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Not really saying any words at 17months

(18 Posts)
momjeanss Thu 02-May-19 18:58:30

DS is just 17 months and isn't really saying any words. At around 10 months he started saying mum mum mum etc and da da da, and what sounded like dog (we have dogs) but this hasn't developed at all and for the last month or so he's barely said anything. He went through a stage of trying to mimic lots of words and watching anyone talk really closely . He babbles a lot, but he's not saying anything that resembles any words.

The thing that's concerning me is he quite often ignores me, although I think his hearing is ok. He will occasionally bring things to me if I ask and point, but often he'll just ignore me and carry on with whatever he's doing. He mimics a lot of activities he sees, if for example I point and say look at the dog he'll point and blurt out a sound. He always pretends to sweep up and wipe the table. He will also do actions for certain words like nursery rhymes, or if I say no he shakes his head.

He's my first and I'm not sure if he'll just catch up or whether there is something to be worried about!

OP’s posts: |
AladdinMum Fri 03-May-19 10:11:35

At 18M only 8 word approximations are required. Animal sounds would count (so moo, baa, woof, etc), or any approximation (even if it does not sound like the actual word) that is used consistently. So for example, if he makes a certain sound only when he sees a dog (like you seem to suggest) then that would count as a word. So at 17M he does not sound delayed as in one month he can easily learn those eight word approximations. However, I wouldn't worry too much about words as speech delays are very common at 18-24M and tends to clear by itself. At this age, speech is only 10-15% of their communication 'toolbox' so even more important than words is to make sure they are communicating effectively to meet their needs and to share their interests with you using the other 85% of their communication toolbox (by for example pointing to request/share).

From your description, your son is showing you things (sharing interests), following simple directions, pointing, pretend playing, mimicking, shaking his head for no (this counts as a communicative gesture), etc - he sounds on track smile

rainbowbash Sat 04-May-19 15:14:47

at that age, spoken language isnt really important. much more important that he understands (at 17 month he should be able to understand simple commands such as where is the ball?/get your shoes!/show me xyz/ answer simple yes/no question such as more food? ( by nodding/shaking head).

if you think he doesn't understand either, I would speak to GP/HV.

might be worth getting referred to a hearing test. that's a quick and easy way to rule out hearing issues.

momjeanss Sat 04-May-19 17:32:07

Hi both

Thanks for your replies

I don't think his understanding is great. He will very occasionally follow a simple instruction such as bring me a book, but most of the time he just ignores me or mimics my pointing action and make a sound (although sounds are not usually consistent). It's as though he doesn't hear me, but then other times he responds. He does get very waxy ears so perhaps I will try and get his hearing checked

I think that's the thing that worries me most is that he will just ignore me 70% of the time. He's very affectionate/cuddley and loves playing together with his toys. He's an odd mix - very sociable when he first arrives somewhere, wants to greet everyone, but then will just ignore people if they try to interact - unless it's on his terms.

OP’s posts: |
momjeanss Sat 04-May-19 17:34:48

Just to add he was absolutely obsessed with speech and people talking a few months ago, watching people's mouths intently when they spoke. He still babbles a lot, he is constantly chattering

OP’s posts: |
rainbowbash Sat 04-May-19 17:51:41

I don't think his understanding is great. He will very occasionally follow a simple instruction

sorry but I would not describe the occasional following of a simple command as 'great understanding'.

My DD would follow only occasionally commands at that age and ignored me largely (with hindsight - this way probably due to lack of understanding). When we got her finally assessed, her speech was very much behind (and we got an Asd dx later on too).

some kids are just slower than others but I would at least speak to HV/GP to get s heating test done.

watching people's mouths intently when they spoke.

makes me wonder if there is a hearing issue and the intense mouth watching is a sort of lip reading.

I'd definitely have a chat with a HCP.

If you are worried about ASD, then 17 months is also a good age to look at the M-chat. just Google, it's online. it is a questionnaire which screens (not a diagnosis) for ASD risk. if it flags anything up, mention it. HV/GP should know about the m-chat

momjeanss Sat 04-May-19 17:55:15

Hi Rainbow

That's what I mean - it isn't great! Will speak to the HV/GP next week.

