18 month old speech development - is this normal?

(26 Posts)
ceebee74 Tue 22-Jan-08 20:57:41

Ds has about 10-15 'words' but at least half of them (if not more) sound nothing (and I mean nothing) like what it is meant to. For example, pudding is 'baba', Thomas is 'gigis' please is kind of saying 'pu' whilst blowing his fringe hmm - so obviously only me and DH (and I have to translate for him half the time) know what DS is saying.

Is this normal - I know that they don't say the words properly at first but is it normal to be so completely different to the actual word?

UniS Tue 22-Jan-08 21:11:32

Think so. parents need to be interpeturs for a while. gradually kid learns to copy teh word you use. I'm told its good thing to say back to them what you think they said in adult words so they get tho hear the real word sound lots and get their efferts acknolegded as legitimate.
Boy switched from saying wo to dog at about 20 m/o. the phone is still ba, fingers are me me. but sorsor is getting closer to sorry, ta is closer to thanks and ees is on teh way to please.

TotalChaos Tue 22-Jan-08 21:12:46

Sounds absolutely normal to me.

yurt1 Tue 22-Jan-08 21:18:28

ds2 did this to an extreme. He was eventually assessed (aged 2 years and 8 months) for verbal dyspraxia (his eldest bro is severely autistic with severe verbal dyspraxia so ds2 was at high risk) it was agreed that he might have verbal dyspraxia - that he needed some SALT etc etc. His speech sounds were developing incorrectly and in the wrong order. He just had an entire vocabulary of his own 'menya' for grandad for example. Anyway within 2 weeks he started talking properly. He's now 6 and is speaking fine. Occasionally he has some problems with odd sounds such as 'k', but completely comprehensible. the SALT isn't really sure what happened with him - it obviously wasn't verbal dyspraxia as it corrected to quickly, I don't think it was related to his brother's autism (unless he was paying particular attention to his speech- as ds1 speaks gobbledigook- ds2's was different gobbledigook though).

At 18 months it isn't really a concern (assuming he understands everything/is pointing/gesturing etc) - if he's still doing it at 2 it would be worth asking for a SALT referral as waits are so long. DS2 wasn't actually seen by an NHS SALT until 3 (having been referred by me on his 2nd birthday- the assessment we had was private).

ceebee74 Tue 22-Jan-08 21:24:16

Yurt - thanks for sharing your experience as it is certainly worth bearing in mind. He does say some words (for example dog, cat, mama, car) perfectly. Others just have a sound missing ('ink' for drink, 'nana' for banana) - it is just all these other 'made-up' words that concern me. He does also point, gesture, shake and nod his head, and seems to understand lots of things, instructions etc.

SpawnChorus Tue 22-Jan-08 21:31:03

My DS has fewer words than yours (he's also 18 months old). I'm not worried

(And how sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet about 'pu' and blowing his fringe....This is such an adorable age isn;t it?)

blueshoes Tue 22-Jan-08 21:38:10

ceebee74, 18 months is rather early to be worrying about speech. My dd's words only started taking off at 2.5 - up to then, my HV just said keep and eye. I spoke briefly to a SALT prior and she wasn't really excited. Dd 4.5 speaks fine now. Dd's cousin spoke from 1 year old.

Speech development varies quite greatly, but it is all quite normal.

yurt1 Tue 22-Jan-08 21:43:48

that's OK ceebee - don't try and correct his speech btw- just model it. Also doing things like getting him to stick his tongou out, lick his lips etc can be helpful.

I say refer at 2 because waiting lists are so long for SALT and if it is verbal dyspraxia then it will need a lot of SALT (usually done by Mums, and 3 is an ideal age to start- you won't get seen at 3 if you wait to refer until then) If it isn't then you can cancel the appointment, or just go for one session.

Does sound quite like ds2 - some words he was fine with- god knows what was going on with him.
If you google apraxia kids (apraxia is the US term for verbal dyspraxia) then you can hear some sound files of children with the condition at various ages. 18 months is probably too young but certainly there are some sound files from 2 year olds.

mysterymachine Tue 22-Jan-08 21:53:48

My ds still doesn't say things properly and grandma is still referred to as blah (he is 2.9) At his 2yr check HV commented that he didn't talk much but was willing to wait before referral - which he didn't need in the end.

Ubergeekian Tue 22-Jan-08 22:02:10

Sounds just like The Boy. Lots of his early words were quite idiosyncratic: some of them backwards and some with substituted sounds. So we started (15m) with Dada and Mama, moved on to Dadoo and Mamoo and have only recently (20m) started hearing Daddy and Mummy ... that final vowel sound is obviously quite tricky. Similarly, boop has only recently become book. Barometer is pretty dodgy (he likes the one in his grandparents' house) and the Abracadabra in Meg and Mog has at least three syllable too many, and normally a giggle as well.

So I wouldn't worry. He has to work out not only what things are called, but also how to work lots and lots of muscles to make the sounds, so things are bound to be a bit odd - or, as we like to think of them, "damned cute" - at times.

Twinklemegan Tue 22-Jan-08 22:11:21

Doesn't it show that he's understanding the concept of language though? I mean who's to say that we all have to call things by the same name. Obviously he knows what he means, and he can tell you know what he means. Therefore he's communicating (I think I got that line of argument from Penelope Leach).

