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so, when should i get worried about toddler not talking?

(111 Posts)
thisisyesterday Wed 17-Feb-10 20:34:09

ds2 is 2 years and 4 months.
I don't think I am worried yet, but i am certainly starting to see more and more of a gap open up between him and his peers.
he is getting so frustrated at not being able to tell me what he wants.

on paper he has quite a lot of words that he is able to say.
in reality he rarely says most of them, and some of them he has said a few times and then never again.

he also doesn't say words that you might expect him to say. he can't/won't say drink, or milk for example. He has only just started to refer to his dummy (calls it bean!)

he doesn't string any words together. although he did once say "fish man" and "bad baby" lol

Popzie Wed 17-Feb-10 20:38:42

I'm coming up close behind you! DS is 22 mo and is not talking. His sister was forming sentances by the time she was his age and he's the same - so frutrated.

BUT! I have the reassurance of having seen my friends having boys after girls. I know of three friends who took their boys to speech therapists because they thought they had something wrong with them. In all cases nothing came of it and the boys started talking on their own by three (or even late).

It does seem to be a boy thing. Try not to worry - it'll come and it's a good thing he's trying to talk. Soon you'll be wishing he'd shutup I reckon!

may08 Wed 17-Feb-10 20:39:29


This might not help much but we are in the same situation. My ds is exactly the same age and has very few words of which are not very clear. I try not to worry because everyone tells me that he understands what I am saying to him.

He babbles alot and again people are reassuring me that this is a good sign.

I have told myself that if we havent seen a significant improvement by the age of 3 then I will seek help!

Good luck

OmicronPersei8 Wed 17-Feb-10 20:39:49

In DH's family, there's a history of toddlers not talking until they were about 3 years old - which is the age DD was when she started. DS is almost 2 and says a handful of words, I'm not worried as he is still communicative, looking at us, responding to what we say, babbling away happily.

So I'd say it depends on the child, your family, so much. DD now chats away (she's almost 4) just like her friends.

thisisyesterday Wed 17-Feb-10 20:40:13

yeah you're probably right.
his older brother was late talking, but not as late as him! certainly starting to string things together by 2ish or thereabouts.

but yes, maybe he'll just suddenly start coming out with big long sentences haha

OmicronPersei8 Wed 17-Feb-10 20:42:13

That's what my DH did - and his great aunt - nothing much until the age of 3 when he started talking in sentences.

Baconsarnie Wed 17-Feb-10 20:47:29

We're in the same boat, OP. DS, 22months (ok, a bit younger, but not much), not really saying much at all but seems to understand a lot. Am trying not to worry too much, just hoping it's a boy thing. Am sure your boy will be talking in a year's time and you'll sometimes want him to shut up!

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 17-Feb-10 20:51:09

Does he point at things that interest him? Can he follow a point when you show him something of interest?

If he can do both of those I wouldn't worry too much. If he can't then I would ask for a referral.

The lack of speech isn't a worry. The saying things a few times and then never again is more of a worry, but if he's pointing and communicating well without speech then not so much of a worry.

SALT lists are very long- you can wait up to a year, if you have any concerns at all I would ask for a referral now knowing you can cancel if it all kicks in.

If he's not pointing I'd ask for a bigger assessment.

thisisyesterday Wed 17-Feb-10 20:53:13

he does point (a lot!), but until relatively recently he has struggled when following a point.

he definitely understands what we say

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 17-Feb-10 20:57:38

Is he pointing to request, or at things that interest him?

If he's pointing at things that interest him then the saying a word a few times and not again loses a lot of significance.

Understanding in context is hard to asses. You have to strip back to no cues at all to find out how much he understands without visual cues/out of context. That's the sort of thing that is worth finding out in an assessment with a stranger, even though it's not representative of daily understanding if that makes sense.

thisisyesterday Wed 17-Feb-10 21:01:44

he points at things he wants- he takes me by the hand and drags me into the kitchen and points at the fridge, or at his snackpot

and he will point if you say "where is..."

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 17-Feb-10 21:05:47

I'd ask for an assessment to be honest.

The wait will be long, and you can always cancel - what you don't want is to be a year down the line then trying to get an appointment and having to wait for another year. Time is of the essence with this sort of thing - early help makes all the difference.

Your HV will be able to refer you - tell her that he says a word a few times and then doesn't say it again, and that he leads you by the hand to get things he wants, and that he had trouble following a point until recently and she should refer you.

The book Babytalk by Sally Ward is really good as well- lots of ideas in there.

thisisyesterday Wed 17-Feb-10 21:08:09

thanks, i think i'll do that, better to be in the system already, just in case.
hopefully they'll just say he's taking his time!