Thanks I will have a look at m-chat

OP’s posts: |
momjeanss Sat 04-May-19 18:00:43

The m chat website keeps brining back an error confused will have to try again later

OP’s posts: |
rainbowbash Sat 04-May-19 18:02:43

Sorry OP - I misread that blush

speak to GP. I found them more useful and see if you get him referred to paed and salt too. don't wait. the waiting lists are endless. We battled 1 year to get referred and then waited another 6 months for initial paed appointment. and the wait to be seen by salt was a whopping 2 years. You can always cancel if things resolve in the meantime.

momjeanss Sat 04-May-19 18:06:30

Yes I will get in touch with them first thing on Tuesday. His dad had to see a salt as a child so it may be connected to that

I managed to have a look at m chat and his risk score is 4 medium?

Thanks so much for your replies, I've really been worrying so it's nice to talk to someone. X

OP’s posts: |
rainbowbash Sat 04-May-19 18:11:32

I managed to have a look at m chat and his risk score is 4 medium?

it's just a screening tool. it just means it flagged up a few things which could indicate ASD, not that he has it. but its worth looking into it a bit more.

rubyroot Sun 05-May-19 11:04:19

My boy is 16 month at 13 month he was saying mamma dadda and book, he has also said nana. Now he just says dadda occasionally, very rarely mamma. He points A LOT and babbles as he does. He can follow orders - sometimes, when he feels like it! He waves- when he feels like it. He has started to say ni ni for night night. He likes to lure people in and make them laugh, he likes stacking his duplo blocks, he can use a fork, he can put some shapes into shape sorter. He’s stopped doing some naughty things as a result of discipline. He has started trying to dress and undress himself. I’m not too worried- tho reading people’s responses on here makes me start questioning myself. Personally, I think look at your baby as a whole, rather than thinking about specific milestones.

rubyroot Sun 05-May-19 11:06:41

And my kid always ignores me! 🤣should I be worried. He’s like fuck off im busy playing with my shit- he’s a very busy active kid

clutterqu33n Sun 05-May-19 18:41:34

And my kid always ignores me! 🤣should I be worried.

are you making fun of the OP? fwiw, my child ignored me and has been diagnosed since with severe Asd. I would worry wether you find it funny or not. hmm

rubyroot Sun 05-May-19 19:43:19

are you making fun of the OP
No! Why on earth would you think that? Im laughing about my toddler actually- read the whole post and I’m sure you could see that. I’m also trying to reassure the op not to worry. If worried the best thing is to see a gp and get referred if necessary, but not to have kid diagnosed on Mumsnet. Yes being ignored could be part of a diagnosis, but it is part of a range of other factors and in context of toddler is doing something more interesting it is not always an issue.

clutterqu33n Sun 05-May-19 20:01:11

nobody is diagnosing the OP's child. she got advice to see a professional.

and as a mum of a child with complex needs I can tell you it is absolutely not helpful up tell a worried mum not to worry based on your own child's experience. some children do indeed have additional needs. not worrying won't make these go away.

momjeanss Mon 06-May-19 12:05:13

I understand what you mean Ruby, and I think it's a good reminder for me to think about DS as a whole and what a lovely, funny, friendly little boy he is.

I also see where you're coming from clutter and I will definitely speaking to the HV/GP this week. Something isn't sitting right, so I'd much rather they reviewed/assess him and it turns out he's ok than miss something and he not get the support he needs.

I've been observing him a lot more closely the last few days, and I've noticed while he's not actually saying proper words I think he's is trying. He's been making a 'buh' sound when I say the word book and a 'chaa' sound when I say ta, which is making me wonder about his hearing. I've also noticed he does animal sounds very well, for example he picked up a book this morning and made the animal sound associated with the picture by himself for all 10 animals.

He is still ignoring me quite a lot though, and I really have no idea if he's hearing me or not.

OP’s posts: |
rubyroot Mon 06-May-19 16:03:47

@momjeanss I’m glad you saw it for the way it was intended- sorry if it sounded like I was just going on about my kid. All first time mums have worries when babies do not hit milestones dead on. It sounds great that your toddler is making animal noises- my 16 month coyldn’t. I too worry when he ignores me, but I’ve also noticed that he doesn’t ignore me when he is not engaged or interested in something else. I noticed on the m chat it asks follow up questions for when you say child doesn’t respond to name- it asks do they respond if not engaged in another activity etc. Anyhow, you’re doing the right thing and off to see gp. Do let us know how it goes. If my boy still not talking by 18 months it’s what we’ll be doing- so he best hurry up- he’s got two months grin

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