DS (nearly 18 months) says quite a lot of words but there is loads of stuff that is unintelligible. For example, he is forever saying something that sounds like "badger". Now it's definitely NOT badger (although there have been a couple of uncanny coincidences on that score) but what on earth he's saying I don't know. It's a bit like picture, but that's subtly different - it could be "what's that" but I don't think so. He loves it though, whatever it is.

This thread made me chuckle at the mental image of DS and I in a local shop the other day. DS sees picture of duck, he exclaims "car!). I (knowing he means duck) say "oh yes, Duck, good boy" knowing full well people must have thought I was bonkers!
Duck sounds a bit like clock you see. He can't say clock so he says car. Hence Duck = Car. Toddlers eh?!

kbaby Tue 22-Jan-08 22:21:31


DS only says aout 6 words that are understandable and even then I can only tell what they are if hes pointing at them at the same time. He says lots of sounds that obv mean something to him but I sure as cant work them out.

My friends little boy called lots of things by different names until he was about 2.5.

SpawnChorus Wed 23-Jan-08 21:49:26

<<pointless aside>> UGI - We call our DS The Boy too grin

melsy Fri 25-Jan-08 10:47:46

ooohh I love those unique words for things and saved dd1's on a spreadsheet wiht the real word next to them blush *virgo tendancies!!!!. Youll remember them for years to come though.

dd2 however has just started saying some things at 17mths and has a grand repertoire of ;

uh oh
oh no

& just about,


slng Fri 25-Jan-08 11:20:19

ds2 (20 months) says

chu chu chai - train
diggydigger - digger
bugger - bicycle/motorbike
oo oo ah ah ah - monkey

And "oooo DEAR" whenever anything
doesn't go his way or he bumps into anything.

So ceebee- they improve(?) by leaps and bounds from 18 months.

cc21 Fri 25-Jan-08 12:45:28

ceebee, my DD is 17 mths and I posted on here the other week about her lack of speach!

Mind you she was watching 'In the Night Garden' the other day and shouted 'igga', when iggle piggle appeared - i have never been prouder. grin

ceebee74 Fri 25-Jan-08 15:23:55

CC21 - lol at your DD. DS calls Iggle Piggle 'giga' so at least some of the sounds are there!

Thanks for the replies - I feel a little bit more reassured that it is perfectly normal. Although a friend told me today that her DS, who is a month younger than mine, is now counting to 3 - grrrr- just when I was starting to feel better about it......

lizandlulu Fri 25-Jan-08 15:28:08

my dd says bee for pennies!! its cute, maybe only to me though grin

claireybee Fri 25-Jan-08 15:33:56

Wen dd was 17 months I was jealous that my friend's 20 month old was speaking almost in sentences while dd only had a few words, and most of them only understandable to me. I couldn't imagine dd getting to that level of speech in only 3 months. Then at 19 months dd's speech suddenly accelerated and she started saying loads of things that I didn't even know she knew. She also started putting words together to make sentences and although she can't say everything he could say, she can probably say things that he couldn't

lizandlulu Fri 25-Jan-08 15:36:44

dont compare kids. it doesnt make you feel any better. even if they are the same age, your ds can probably do things others cant.
my friens son is 6 weeks older than my dd. he can speak much better and count to 3, but my dd is so much better at running and jumping

thebecster Fri 25-Jan-08 15:43:57

Oh those smug people who tell you what theirs is doing... ignore, ignore, ignore. Or reply in a way that will de-smug them. 'Really? Just now? Wow, you must be so relieved he's finally counting...'

DS (20 mths) has his own words too, I love them so much... Some are phonetic eg:-
Giggle - Iggle Piggle
PacMac - Macca Pacca
Oh-Dee - Upsy Daisy
Osheeen - Washing (ie Laundry, his favourite chore...)
Queening - Cleaning (no, you're too young for lipstick, dear, here's a duster instead)
FFFFer - Dog (Woof)
Gogo - Yogurt
Neena - Fire Engine

But some are just plain weird:-
Gig - Biscuit
Paypal - bath
Ermm. There are others, can't think of them now.

But then he'll suddenly come out with a complex sentence delivered with 1950s BBC accent, which after all the 'paypal' nonsense really throws us.
My son is a weirdo. Oh but so cute I could just die...

Sunshinemummy Fri 25-Jan-08 15:46:54

DS's best one is his word for swimming - bintiden. We have no idea why and even we we say 'do you want to go swimming' he will reply 'yup bintiden'. It's really sweet.

ceebee74 Fri 25-Jan-08 15:48:04

thebecster - now why didn't I think to say that when she told me - must remember that line next time! Obviously your DS is a 'Night Garden' fanatic like mine wink

I have to admit the words are cute and am just pondering on the spreadsheet idea as suggested by Melsey so we can keep a record of them.

bigbadwulf Fri 25-Jan-08 18:47:21

Message withdrawn

FranMay Sat 26-Jan-08 21:48:08

We had 'oh no' for 'playground' for a long long time with our DS who was a late talker. It was 'oh no' cos in one playground there was a squeaky wheel and his grandad would say 'oh no' everytime he turned it... Such a shame he now say 'payground'. So boring!

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