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18 Months DS - no words - how can I help him?

(14 Posts)
Beautifullettuce Fri 24-Oct-08 12:53:14

My 18 month old son doesn't speak at all - he's very vocal, but doesn't say anything we can recognise. He understands commands: 'where are your shoes?', 'point to your head' etc, and waves goodbye and shakes his head when he doesn't want to do something. Everything I read says he should have at least 10 words by now, and if not I should get a referral to a specialist - which I've done and am on a very long waiting list! Can any experienced mums offer any advice, how can I help him speak? Thanks in advance...

BlueBumedFly Fri 24-Oct-08 12:58:44

18 months is still very young. My brother did not talk until he could say a full sentence!

Does DS eat well? Only say that as my HV said lumpy, chewy food etc really helps them to develop their speech.

I think like all things, they will do it when they are ready. My daughter who is also 18 months says load of things I cannot understand, she never shuts up. However, I am recognising more and more even though she is not pronouncing the words quite right. Uppidaydaaaa is actually UpseyDaisy but you would never know it if she wasn't bopping you over the head with the soft toy when she yells it!

kw13 Fri 24-Oct-08 13:00:57

From a completely non-specialist viewpoint - just keep up the good work! I have a DS and he took a while to cotton on as well. Now at 26 months he has loads of words and is starting on sentences. But it was a while coming. I just kept going - do lots of talking with him, wait to see if you get a response, lots of reading where he can point and recognize familiar figures. Lots of where he can see your mouth and the shape it makes. My DS moved on a lot when he was suddenly with a couple of other boys slightly older than him (at nursery). Am sure that other MNers will have good advice! Good luck.

HoratioMcCain Fri 24-Oct-08 13:04:14

I know it's easier said than done, but try not to worry - really. My dd wasn't saying any recognisable words at 18mths. No animal noises, no words, nothing.

She was 2 this month and is now talking in full sentences.

Children at this age are all so different that the information that parenting 'manuals' provide can be very counter productive and worrying.

Reading to him, and vocalising a lot of your activities will help - oooh look at that tree, it's a big green tree, do you see the leaves?

yomellamoHelly Fri 24-Oct-08 13:11:48

My ds1 didn't talk until he was 34 months - just before he started nursery. But like yours he did understand instructions, point etc.
My ds2 doesn't talk either (he's 22 months), but is delayed in other ways too. I've been advised to copy the sounds he does make to "make" conversation with him and get him into the habit. In theory the words will then follow.
I've found ds2 is very keen on signing, so am in the process of teaching him various words so we can communicate better too. FWIW ds1 refused to sign (despite 18 months of going to a signing group!).

stayinbed Fri 24-Oct-08 13:13:39

sounds like me dd2, she is now 2 and is saying more and more words each day, and started stringing sentences. the major change came when she started going to nursery (same thing happened with dd1 but she started nursery younger). its like they realize that there is a language that everyone knows which they should communicate in, rather than their own made up language.

for ages she would say o-oh instead of open when she wanted me to open something, i did evvvvvvvvvverything to try to get her to say open but she refused. she know uses that word regularly.
i kind of miss her old made up language!!

2boys2 Sun 02-Nov-08 19:45:34

my ds1 (5yrs and is often in trouble for chatting at school) didnt speak until he could say full sentences either. I was SO concerned as he never babbled, coo etc. However my ds2 - 18mths does say "words" - normally the word "no" (with a shake of the head) when i offer fruit and a "more" when he spots a biscuit hmm.

So i really think that as long as they understand what you are saying to them and they communicate back to you i.e by pointing etc than i would try not to worry (hard i know!!)

Chooster Mon 03-Nov-08 12:51:44

Watching this with interest as my 16month old son is showing no signs of talking either. He makes lots of noises and can respond when I ask him to do things but doesn't say a word - not even something that is a badly pronounced word. His elder brother (DS1) was definately saying more at this age. To be honest its not something I'm worried about, just curious as to why he's not talking. I presumed second children would speak earlier as they have a role model - but no smile.

neolara Mon 03-Nov-08 12:56:26

My ds said only mama and dada until 19 months and then one day, out of the blue, he said ten new words. It was like a switch had been flicked in his brain and he could suddenly do it. I'm pretty sure that at 18 months he couldn't say anything at all. I don't think anything I did made the difference. I think he just reached the talking developmental stage slightly later than his peers. He's 22 months now and has got lots of words (100+ ?), although he's not putting two words together yet. I really wouldn't worry too much.

filz Mon 03-Nov-08 12:56:56

he sounds completely normal

Littlefish Mon 03-Nov-08 13:10:55

I agree with filz, he sounds completely normal. I spoke with a friend of mine who is a Speech and Language therapist about my dd. She was nearly 2 and had a few single words like "oof" for dog, mumma, baba (daddy), jeesh (breadstick) and basically other sounds which we knew represented certain words.

My friend said that as long as she obviously understands what you're saying, and is starting to follow simple instructions/requests like "where's your nose", then there shouldn't be anything to worry about.

She was absolutely right - at 2yrs and 1 month, dd started speaking in full sentences! She never shuts up now grin

The advice I was given is not to ask questions, but to comment on what you and your ds are doing.

E.g. oh yes ds, you're pushing the car.

You're eating your pasta very quickly.

Just keep giving everything a name: car, doll, bread, cooker, window etc.

Bubbaloo Mon 03-Nov-08 15:14:57

I also wouldn't be too worried either.
My ds2 is 19 months old and not talking.The only thing he says is 'gat' when he sees one of our catsgrin.He fully understands what we tell him and can understand commands like clap,wave,touch ears,find teddy etc....
Our hv is concerned but tbh ds1 was also late in talking and can now talk the hind legs off a donkey(age 3).
Ds2 has also only been walking for 2 weeks,so he's quite late in that too,but he got there in his own time,just like the majority of children dowink.

nondomesticgoddess Mon 03-Nov-08 19:33:02

Dd could say 3 words at 18 months - no, cat and row-row - all very useful! She didn't say mama and dada until 20 months. At the time I was slightly concerned as all her 'friends' seemed to talk loads. In retrospect I think dd was the more 'normal' and the others were just a bit more unusual. She is now 2.5, talks incessantly and has more than caught up with her peers.

On the flip side, she was very good at actions and we sang 'the wheels on the bus' with hand gestures A LOT!

Btw - she loved doing animal noises about months or 2 before the words came - always fun to try.

RuthT Mon 03-Nov-08 19:36:05

One friend has a 3 yr old that has just started to say a few words. His comprehension is good but almost like he couldn't be bothered.

She told me that dr says not to worry if thier comprehension is there.

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