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Speech development - advice please

(19 Posts)
katierocket Thu 23-Jan-03 14:36:50

Hi there
my first time posting here but I always think the discussions seem very well informed.
My little boy is nearly 16 months and is not yet saying any words apart from ma-ma and da-da.
He understands loads and babbles on with inflection and pointing as though he were speaking but there are no 'real' words.
I've read to him since he was 3 months and always spoke to him since birth, telling him what I was doing, pointing things out etc.
Should I be worried - like I say, he is really animated in his 'conversations' and lots of people have pointed that out but there are no actual words.

Am I being overly worried mother?!

zebra Thu 23-Jan-03 15:15:24

My 16 month olds don't say any words, at all -- you've got 2?, don't be greedy! . I think you have some cause to worry if they get to 2yo and haven't managed any 2 word phrases yet (although it was 25 months for my DS), or have a vocab. of less than 20 words at 2yo. MY DH didn't talk until 3... and thereafter didn't shut up (says family lore).

Frieda Thu 23-Jan-03 15:35:49

My friend's little girl didn't have any words that anyone (apart from her mum) could understand at her 2-year check, which was done at about 21/4. She's just 4 now and speaking perfectly normally – and can even read and write her name as well as recognise all the letters in the alphabet, so no communication problems there. My friend was really worried at her 2yr check, and thought she'd need speech therapy, however the health visitor wasn't overly worried, but put her down on the waiting list. By the time the speech therapy appointment came through, the little girl was saying a lot more, and they cancelled the appointment. It seems her father was late to speak and it may well be some kind of late developmental inherited characteristic that has no bearing on any future problems. It sounds like you're doing all the right things, katierocket. I'd definitely wait a few more months before starting to worry.

Furball Thu 23-Jan-03 16:05:37

My 18 month DS only says 'car' and thats because hes potty about them. My DH was a late talker, then came out with a sentence! So maybe ours are just 'storing' all the info they need first.

katierocket Thu 23-Jan-03 16:27:57

thanks for the responses, it is odd isn't it that you can get so hung up on general development milestone 'charts'. it does seem like he really wants to talk but you know what its like - meet one mum who says "my little boy/girl can say 20 words" and you start to think...
I should learn to ignore all that!

oxocube Thu 23-Jan-03 17:28:05

Hi Katierocket, our d.s is 15 months so about the same age and only says mama and dada and another sound which means various things according to what he's pointing at at the time!(We currently have the same word for milk, sheep, hot and light!) I know its hard, but learn to ignore the show offs - in 2 years time you'll be wishing your little one would shut up

Jama Thu 23-Jan-03 18:53:34


My 3-year old son seems to have speech development problems. In particular, his articulation is poor, vocabulary limited, and he is not good at all in building phrases and sentences - in fact, just started putting two words together. I am concerned he may have other/overall devt problems as well. I want to show him to speech therapists and devt paediatricians. Can anybody recommend a good experienced private practitioners in London/Surrey area? I would be immensely grateful.
Thank you

GillW Thu 23-Jan-03 19:35:00

I've got a 16 month old who doesn't say any single words except "mumum" and "dadad" either - none of the usual "cat" and "dog" type words - but just this last week or so he's suddenly started coming out with fairly clear two word phrases - "oh dear" (to accompany deliberately dropping something!), "down there", "out there", "light off".... He might just surprise you any day now.

bayleaf Thu 23-Jan-03 20:02:05

Oh Gill - couldn't miss this one -SNAP! dd who has just turned two was exactly the same - at 16 months I actually asked the HV to come round to see her ( of course she said it was 'normal' but she has since made enormous progress and speaks several word phrases and is certainly not ''behind'' now - over Xmas she was amazing as she seemed to litterally learn five or six new words each day.

Jimjams Thu 23-Jan-03 20:37:41

If he's protodeclarative pointing (pointing out things to show you out of interest) then I wouldn't worry. If he isn't, and still isn't at 18 months then ask your HV to refer him to Speech and Language - or ask whether you have a drop in centre nearby.

