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Did anyone have a child with limited understanding at 18-20 months?

(127 Posts)
mscongeniality Thu 01-Dec-16 08:07:27

My son had an appointment with a Paediatrician yesterday due to his lack of speech at almost 20 months and she thinks its better to get him early intervention now rather than later.

My bigger concern is that he doesn't seem to understand or respond to simple tasks and commands either so his language can't progress until he starts understanding it.

I'm just wondering if anyone had an 18-20 month child who had limited understanding but started progressing later?

OP’s posts: |
QuiteLikely5 Thu 01-Dec-16 08:09:15

I did. Can I ask what the paediatrician said about it?

neolara Thu 01-Dec-16 08:09:38

Are they going to check his hearing too? Glue ear a major culprit for this type of thing.

mscongeniality Thu 01-Dec-16 08:13:21

QuiteLikely5 - the Paed said it was too early to label him with anything but its better to start early Speech Therapy now even in case he is a late bloomer. So I guess I'm glad she took it seriously and didn't just fob it off. How is your child doing now?

neolara - Yes he had a hearing test last week and did very well. He heard all the sounds and responded to them. The doctor noticed a bit of fluid built up but he did have a bad cold at the time so he wants us to come again in a few months to make sure its been cleared up. But I don't think his hearing is the problem.

He does respond to his name 50/50 it just depends if he's distracted by something or not. My main issue with him is that its SO hard to get his attention to focus on anything. I talk to him a lot but I feel like he doesn't focus and he's always so hyper and barely sits. He likes to play with books but on his own, not with me.

OP’s posts: |
Northernlurker Thu 01-Dec-16 08:14:14

I had a child whose language was very limited at that age, almost non-existent tbh. However her understanding was very good and eventually she started talking. I agree hearing is the first thing to look at, is that what they are going to do?

mscongeniality Thu 01-Dec-16 08:17:55

He is social and happy otherwise, never has tantrums, he goes to nursery one day a week and hasn't had any trouble settling in.

Its just his communication I'm worried about...

He was a premie, he was born about 6 weeks early. But I think hes a bit more behind even if we take that into account thats why the Paed wanted to intervene now.

OP’s posts: |
mscongeniality Thu 01-Dec-16 08:18:52

He's had a hearing test and its fine, not the issue. He seems to just ignore me in general but when he hears other things that interest him he comes running like nursery rhymes etc.

OP’s posts: |
mscongeniality Thu 01-Dec-16 08:19:27

Northernlurker - yes that's why I'm more concerned due to his lack of understanding and asking if anyone had a child like that at his age.

OP’s posts: |
mscongeniality Tue 06-Dec-16 15:31:38


Having a hard day with my DS today. Just feeling a bit hopeless.

I try to teach him things but its like nothing is going in most of the time. His attention always seems to be somewhere else.

There are so many things he doesn't do, including not holding his milk bottle to drink himself, doesn't drink water by himself from a sippy cup, doesn't like to bite any finger food, not even a banana. I have to mash it and feed by spoon.
I thought maybe he's just not into learning these things yet and will get there eventually but I'm just exhausted and tired of having a baby who doesn't seem to be growing up.

OP’s posts: |
coffeemachine Tue 06-Dec-16 20:02:58

I did. Dd has only about 10-15 words at that age (I know, some children don't have any at this point) but she was not able to follow instructions. Response to name was hit/miss. She didn't even understand simple yes/no questions (e.g. more food?).

we received later a dx of autism and learning diffs. I had a friend with a similar child and he caught up though.

what did paed suggest as next step?

hotdog74 Wed 07-Dec-16 09:30:13

My DD was 6 weeks perm and had no words at 18 months and very limited up to 2 years. Her hearing was checked etc and nothing was found. At about 2.2 years she went from a few single words to 3 word sentences literally within about 3 weeks and from there she flew. We have video of her at exactly 2 and a half fully conversant with good pronunciation. So I would say listen to the paed and get the tests done, but don't worry too much just yet.

Bubspub Wed 07-Dec-16 11:46:31

My son has maybe 10 fairly unclear words and we worry about his understanding of certain things, he is 19mo. We notice that other children at his nursery bring each other's coats when one is ready to leave. Our DS would never do that, but it's hard to know if it's a lack of understanding or lack of interest in doing that. His interest is often elsewhere and he is brilliant at specific things he is interested in. I think don't underestimate the influence of their personalities. Some are less 'compliant' than others! Sometimes I think our DS's strong will and personality hold him back from sitting and learning things like some of the other children. Maybe it's a similar thing for your LO?

mscongeniality Tue 13-Dec-16 13:06:07

So I finally got the report from the Community Paed through in the mail, and it included the referral to SALT as well as a referral to the local SEN department to let them know that he might be a child who requires SE in the future.

The thing that stood out to me was that she wrote that its pointing to Global Developmental Delay but when I looked up more information about that its pointing to serious things like Down's Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as well as mental incapacities.
Well I honestly don't think he has any of that. He was on the later end for ALL his milestones but still within the accepted limits. He was a premie so I think that could account for that.
As for mental capacity, when he wants to figure something out he does. Many months ago he figured out how the baby gate works, so if we ever accidentally leave it off the latch, he knows to push it up and push open the door and escape. Surely that shows he is intelligent enough? I think he just doesn't focus on things that interest him. He can stack 5 tower blocks and he learnt to do that all on his own a while ago.
I am leaning towards a diagnosis of ADHD but that can't be officially diagnosed until 4/5 apparently. He is always on the go, doesn't want to sit and do any activity unless it interests him.