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 17-Feb-10 21:11:57

Yes, it is better to get a foot in because it takes so long. I remember we waited a year with ds2 (who was at a very high risk of a speech disorder). I referred him on his 2nd birthday - the earliest they'd accept and he still wasn't seen until 3.

If you any advice about SALTs etc don't be shy to pop into special needs. Lots of experiences there- including some late talkers.

thisisyesterday Wed 17-Feb-10 21:16:39

thanks. i have a friend whose son was picked up by the HV as not speaking well and she was seen really quickly. BUT, he was 4 and so i think they were maybe wanting to get him seen quickly before he started school. So I may have a longer wait.
I'll call the surgery tomorrow. My HV will be SO excited, I haven't seen her since he was about 6 weeks old lol

EdgarAllenSnow Wed 17-Feb-10 21:18:18

still waiting for dd, but DHs family late talkers - looks like her younger brother will talk in sentences first.

i expect she'l have a reason to do so too then.

But don't worry....(as i tell my self when flushed with sudden jealousy on hearing another toddler utter a full sentence, and realise they are the same age...)

OmicronPersei8 Wed 17-Feb-10 21:19:09

I've no idea if it's any help, but the children's centres near us do a stay and play with a SALT (or at least some kind of speech and language support - I've never actually been) every week.

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 17-Feb-10 21:19:29

ha ha. That was like me with ds3. Although I told her that if he wasn't pointing at 18 months I would be coming to find her and she was to refer me immediately - she looked a bit shocked but agreed - she was a lovely HV - (he pointed at 16 months so she was safe).

CharlieBoo Wed 17-Feb-10 21:33:21

I'd ask for a referral to a SALT too to be honest. They all develop differently but at nearly 2 and a half language should be forming quite quickly now. I certainly wouldn't wait till 3. If your ds doesn't improve by 3 he will be that much more behind his peers and you will think why didn't I do something sooner. Doesn't hurt to be in the system and in the mean time im sure your ds with start talkng the socks off you. Xxx

moocowme Wed 17-Feb-10 22:06:21

in the same boat here DS 2.4 and does not talk at all.

babbles on, points, follows instructions but no talking.

i was going to wait a bit longer as my brother did not talk until after 2.6 nor did DH.

onehotmama Thu 18-Feb-10 10:18:09

Add me to the same boat please.
My ds is just 2 and has only said about 30 words. Does lots of pointing, goes and gets things if I ask him to. He can also point out every single train from Thomas the Tank Engine hmm. He also babbles a lot, and loves sitting reading a book with me. I am due to see the HV next week for his 2 year check up so I will see what she thinks. I don't feel there's a problem necessarily, and think he's just being a bit lazy, as I interpret the grunts and whinging too easily.
Its frustrating for him and me though as I'm sure life would be much easier if we could chat to each other.

scarletlilybug Thu 18-Feb-10 10:28:32

I look after my nephew from time to time. He's 2.6 years. I would estimate he has a vocabularly of about 10 words - mama, dada, boy (for all children, including his sister), doggy, car, no, bird, that, Noddy... actually, that's all I can think of.

I am a bit concerned about this, tbh. Any ideas how I could raise the subject with his parents? (Or whether I should say anything at all?).

sheeplikessleep Thu 18-Feb-10 11:07:23

My DS is 2.4 too and I've recently had a conversation with the HV, who has referred him for a hearing test and a SALT assessment.

He says about 20-25 words, none of which are pronounced properly and quite a few of them are only understandable to me / DH (e.g. nyum nyum for milk). He points to everything, babbles a lot and understands everything.

I am sure nothing is 'wrong' per se and not having sleepless nights or anything, but because it has been on my mind and as I knew the waiting lists were long, I agreed with the HV when she asked if I wanted him checked for his hearing / SALT. The SALT is 16 weeks wait anyway, so he'll be 2.8 by then and hopefully we can cancel in the meantime if his speech comes on in leaps and bounds.

I'm a bit of a worrier though and would rather see someone, even if just to set my mind at rest and to hopefully give me some practical advice on providing an environment which helps him speech wise (at the moment, I don't know how to help him).

thisisyesterday Thu 18-Feb-10 14:22:54

scarlet i would maybe say something to them along the lines of

"does he talk more at home? only he hardly says anything for me"

and see what they say. or ask if his hearing is ok?
that's my concern with ds2 tbh as we do h ave a history of ear probs in the family!

ppeatfruit Thu 18-Feb-10 14:59:49

A word of advice from a paid nanny, minder, ,teacher and mum of 3; I know it's difficult but try not to compare children. Think of talking being like walking we all did it at different times some early, some late but we all DID IT !!!
Some boys did not talk till 6yrs and then in full sentences!!Unless they are stuck in a cupboard full time they will have plenty of stimulation (of course they do need to be talked with). Aload of expensive stuff will not make a great deal of difference.

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