Jimjams Thu 23-Jan-03 20:44:49

Jama- there aren't really many private peadiatricians as such for developmnental stuff (well there are but you're talking long waits - even privately and a lot of money). If I was you I would go and see a private speech therapist. I can recommend one in Sevenoaks, or one in Bromley (used both and fantastic). I have a friend who found Christopher PLace in London very good, although I've also heard bad reports about them. If you were worried about a verbal dyspraxia type problem then the Nuffield Speech and Hearing Centre would be able to assess your child (the consualtants there aren't quite so expensive and don;t have such long waits as you're talking say a two hour assessment rather than half a day like the previous ones).

Let me know if you want the names of the speech therapists- you can find private ones as ASLTIP (type that into a seach engine and you'll get the page) It stands for Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice.

BTW I'm not a SALT- I have a 3 year old boy with severe speech and language delay and major articulation problems, so we've done the rounds a bit!

jodee Thu 23-Jan-03 23:26:16

We had the HV round today - I rang up yesterday as I'm concerned (but not overly worried) about ds's speech (aged 2y 10m). He only progressed from 'ma' and 'da' to 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' after Christmas; he says a lot of words but usually just the first part of the word and he can only manage a couple of 3-word sentences, i.e. 'more milk please', which he pronounces as 'more mi pra'.

He understands everything we say and carries out instructions easily and I know he doesn't have a hearing problem. Maybe his speech will improve once he goes to pre-school in 6 weeks, but I thought it was worth putting him on the waiting list for speech therapy.

mollipops Fri 24-Jan-03 09:04:04

katierocket, 16 months is still quite young; I wouldn't be too worried yet. Once he starts, there will be no stopping him! Having said that, my ds had speech therapy at around 20 months; he was only saying mama, dada and up. But four months is a long time in your child's life - see how he goes, sounds like you are a great mum and doing all the right things.

When he is 2 he will have a HV visit - wait and see what she thinks and go from there.

Jama, OTOH, I think your ds definitely needs asssessment - sorry not in UK myself but hopefully someone else here will be able to help. Have you tried searching under "speech therapists London"? I'm sure they are all equally as good. Good luck.

mollipops Fri 24-Jan-03 09:07:02

Forgot to add Jodee, definitely a great idea about the waiting list...the earlier you start, the faster they catch up. Do you know how long the wait is?

jodee Fri 24-Jan-03 09:58:51

Hi Mollipops, it's 6-8 months in our area (South London). Hopefully he will be chattering away by the time I eventually get an appointment!

katierocket Fri 24-Jan-03 10:00:05

jimjams - he is definitely pointing things out and 'talking' about them to us but its just babble that comes out - from what you've all said though I think I'll just wait and see.

Munchkinsugarpie Sat 25-Jan-03 01:36:29

hi katierocket

I wouldn't be overly concerned. I had exactly same probs with ds who's now nearly 4. By 2 he was only saying mama dada and car. But he was always pointing and chatting lots of sounds. At his 18 month check they said he was definitely behind and made an appt with the Speech therapist. We saw them 4 mths later and they said he was fine, just slow. He's still not the best communicator in the nursery, but he's a ZILLION times better than he was then. Lots of other kids speak much better than him, but I can see he'll be fine.

I know how you feel. I was the same and kept telling myself off for comparing when I knew how stupid it was. Just keep an eye on him. Good luck

Issymum Mon 27-Jan-03 14:48:51

Caroline Standing []

These are the details of the speech therapist we used. She works in SW London and Surrey and seemed sensible, experienced and non-alarmist. She spent about an hour with my dd (21 months then) in our home. DD enjoyed the session and 'played' easily with her. The speech therapist concluded that therapy wasn't currently required but followed up with a concise and easily understood report of DD's current speech development. The cost of the initial assessment was £85 and follow up therapy would have cost £55 per hour. Hope that helps.

elliott Mon 27-Jan-03 15:50:16

its been suggested on other threads, but I would recommend the book 'babytalk' to anyone with worries about speech delays. Firstly, it does give fairly clear indications of when you do and do not need to be worried, and secondly, it gives you a programme you can do yourself (handy when professional help is so hard to access!)
I got all anxious about ds when he was 9 months and saying no consonants, and I'm sure the tips in the babytalk programme helped (though I don't do it to the letter). He's still not hugely verbal but definitely communicative and doing lots of the things he's supposed to be doing now, so I'm no longer at all concerned.

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