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18 months and no words - is it worth seeing the HV?

(26 Posts)
AveEldon Tue 30-Jan-18 15:07:24

My 18 mth old has no words - lots of babbling though - I think he can hear and understand us okay

Is there any point seeing the HV at this point?

OP’s posts: |
BooBooBoots Tue 30-Jan-18 15:11:13

I just posted a very similar about my 18 month old son! I don't know what the answer is but whatever's going on you aren't alone.

Is your child walking yet? Mine still isn't.

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 30-Jan-18 15:45:05

I was going to post similar. My son has just 3 words. I feel so down and worried.
I spoke to HV on phone and she said but he’s only 18 months. Yes but they have to start somewhere don’t they?! The prob is it’s hard to know if it is an issue or they save money but not doing anything until later on ? ( incase it resolves and they start talking)

He says less than he did at age 1. My little one doesn’t babble. He just says Mum, Dad and Up. And points a lot.

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 30-Jan-18 15:45:48

Sorry for the typos above on my phone

user1471426142 Tue 30-Jan-18 17:11:15

You can download the ages and stages questionnaires and scoring for different ages (if you google you should fine the 18 month one) which might give you a rough indication of whether there are areas where children aren’t meeting expectations. My little girl was slightly behind on communication at the 1 year check according to the questionnaire and it has consistently been her weaker skill but she seems to have caught up now at 19 months. I found it reassuring to see things as part of a whole set of development area and the communication section includes more than just number of words etc.

It was reassuring for me but I’d have found it a helpful tool to start a conversation with the HV if the questionnaire had highlighted areas of concern.

Summerdays2014 Tue 30-Jan-18 18:29:09

I went to the health visitor at 18 months as my son had no words at all. His understanding was good though. They gave me a number to self refer for a hearing test, pointed me in the direction of some websites and said they don’t really worry until they are 2. My son turned 2 a few weeks ago and his speech is now amazing! Full sentences and countless individual words. He only started a few months ago, but it was a massive and very quick change (almost overnight.)

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 30-Jan-18 18:46:07

That’s great ! Was his hearing ok then? My little ones understanding seems good too, it’s just the waiting which is nerve wracking. My DH thinks he’s absolutely fine but he doesn’t see any other children.

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 30-Jan-18 18:49:44

@ user My DS was behind on the one year check on comms .. everything else has been on time in terms of milestones, waking etc. I will look for the questionnaires

Summerdays2014 Tue 30-Jan-18 18:54:21

Yes hearing fine. I was so worried and my husband, like yours, thought he was fine. I’m glad I took him to the health visitor as she offered reassurance but I was still very concerned. It really was like a switch was flipped one day and now there is no stopping him. He was an early walker at 11 months and constantly on the go (still is) so I wonder if he was concentrating on his physical skills first.

icantdothis2017 Tue 30-Jan-18 19:54:50

Mine is 23.5 months and only has 5 words.
She had none at 18 months and at 18 months you don't need to worry at all

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 30-Jan-18 20:12:18


My concern is it maybe that they catch up or have a language explosion or it maybe they don’t. Is the unknown of whether they will. It’s great your DD is making progress.

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 30-Jan-18 20:13:39

@summer days

Thanks my DS is very physical too, I will try again with HV just so on radar. Fingers crossed he does as well.

AveEldon Tue 30-Jan-18 21:09:35

Thanks, I checked the ASQ 18 mths questionnaire - we are in the grey area for Communication and Personal and Social

I'm happy to see the HV if they will provide some input but if it's just website resources and talk to your child more then I won't bother

My child walked around 12 mths - earlier than my others did

OP’s posts: |
Goldmandra Tue 30-Jan-18 21:30:36


I was once told by a S&LT that they would rather see 20 children who will turn out to be fine at this age if if means they also get the one who needs their support because early intervention is really crucial for speech and language development.

AveEldon Thu 01-Feb-18 07:07:48

Well after three phone calls I've been told someone will call me back

OP’s posts: |
Goldmandra Fri 02-Feb-18 14:58:54

It sounds like they need to develop their own communication skills too!

AveEldon Fri 02-Feb-18 15:22:31


OP’s posts: |
Sparrowlegs248 Sat 03-Feb-18 20:08:04

Ds1 said the odd word, rarely repeated, but didn't really start until he was 2yrs 4 months. He got a few words in a few weeks. That was November. Now, he does not stop. He recites books in their entirety (think Gruffalo, bear hunt etc) he counts, properly, not just reciting. He repeats everything he hears. It's astonishing.

