DS is so loving and funny. We have such fun together and then BAM, someone will make a comment about him not talking and it's like a black cloud. He is going to start pre school in Sept for two afternoons a week and they have been really enthused that I have already got DS a referral. I don't mind the HV, GP and assessors giving advice. In fact, at our speech assessment, I realised that I had probably allowed DS to be lazy by thinking I know what he wants before he wants it e.g getting him water without him asking but just having it there so he has it. Hope that makes sense. DH is quite worried and I have to tell him not to pressure DS but I think MiL has really worried DH as all other grandchildren in family were talking by now. DS was also late to walk and didn't start until 19 months but now he's all over the place. He was prem but only by 5 weeks so not sure that makes a difference TBH.

digitalpaintartist Fri 22-Jul-16 12:02:28

Thanks pleasemothermay1, that's encouraging to hear. DS has a story at his nap and bedtime (I love reading anyway) and we use the story books that have the sounds you can press, during the day. He really likes those books and they were recommended to help him distinguish sounds. I guess, it's just a waiting game!

coffeemachine Fri 22-Jul-16 20:27:19

He will speak he won't be 18 and not be able to say anything so don't worry he will catch up

please, not sure if you have ever heard about it but some children / adults remain non-verbal. disabilities come in many shapes and forms.

museumum Fri 22-Jul-16 20:30:26

If he communicated well non-verbally I really wouldn't worry.
Ds had managed five words by the time he was actually two (not very well pronounced).
He had his HV assessment at 27 mo and by then was chatting "normal for age" and now at nearly 3 he's very talkative with a wide vocabulary.

Propertyquandry Fri 22-Jul-16 20:48:07

It's really not helpful for posters to come on and say 'oh he'll be fine. They all talk in the end' because whilst the overwhelming majority do, a small minority will not.

Having said that, nothing from your initial post s teams autism to me. The pointing is a very good sign. Does he point to show and share as well as to answer? So when you are in the garden, will he point to an aeroplane or a squirrel or bird. If so, does he turn around to check you're looking at what he's trying to show you? If so, then that's a very good indication that it's not asd.
At his age non verbal communication is far more important and indicative than speech. So does he point? Does he bring things to show you and share with you? Does he share his biscuit with you? Does he pretend to pour a cup of tea? Does he play with toys appropriately rather that just pick up and drop or spin the wheels? Is he open to change in routine? Does he have any noise or texture sensitivities? All this is important.

Can I ask? You say the MChat suggests at risk. Which questions do you think he 'failed' at? Certain questions could suggest add and others may suggest a hearing issue. Either way, it's an excellent screening tool and should be enough to secure a referral to a paed. Don't wait for the Salt appointment. Get to your GP and tell them what the MChat test says and firmly request a referral. It is statistically likely that he may just be taking a little longer. However, if he does have a communication disorder then early intervention is crucial and the earlier you can get in there with something like an ESDM programme the greater chance he could reach his potential. I know it's difficult but please don't bury your head in the sand. Being proactive will not make him autistic. If he isn't, great, no harm done. If he is, you'll have been an amazing mum to get in there and get him seen so early. Good luck.

Propertyquandry Fri 22-Jul-16 20:49:41

That wasn't aimed at you, museumum. X posted there. You are correct that non-verbal communication is the key.

SweetPea79 Fri 22-Jul-16 21:02:39

Are you a multi-lingual house? That can have an effect too.

digitalpaintartist Fri 22-Jul-16 23:03:49

Hi Property,

Thanks for your reply. DS points to planes and birds and runs to DH and I to make sure we are looking too. If he wants something, he'll open the correct cupboard or drawer (that he can reach) and bring said item to me. He plays with his cars (Disney Pixar Cars is his favourite), likes to pretend play with a toy phone that we both sit and 'chatter' on, plays ball with DH inside and out and also loves it when we play with his baby's first instruments and 'sing'. I feel like these are all good signs... He is also good at taking basic instructions, he'll take my hand when told, come to me when asked and pick up anything he might have dropped. At the speech assessment we attended, the assessor was quite clear that DS' understanding is fine but the concern is his ability to form words.
I don't want to be naive and just believe he'll start talking. I want to get the ball rolling on any help DS might require ASAP. I know it might happen but in the event it doesn't, well it would be good to be in the system as such and be on the path to getting the right help.

digitalpaintartist Fri 22-Jul-16 23:04:26

We aren't a multi lingual household, no.

Propertyquandry Sat 23-Jul-16 01:12:03

His understanding sounds fine. And tbh, if he's pointing and playing appropriately and he understands instructions then I think it's unlikely to be autism. But I'm not a paediatrician so cannot say for sure. But all the above are very good signs. I'd still push for a referral though as clearly there are some issues being flagged by the MChat.

NickyEds Tue 26-Jul-16 13:56:11

Hi, my ds is 2.7 and had perhaps 2 words at 2 years old. Just before his second birthday I took him to a SALT drop in session where he was assessed and we were told to go away and return in three months. We did and he was assessed again and sent for a hearing test (which came back satisfactory) then the SALT visited him at pre school. He had his first SALT session two weeks ago. Ds has come on quite a lot over the last six months but not the explosion of words people often describe. When I last spoke to the SALT we added up his words (or at least the ones I could remember) and he had around 30-40, and the therapist said that a 2.5 year old would typically have between 50 and 200 words. We included some animal noises and vehicle noises etc. I think sometimes it's easy to see other toddlers around you and worry as it seems they are way ahead(I know we shouldn't compare but everyone I know does)but sometimes you just don't notice the other 2 year olds who aren't talking either. I'm not saying don't worry (I well know that would be pointless!)but two is still very young.

I agree with the points ceara made, especially about not asking questions and testing. I found myself constantly asking ds to talk "can you say it ds??", "What do you say " etc and it doesn't help. Modelling talking and praising any attempts at talking are what we're doing now.

Lily27 Tue 28-Nov-17 11:53:22

Hi digitalpaintartist, I just came across this thread and my son who is nearly 2 is EXACTLY the same. We too are concerned about his speech but his other communication is great. Can I ask what happened, did you son need therapy or did it resolve by itself? Thanks!

Lily27 Tue 28-Nov-17 11:54:43

Hi digitalpaintartist, I just came across this thread and my son who is nearly 2 is EXACTLY the same. We too are concerned about his speech but his other communication is great. Can I ask what happened, did you son need therapy or did it resolve by itself? Thanks!

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