Re: My 17 month old is not talking.
We were told to wait till two, which we did. The first eval said it was normal and we did a second one months later that said we have a "delay." If it is just a speech delay, I would not stress but after two get a therapist either through the county, private pay or insurance. The evaluations are no big deal. Some kids are just late talkers. Mine is and the speech is now coming in and its interesting as its pretty clear. We did private pay for a few months, now are on insurance and will be switching to a speech preschool (I don't want it for the speech so much as I liked what the program had to offer in terms of academics so if he talks fine, they will keep him for the rest of the year). In all honesty, after dealing with 4 speech pathologists, none are doing much more than we do at home. I like a bit of support but when we are at his sessions they are just doing all the things. (when we switch to the preschool he will get three days a week - one day seems worthless to me but I know its the right thing to do so we are doing it).
Also, Emily is right in her comments. Kids generally focus on 1-2 skills at a time (and this was some good advice we got) so your child's strength may be something completely different, like our child who has many strengths and they will just talk when they decide too. (and then you will be wishing they'd give you a break from all the talking)
We've also found the iPad apps for language, videos like Leap Frog and a few others (netflix and costco) are very helpful. We debate on how much to limit the iPad but our son is now repeating verbally a lot from it so there is a clear benefit.
Mom to my wonderfully sweet toddler who is the joy of our lives.