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16 month old not nodding or shaking head or saying any words.

(23 Posts)
chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 15:34:10

Hi all
My 16 month DD is not saying any words at all, doesn't shake head for no or nod for yes or wave hello or goodbye.
I sing to her all day long and she has lots of actions for different songs she uses for when she wants me to sing to her but other than that we just get eh eh eh. She can make a sheep noise and lion noise when asked and follows instructions but I'm getting increasingly worried about the lack of speech combined with the not waving/ shaking head etc.
We bumped into friends today who have children of the same age and while she is very sociable around the children her language was very noticeably behind theirs/ non existent.
I'm mentioned I'm concerned to HV a couple of times and have been brushed off quite dismissively and told they won't even refer her for SALT until at least 2 but then have read online early intervention is key if there is a problem and not to wait.
I was referred for a hearing test in March but am yet to receive appointment but equally I don't really think there is a problem with her hearing.
Has anyone's child been similar and can offer some advice? I know not speaking at this age is quite common but it's the not speaking combined with the other things which is worrying me.
Thanks x

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GreatBritishBachOff Thu 19-Nov-20 15:44:35

My DD and my DGC were all late talkers. They didn’t babble either. DD started saying Mummy, Daddy, more etc at a out 18/19 months and both DGC were about 2. It was clear they understood most of what was said to them though. It sounds like your DD understands you if you give her simple instructions which is really good. And more important than speech at this age I think. If she can do a few animal sounds that’s also really good. At 16 months DGD would scream excitedly if she spotted a bird or a cat etc but no way could she name it.

Does she smile, seem interested in what’s going on around her and plays with toys I’d not be over worried but you should definitely get her checked out as soon as you can to put your mind at rest.

GreatBritishBachOff Thu 19-Nov-20 15:49:55

As for advice I’d keep talking to her about what you are doing even if there’s nothing coming back. Bedtime stories too. I used to sort of give a running commentary on the lines of Im going to empty the washing machine now. Do you want to help me take the clothes out and put them in the basket? Or, Let’s go put our coats and shoes on and go for a walk. That way even though you don’t get any verbal response she will be associating words with objects and actions.

chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 20:18:43

Thanks @GreatBritishBachOff I talk to her non stop to the point where I think I must drive her mad so hopefully one day she will just start talking to shut me up!
Hopefully you're right and she will just be a late talker. She's super smiley to everyone we meet to the point strangers comment on it and loves to play with her toys and point to the trees etc. X

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burritofan Thu 19-Nov-20 21:06:17

At 16 months DD also had no words, no animal noises, no waving, no nodding, though she did shake her head grin. Like your DD she could follow instructions, clearly understood lots, and was sociable.

At 19 months she has 45 words. Just last week it was 30. A month ago, 5 or 6. It’s like a switch tripped and she suddenly got it, more and more words get added each day and she’s doing 2-word sentences too. Would quite like her to pipe down now, actually.

sausagepastapot Thu 19-Nov-20 21:09:59

I was going to say possible hearing loss, or wax build up. Has the doctor looked in her ears recently? Lots of children have wax related hearing loss and need grommets or syringing to open the ear canal.

She could well just be a later talker.

Cyw2018 Thu 19-Nov-20 21:19:39

My DD was the same at that age. Pointed a lot but didn't wave and no words until 17 months. Only a couple of 2 word sentences at 2, then a few 3 words sentences at 2.3 but then her vocab increased loads over a few months (but still mostly 2 word sentences with the occasional 3 words sentence), then suddenly at 2.6 she said a 4 word sentence and a week later a 6 word sentence.
She is now 2.9 and a chatterbox at home but very introvert personality, so still says very little at playgroup and will say bye and wave once we are away from her friends or have hung up the phone to nanna and grandad.

I don't think you need to worry yet.

Temple29 Thu 19-Nov-20 21:20:39

I wouldn’t worry yet. The fact that she points at things to show you is very positive and can make animal noises.

I’ve just had my son assessed today because he isn’t talking at 19 months but he also doesn’t point at anything and stopped clapping his hands a few months ago.

Even at that the doctor isn’t overly worried because he has no other markers for anything. They’ve referred him for early intervention in case there’s no improvement and the waiting list is long but hopeful he’ll be further along by the time that rolls around. Hope that helps x

Disappointedkoala Thu 19-Nov-20 21:30:24

Late talker here - could only get referred at 2yo. She had barely a handful of words/noises then. I'd have been delighted with an animal noise at 16 months! She's come on hugely since about 2.3yo. Lots of chatting (but leave some room for quiet), plenty of reading and action songs.

chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 22:36:52

@burritofan thank you so much this is exactly what I needed to hear! Hopefully I will have a little chatter box soon too!

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chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 22:38:05

@sausagepastapot we are still waiting for hearing assessment but you're right I could ask for someone to look in her ears as if her ears are very waxy that could be the issue perhaps? Thanks x

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chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 22:38:57

@Cyw2018 thank you- it's good to know others have had similar children who have gone to be fine with their talking! Thank you x

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chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 22:40:30

@Temple29 thank you - that is really helpful. Do you feel reassured that doctor wasn't overly concerned?
Hopefully both our darlings will start chattering away soon!

