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21 month not talking YET - how late did yours start?

(14 Posts)
Mishee Sun 03-Aug-08 21:55:28

I haven't been concerned about my 21 month DD not talking. She did say dada and a few other beginning words months back, but now doesn't say anything, although she makes noises. Also, she has been to 2 terms of Sing and Sign and I know signing babies often talk later. I know what she wants and what she means, so she is communicating and she can follow instructions (eg get your shoes, we're going out). BUT having mentioned this to the Dr, we have suddenly been referred to an audiologist and speech and language therapist. While, if something is amiss, it's obviously better to catch it early, I can't help thinking that she's just a bit slow - she was a bit slower than her peers at sitting, crawling and walking, and I assumed the same with speaking. Am now worried that I haven't been worried! Does that make sense? I'd love some word of reassurance. Thanks.

iarel Sun 03-Aug-08 22:43:37

hi, my ds only started walking at 16 months and was very far behind in talking, especially when i compared him with other toddlers. it felt like it was my fault. he was referred to speech therapy as well(picked up some brilliant tips) and once he joined nursery his vocabulary improved loads. the best advice i was ever given is that it doesn't matter how they get there, fast or slow, when kids hit age 4, they are all the same. we have had and are still working much harder on motor skills, which just comes naturally to other little ones, but ds is now almost 7 and doing no better or worse than others his age, which to me is brilliant. just hang in there and take any advice and help you are offered

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 03-Aug-08 22:55:21

There's a 27m old boy goes to the same playgroup as us on a friday who can't talk. he just makes noises and grunts. He's getting really frustrated sad

My ds1 hardly talked at all till nearly 2. He had odd words but no more. Then suddenly he started talking in sentences about his 2nd birthday and took us all by surprise.

Come to think of it my friends daughter was a very late talker but fluent at baby signing. If she can communicate by signing then the understanding is there, its just that she can do it with her hands so probably doesn't need to do it with her mouth, which is quite a skill for them to learn.

Sidge Sun 03-Aug-08 22:58:13

My DD1 didn't really talk until she was 2, then literally started with full sentences virtually overnight.

I think DD3 is going the same way - at 23 months has a handful of words (not very clear) but understands everything and I wouldn't be surprised if she does the same as DD1.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 03-Aug-08 22:59:51

DD has only really got going in the last month or so, she is 2.5

accessorizequeen Sun 03-Aug-08 23:09:21

DS1 didn't get going until 2, and ds2 is nearly 20 months and still only says a couple of words - he's obviously understanding everything so I'm not remotely worried. I personally think referral at this stage is overkill, it will just make you worry when you hadn't been. My dad is a pediatrican, and he said not to worry until after 2 at least. Kids develop at diff.stages, she might be 'working' on other skills. You say she was slower than her peers, but that's only a small number of other children, there's such a wide range of what is normal. If she is communicating well and understanding, the vocabulary will come in time and then you won't be able to shut her up (as with ds1, sigh). I thought the same thing about ds1 (that he was slow at everything) and he's absolutely fine now. Some babies just store it all up and then go mad!

TotalChaos Mon 04-Aug-08 09:33:15

Seeing as she's communicating well and understanding instructions, sounds like she's doing well for her age, but losing words is always something that's worth getting checked out. It's great that your GP is taking this so seriously - as a lot of the time it's hard to even get a kid on the speech therapy waiting list before 3, even if they aren't communicating as well as your DD.

iarel - that advice simply isn't true - "it doesn't matter how they get there, fast or slow, when kids hit age 4, they are all the same". Tell me then why DS is still 12 months behind in expressive and receptive language at 4 if the above statement is true?

KT14 Mon 04-Aug-08 09:46:32

Agree with totalchaos, kids aren't all the same at 4 if a language disorder is involved, the wait and see approach is well intentioned but IMO wrong advice! Ignoring your concerns may mean you miss out on years of valuable help for your child, better to get it checked out now just in case.

TotalChaos Mon 04-Aug-08 09:56:19

If you can get hold of a copy from the library, "The Parent's Guide to Speech and Language Problems" by Debbie Feit is very good, has a good chapter and checklist about not knowing whether or not there might be problem.

Mishee Mon 04-Aug-08 09:58:56

Thanks everyone. I am pleased if there is something amiss that it's being picked up and worked on at a young age, and I'm sure any exercises will come in useful. I do feel reassured that she's not the only one who hasn't been speaking at this age, which is what I knew really, but it's great to have others tell me that.

cyberseraphim Mon 04-Aug-08 10:00:26

Slow language development is not a problem in itself as long as the child is developing in a typical way otherwise - engaging in shared attention, following directions, spontaneous copying etc. 90% of what is needed for speech is below the waterline, so it's not great surprise if a normal child starts talking 'overnight' even if it is not literally true. People used to tell me that a child they knew 'did not talk' until 2 or 3 or whenever when actually all they meant was that the child was not speaking in full sentences/paragrapsh until that age. One mother assured me her son 'could not speak' when all she meant was that sometimes he could not say the 'th' sound properly ( not making this up!) . I can't see anything in the OP that would make me worry

Mishee Mon 04-Aug-08 10:16:33

Thanks Cyberseraphim, as I said, she's doing well with her signing and joins up some, e.g. when she first saw a chicken a few months back, she signed that it was a duck with a hat on! I like the analogy with the iceberg and think that's so true. I hadn't been concerned, as I thought she'd get there when ready, I suppose health officials are perhaps more cautious now, due to everyone sueing so quickly for everything! With DD's walking, she kept doing a few steps when she though no one was looking, if she caught someone's eye, she would sit down as if to say 'That wasn't me'. She goes to nursery 3 days a week and the manager told me that she thinks that DD's personality is that she'll do things when she wants to and not when everyone else wants her to and quite right too!

Campaspe Mon 04-Aug-08 12:49:17

Mishee - my DD has only recently started talking (she is coming up to 21 mo). She seemed to go from very few words - she was later than her peers to say mummy and daddy - to stringing words together, so hopefully your DD will go the same way.

I found it helpful to do some reading around the subject to reassure me. Have a look at the I-CAN website; they give away a free DVD on how to help your children speak. Also, look for a book called "Baby Talk" (by Sally someone; sorry, I can't remember her surname). Hopefully, knowing a bit more will reassure you, and in the unlikely event there is a real problem, you will be well placed to know how to tackle it. Good luck.

neolara Mon 04-Aug-08 19:36:46

My DS is 19 months and until ten days ago could only say 4 words (mama, dada, DD's name and bye). However, a switch seemed to turn on in his brain literally overnight and within a single day he added ten words to his vocabulary. Since then he has been saying three or four new words a day - some useful (e.g. more) and some completely weird (e.g. yak!). I was amazed at the speed that he is picking things up. It is very different to my DD, who started talking earlier but did not pick up pace nearly so quickly.

I guess everyone learns to talk slightly differently. It doesn't necessarily sound like there is a problem at all. I hope the audiologist and speech therapist will be able to put your mind at rest.

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