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Old 12-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #1
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Encouraging Speech

Okay, I'm starting to get nervous about how little my almost 17 month old is speaking.

At his 15 month appointment, I wasn't able to report that he spoke any words. Our pediatrician recommended that we start signing with him, which we did. He picked up on it right away and while we need to work on adding more signs, he regularly uses "Milk" "More" and "All Done." He now has several words that he says, but they're not incredibly clear. He says "Dad" "Mama" "Cheese" "Dog" and tries to say our dogs' names, "Shoe", "Banana" (it's a valiant attempt at banana anyway), and "More".

Do you think that is all right at this point? I have read that a red flag is not speaking 5 words by 18 months.

He understands a lot of what I say and is understanding some concepts, but I'm not sure how else I can help him. We read books all day, name objects for him, and I talk to him all day. What would you suggest that I might be missing?


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Old 12-13-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: Encouraging Speech

Nothing. It sounds like you are totally doing everything right. He might not be a talker. You know how some people are less vocal? He might be one of them.
Two things: some kids hyper focus on physical abilities OR vocal. If he seems advanced in physical stuff, that might help explain his lack of vocal.
Like my youngest was super vocal(said "please", "thank you", "more" "all done" and a host of others at 8 months. Clear as a bell & with correct usage & intent) but was slow to crawl & walk.
The second thing: he might have a language explosion over the next few months & get caught up or be advanced! Some kids take it all in, process it & see how it is used, then start talking & don't ever stop! You might have a watcher.

I do home daycare & have for 9 years now. I know "normal" and not. My oldest has autism. A child with delays is a part of a whole that is not "average". Parents are worried that something is wrong with their child when milestones aren't met, forgetting that there is a huge range of "normal". And a special needs child has red flags on many areas, not just 1.
My oldest wouldn't look at people, even as a baby. I don't have any pics of him looking AT the camera because he won't look at the person holding it(see my avi). He never spoke a word, a sound, a babble while playing, until the age of 3. He won't copy people, signing didn't work with him. He paralell plays around other children, not with other children. He would get hyper fixated on things, things that smell weird like doorknobs or sound interesting like a box of spagetti noodles. I always knew he was different. In many ways.
My point is not to worry. You would know if something is wrong with your child, trust yourself! If you see that he is fine everywhere else but vocally, then just continue to model but relax a bit in worry.
Kids move at their own pace. We adults sometimes for get that.
It's not bad advice to keep an eye on it though.
Bye bye.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:40 PM   #3
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Re: Encouraging Speech

My ds only really started speaking more after age 2.

I think a lot of it is due to the fact that he is an only child, and pretty much only around dh and I, who aren't big talkers ourselves. Boys are also known to be slower in the area of language development, than girls. Also his needs are always met or anticipated without words. He was bf'd till 28 months, and if he brought me his boppy, he got fed. If he cried, we immediately responded and did what we could to alleviate it. Thus, he didn't really have a need to speak.

Now, that he isn't bfing, he is becoming more verbal. I also think it has to do with his age. He's no longer focused on improving his motor skills...those have been long mastered. His words are very clear when there is something he needs or wants. No longer can he just bring the boppy for milk. Now, he'll say "I'm hungee" or "I want grapes, apple, banani, etc"

I think as long as there aren't other issues combined with this, it isn't something to worry about really.

His body, his choice.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: Encouraging Speech

Thanks ladies!

We've had some weight gain troubles with him in the first year, but since he turned 1, he has really picked up. And he does have a vision issue (nystagmus) but it is pretty minor.

Physically, he is a great walker (walked 1 week before his 1st birthday), starting to get really good at climbing, is pretty social, is starting to move beyond parallel-aware play, and in everything else seems to be where he should be.
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