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chc86 Thu 19-Nov-20 22:41:32

@Disappointedkoala thank you- I think I do need reminding to give her an opportunity to talk amidst my constant wittering 🤣

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MollyBloomYes Thu 19-Nov-20 23:57:02

Did she have a 'one year' check (sometimes done closer to 10 months). Did that pick up on anything?
Secondly, you're talking to her all the time which is fabulous so well done. However, what sort of talking are you doing? Ideally in order to encourage or model speech it's a good idea to get in the habit of commentary rather than questions so 'you're playing with the blue car. Ooooh now the blue car is driving over to the Teddy bear. I wonder if the teddy bear is going to the shops. I like going to the shops. When I went to the shops yesterday I bought milk and bread etc etc' It's surprisingly hard to get out of the questioning habit but it really takes the 'pressure' off to respond and instead just models lots of speech to absorb.
Finally look into alternative forms of communication if you're not already-macaron is a great one. Doesn't have to be a fancy class, just watch a load of Mr Tumble and look at the resources on the CBeebies website to start picking up some signs-always make sure you say the words as well as the signs, Makaton is an aid to communication not a language replacement. Visual support such as pictures when giving choices or during times of transition (eg a picture of coat and shoes when it's time to go out) can all help-she might start to go and get the pictures herself when she wants to go somewhere. It's not speech but it's demonstrating a desire to communicate which is a very positive step
And, echoing others, try not to worry. I know that's easier said than done but she isn't the first, won't be the last, and we're at the tail end of a very weird year with not as much social interaction but children are resilient creatures and you're doing loads to ensure she remains engaged and immersed in speech. She'll probably be like my friend who, family legend has it, refused to talk at all until he could speak in full and completely correct sentences 😉

chc86 Fri 20-Nov-20 08:43:47

@MollyBloomYes thanks so much for your message.
She hasn't had her one year check yet- every time I ask HV I'm just told they are catching up. I understand there has been a delay because of Covid etc but just worry if there is a problem no one has ever seen or discussed her.
That's useful to know about the talking- on reflection I probably do bombard her with a million questions.
I've been trying to model nodding head for yes and she seems to be picking up on that so fingers crossed.
I thought yesterday to look at makaton- she LOVE Justin so will try the website for resources too. Thank you again. X

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MrsWooster Fri 20-Nov-20 08:45:32

1 to walk, 2 to talk.

ThisIsMeOrIsIt Fri 20-Nov-20 08:56:45

My DS is 23 months and has the words daddy, nanana (banana) and ma (mummy and car). Plus some different sounds (just started doing car mmmm sound and mmmm for moo as well). He only started waving about 2 months ago.

His hearing is fine and his comprehension is really good. He's just not using words much yet. I'm waiting until the new year when he's 2, then I'll start thinking about it more. So I wouldn't worry too much yet, OP (although I know it's hard)! In lucky enough to have regular access to a SaLT through my work and she said if hearing and understanding are good then to wait until after 2 years and they can assess.

As an aside, grommets are not used to treat waxy ears, they are used to treat 'glue ear', which is when the eustachian tube gets filled with fluid. The grommets are used to relieve the pressure in the middle ear. Wax in the ears can be treated very easily by being syringed.

RosesforMama Fri 20-Nov-20 09:07:23

I self referred my DS at 18 months, because he was following instructions so well but not making enough of a range of sounds. He had hearing check of course. We had 6 sessions of speech therapy looking at various categories for a week at a time. He was slow but once he started his language exploded really but not until between 2.5 and 3. He turned out to have low oral tone (could tell by extended drooling which lasted beyond age 3) and it was harder for him to learn the mouth movements required for speech. He's at secondary school now and is actually very good at English (and Spanish!)

Notashandyta Fri 20-Nov-20 09:26:43

Our first was a late talker. I occasionally worried but I knew he had understanding, and he actually knew his colours and numbers (pointing) early.

I do remember the worry. He started talking properly at just turned 3! Our third was talking in sentences before 2. It's nothing we did or didnt do (former primary school teacher here so I did feel especially bad at the time!)

I bet yours starts talking before 3! 16 months is very early to worry. Try and just enjoy your lo. They will be jabbering on before you know it

Temple29 Sat 21-Nov-20 14:36:09

@chc86 yes I feel reassured to an extent but I think I’ll still have that worry until he speaks!

Also I meant to say the doctor highly recommended we send DS to nursery even one day a week because he said he finds that helps better than therapy when a child is a little behind. DS is going anyway in April of next year (I’m currently on maternity leave) but we’re going to try get a place sooner if we can.

Lenny1987 Mon 23-Nov-20 09:05:00

For reassurance, my son was definitely the same at that age. But between 18m and 24m he just got it. He is now 2yr 1month and regularly speaks in full sentences, and people comment on how great his speech is. So he has gone i would say from behind to ahead even. Keep doing what you're doing wiyh the singing and chat.

Si1ver Mon 23-Nov-20 09:15:33

What's her comprehension like?

My little boy wasn't really talking at that point, but could point out things in a book (a car, duck, table etc) when asked to. His words came all in a rush about 18-19 months, there was a point where he had a new word every day.

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