I had taken him to a SALT drop in who concluded that he had a significant delay. He has bounded ahead of his peers in a matter of weeks.

So it's not always something to worry about, but worth going to a salt drop in if there is one near you.

Ds showed no lack of understanding, could hear (though we were referred for a hearing test) and follow instructions easily.

Dizzylin Sat 03-Feb-18 21:29:19

My DS is 2.5yo didn't say anything at 18mo but now we can't shut him up, he has lors of words now. His speach has really started coming on at about 2. He was also a late walker (19mo).

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 06-Feb-18 16:06:56

I spoke to the HV again about being concerned about my DS’s hearing ( 18mths) Then she asked me about his speech. She said to get the doctor to check him over and see if he has ear infections etc and if all clear they will do a hearing test.

Interesting that when I was only concerned about his speech they weren’t interested but in conjunction with hearing they are.

So we will go to the doctors for a check and go from there.

DS can follow instructions so I know he can hear but I do have to repeat myself a lot. It’s hard to know if that’s being a normal toddler or not? He certainly touches his ears a lot and if I speak behind him he doesn’t seem to listen.

Rebeccaslicker Thu 08-Feb-18 11:10:57

I think if they understand you, it's probably nothing to worry about - I know lots of kids who barely spoke until they were about 2, but then the floodgates opened. My DP's nephew was about 3.5 before he really spoke (he's still shy!).

But you are doing absolutely the right thing in getting it checked - if your baby does need help you'll get on the radar but hopefully it'll just reassure you, and soon you'll be begging for him to shush 🤞🏻

pullonyourjudgypants Thu 08-Feb-18 17:35:37

@ Rebecca

I’m sure you’re right. I guess it’s just I get a bit hmm when my DS’s friends are saying little sentences and he doesn’t say a word. I suppose i worry too much.

DS will talk the few words he can say with me or Grandparents. I’ve noticed he has become very shy in new situations. He was even shy today having not seen his Aunty for 2 weeks as she’s been on holiday. He clung to me for 45 minutes then started to play with her as usual. Who knows with toddlers ?!

pullonyourjudgypants Tue 27-Mar-18 18:03:41

Thought I’d post update on my 18 month old that only spoke a 2-3 words. He’s now 20 months.

We went to the doctors and had his ears checked. Said all fine apart from fluid in his middle ear on both ears. So would recommend having his hearing tested to see it it is affecting him. Apparently fluid can be a result of a cold.

Had hearing test last week
and he still has the fluid ( glue ear) , but no colds recently. Hearing was ok, but poor
localisation of sound ( couldn’t tell which direction it came from easily) They want to retest him when he’s 2. Apparently it’s a hard to test them below 2 ( they said.) However they say he can hear adequately- I think they said he could hear 2 out of 4 test sounds. Doesn’t sound amazing but it’s a PASS.

My now 20 month old is babbling a lot more but it doesn’t make any sense , and has one new word. We are at 4 regular words now. Hurrah !!! But they arent ones that he needs to say often. He doesn’t say hello or bye.

So we are in the system for hearing but that’s all that is on offer at the moment.

Anyone else’s DC made any progress ?

Hairymaclarysit Thu 29-Mar-18 12:52:13

My DS who is now four had significant speech delay and only properly started speaking (so that people could understand) about 3.5. At 18 months he had about 3 words. He was diagnosed with speech sounds disorder.
Everyone I spoke to about it said oh don’t worry it will happen in a leap and everyone seemed to know someone who spoke late and it was fine. Except with DS it wasn’t fine and we ended up having8 months of speech therapy.
So I would push for a speech referral now because it takes ages to get any NHS sessions. We paid privately from the age of 3. If you don’t need the referral in 6 months then just take your name off the list but in my experience just get your name in the system!
Incidentally I now have an 18 month old DD who says probably close to 100 words, in fact she will copy most words she hears and has just started putting two words together. So don’t let anyone imply it’s something you’re doing. The amount of people who suggested I try reading to my child was absolutely infuriating!

Thehamsterspajamas Sun 01-Apr-18 16:06:44

If you are concerned it’s worth getting him checked out. It’s great he has good understanding And will
Probably have a huge language splurge but just on the off chance there is a reason I’d rather speak to someone about it. DD was a late talker and DGD didn’t ever babble and mainly screeched very loudly at things she liked such as a passing dog at 18 months. At 2.5 her speech is clear and vocabulary is amazing. DD also caught up somewhere between 2 and 2.5.

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