OP’s posts: |
hilbil21 Tue 13-Dec-16 13:16:18

I would say my little boy is a bit like this. He's 20 months - NEVER responds to his name. Ever. He knows what no means when I tell him not to do something but if I ask him something he doesn't understand the concept of answering no or yes. He can count to 10 but other than that I would say he has maybe 5 other words? People keep telling me not to worry but I'm really starting to wonder if I should take him to see someone. Would it be our own doctor or health visitor?

mscongeniality Tue 13-Dec-16 13:30:50

hilbil21 Your boy is doing quite well to have words and be able to count but if you're concerned you should get referred via your HV. Mine referred us to the Community Paed and after her assessment he has been referred for SALT.

OP’s posts: |
hilbil21 Tue 13-Dec-16 13:32:02

Ok I will contact health visitor this week see what they say thank you

dinor Tue 13-Dec-16 13:35:41

My 2 year old had an hearing test last week and he has to go back in a few months because he was to young for the one test, and to old for the other apparently, but I think he will be referred to a speech therapist. He doesn't follow many instructions for instances if I asked him to get his coat he wouldn't, he does say a few things but not enough I just think at this age they are still young and all children are different, I'm not really that worried about him at the moment.

I hate it when people say "carry on speaking to him" like as if he doesn't get spoken to, I talk him through everything we do through the day and try and teach him but it just doesn't seem to go in or interest him.

user1471540542 Tue 13-Dec-16 14:30:06

I did, he sounds a lot like my son at that age. He is 5 now and we now have a diagnosis of autism and he also has a genetic disorder that does not affect his overall health but has caused develomental delays.
Hopefully you will get good help and support from SALT.
Hilbil if you are concerned I would ask for a SALT referral, can go through either GP or HV. It can take a while to get referral through so better to get things started.

hilbil21 Tue 13-Dec-16 14:35:00

Ok it might actually be easier for me to go through GP will give them a phone in morning. Thank you

zen1 Tue 13-Dec-16 14:51:08

My DS was like this at 18 months. He used to sit placidly, could not walk and could understand hardly anything. He was late with all his motor milestones. However, he was very smiley and babbled a lot and wanted to be part of games with older siblings. He was seen by a SALT at 18 months as I expressed concerns about autism, but she felt he was too sociable, even though his undestanding wasn't good.

However, aged 3 was diagnosed with ASD and a year later with severe dyspraxia. He's now 7 and can walk, talk and run, but still has language and motor difficulties compared to other children his age and has support at school. He is funny, sweet-natured and can hold his own in an argument.

I think it is great your son has been referred for intervention so early. It could well be that his prematurity is causing some of his delays, but it is better that you are in the system so that if anything else is identified, you can access any services they offer.

bojorojo Tue 13-Dec-16 15:33:44

I think I might increase his nursery provision. As he gets older, they will expect him to join in wth activities and follow instructions. Sometimes children will accept instruction from a nursery nurse, but not Mum. They also see that other children are doing what is asked, so they join in. I would be pleased about early intervention - so often it is late!

Chhalma Tue 13-Dec-16 23:05:21

Hi Zen1 and user1471540542
My 22 month old son doesn't talk not even point , or wave or clap. Doesn't respond to his name always, sometimes does. Doesn't follow instruction for instance if I say bring ur teddy or put something in bin. Even ask to share something he is playing just ignore. Does'nt move his eye if I want to show him something (look at this car or something) Spends hour after hour with small dish to collect stuff like crayon , building block , garlic everything. Throw everything everywhere and
empty rubbish bin. Doesn't draw. If I want to draw he will take my color and throw or collect in his dish. Not interested to listen story only loves to turn the Book pages.He is very good boy. Self conscious . He loves his little sister who is 3 month old. If I am busy try to keep himself busy with collecting thing in a dish.not interested to play with toy very much. Even not in new thing. His playing is very simple and same pattern. Sonetime he walks with toes and flap his hand. Sometimes round in a circle.
I googled and all of his signs are ASD syoptom. I am very worried if he has autism . It made me sick. Can't think anything.

He has been seen by pead two weeks ago. Dr did done blood test and chromosome test. Pead told could be normal delay or autism. Waiting for result.

I want to know about ur child 's current situation. How are they doing daily life and academically .

Best regards
Very worried mom

zen1 Wed 14-Dec-16 00:22:59

Chhalma, it is worrying when you notice your child is not developing typically and you want answers. Hopefully the paed will be able to give you more information soon. My son used to love collecting small toys in a shape-sorting box, emptying it, then filling it again. He also loved musical toys and ones with flashing lights and sounds. He didn't play with any roll-playing toys, but when he was 2, he enjoyed trains, cars and buses.

Academically, he is behind his peers because of his understanding, although he can read, knows all his shapes, recognises numbers and can do very basic maths. He has extreme sensory issues with regard to touch and food. However, he understands sarcasm and likes to joke with people and has a fantastic memory. He is also musical (could sing in tune way before he could talk). He talked in simple sentences when he was about 4 (started putting two words together at 3) and his language has improved greatly since he has been at school. However, when he was your son's age, I didn't think he would walk or talk. Infact, I posted about it on here at the time and got good support.

Hopefully, your paed will be able to recommend some intervention and refer your son for speech therapy. Are you in the UK?

coffeemachine Wed 14-Dec-16 06:31:59

OP, global developmental delay ist really a diagnosis but more a description of his difficulties.

Children who get this dx often get a more 'refined' dx later on (e.g. autism)

Lovemylittlebear Wed 14-Dec-16 06:44:03

Take a look at early intervention and google the verbal behaviour approach. Predominantly used for children with autism or developmental delay but the strategies are used to increase skills like receptive communication (understanding) and speech (asking for things, labelling things, early conversation skills etc). It also looks at joint attention, play skills and other areas like feeding/self help etc. X

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