15 mos and not saying "Mama" or "Dada" yet

She - posted on 07/29/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hey all,

My son's pediatrician didn't seem satisfied w/my son's speech development. Last week he had his 15 mos well-baby appointment and the pediatrician said, by his age he should be able to say at least 3 words, including "mama" and "dada". My little monster doesn't speak a single word yet but he knows how to communicate w/us. He points at what ever he wants to have or if he sees something interesting, when we tell him "diaper change" he immadiately runs to his room or when we say "bath time", he'll run to the bath room. If we ask him whether he likes to drink or eat something specific, he either shakes his head for "no" or gives us a big bright smile for "yes". All that didn't seem to interest the doctor and she told us to observe our son for 2 more mos. If he still doesn't say "Mama" or "Dada", we'd have to consider some proper measures. This morning I then got a phone call from a speech pathalogist telling me, at his age he SHOULD be able to speak 3 words incl. Mama and Dada. They'd like to come over at my house and evaluate whether or not his speech development is alright or not. My hubby and I, even our relatives, are kind of shocked because we don't have any worries and we want our son to develop in his own speed. Plus, we speak 3 languages around our son. Sure, primarily we speak English w/him but when the family comes over (and via Skype), it's a mix of English, German and Filipino.

Do your pre-toddlers speak 3 words already and even say "Mama" and "Dada"? Would you worry if you were in my situation? I have to confess this morning call made me kind of upset...

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Allison - posted on 08/03/2010

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Please don't worry yourself sick over this. My little guy is almost 16 months and doesn't say mama or dada yet either. He points and can understand certain words, but won't speak them. He babbles all the time in his own language. LOL. I think doctors are so quick to go by the book. Does EVERY single baby out there speak exactly three words by this age? No. Some speak more...some less....some not at all. I agree with Raechel though. If it's covered, then go for the speech therapy. I'm sure that he's just fine though. Hang in there.

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Elena - posted on 11/24/2010

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my son is 19 months old and STILL doesnt clearly say mama or dada - only when he cries would he say it YELLING! He does TRY to say SOME words but only I can understand them - i feel like he is behind a little with his speech, but i wont be 100% concerned until the 24 month mark.

I agree with Rachael, if the insurance covers it, why not. If not, let it go. Let your child experiment and when he is ready he WILL have a lot to tell you !!!

Ali Marie - posted on 10/31/2010

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I know how you feel!! My daughter is underdeveloped in almost all areas, they call it "global delay" and when we first had the physical and speech therapist call i cried and cried thinking it was my fault somehow.

Did you mention to your Dr that you speak 3 different languages in your house? That most certainly can play a factor in your sons speech development. But it sounds to me like he is doing fine communicating with you so far, so what is the problem?? I know a woman that has twins that are 3 and neither of them speaks a single word. They have no other "problems" besides that. Dr's just freak out when a child isn't exactly like every other one-you dont need to freak out about it though! Every child does things at their own pace.
That being said it might be helpful to bring a speech therapist over just to do an evualtion and maybe meet with you once a month or something. My daughter sees 3 therapists 4xweek!!

Tina - posted on 09/13/2010

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yes my twins of the same age range have 5 words.. but I wouldnt worry right off. All kids learn at their own pace.. best advice always -be patient. My younger brother didnt talk until he was 3 y/o and he has had no communication problems to date and has his own 7 y/o now. All kids are individuals.. just remember to give him lots of love and encouragement with whatever he learns to learn!!

Kriste - posted on 08/10/2010

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My son says a lot of words but really only started saying more than 5 words right at 15 months. M's are really hard for him so he only started saying mama just recently. I wouldn't worry. Just remember repetition repetition repetition.

Germelina - posted on 08/09/2010

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My son was able to say "Mummy" and "milk" when he was about 8 to 9 months old...but say neither words now...but he does babble all the time...my nephew didn't speak any discernible words until he was about two years old...a niece was quite adept at repeating or saying what you tell her to say at 17 months...I say it is different for every child...one way to look at it is: he/she babbles ergo he/she is saying something but we can't understand it...we went through that when we were lil ones too...so what is wrong with us now? hehehe

Nicole - posted on 08/07/2010

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Well my son does say many words even is at mommy and bubbles now. Since he was born I have been talking to him like an adult. I would say....Your playing with a yellow truck. Then I would repeat yellow truck several times to him. He tries to say it back once in awhile, others he is just like yeah whatever. I would say just continue talking to him and see what happens. You never know what a coupld of months brings you. My husband talks Tagalog to him while I speak English. This does do some delay in speech but will be more beneficial for him later in life! :)

Rachael - posted on 08/02/2010

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you have done NOTHING wrong! It can be scary and overwhelming, but it will be okay. even if there is an issue there are many different physical and behavioral therapies that can help. the earlier possible problems are identified the quicker these can be initiated. There is nothing wrong with politely asking the speech pathologist to back off a bit while you take a little time to evaluate the situation.
does your son make vocalize at all and I assume he eats well.
Good luck! keep us posted on how your little guy is doing!

She - posted on 08/01/2010

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Thanks for you feedback, Rachael! Really appreciate your reply. I cried the other night asking myself where did I go wrong in raising my son...it's just really a great weight on my shoulders and the speech therapist calling my twice already just made the pressure on me worst...

Rachael - posted on 07/29/2010

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clinically physicians become concerned over a developmental delay if a child does not have any words by 18 months. In the US most insurance companies wont cover speech evaluation in a child under the age of 18 months. I wouldn't worry yet, but if the evaluation is covered I would go for it, if there is a delay the earlier therapy can be initiated the better. the multiple languages shouldn't have anything to do with it as he would likely be speaking in one of the languages. Hopefully it is nothing, but even if he does have a developmental delay there are therapies they could initiate that will help his speech develop. Good luck!

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