Venting about toddler not talking

Elizabeth - posted on 07/31/2011 ( 154 moms have responded )

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My son is a healthy, active, wonderful little boy. He is ALL boy!! He does not talk though. He jibber jabbers all day long and is very expressive with his hands. He understands what you tell/ask him to do and most often will do what you ask. I'm just so frustrated! His cousin who is 11 weeks older than him is talking up a storm. We were at their house tonight, and her daddy opened a book pointed to objects and she said what they were. Coulton, well...he just grunts. His cousin will tell you what she wants, says please and thank you, hi and bye, and so much more.

I know kids develop differently and at different paces, but still. It makes me feel terrible to see other kids my sons age talking. It makes me feel like i'm not working with him enough, not doing enough with him, just not being the best mother for him. I feel terrible! We read books, we point to items, i've labeled everything for him, and it's just not working. The pediatrician told us at 18 months that if he was not picking up at least 1 word a week at 21 mo to come back in...and i'm pretty sure we will. He does pick up words, but...here is comes, he stops saying them after 2 days mas (most of the time he stops after 1 day). It's so frustrating!

I really am not sure what to do. I keep hoping that he'll wake up one morning talking. Any suggestions? Anyone else feel like a failure because of something similar? Please help

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Tania - posted on 09/13/2011

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Sounds like you're doing well with him! Kids typically focus on either motor skills or verbal skills, and sounds like your son is in the former category. Has he had any hearing tests? If that's not an issue, I've found the Your Baby Can Read video program is helpful. Also, playdates with other kids who are talking might help. But, like others have said, you'll probably just have to wait until HE is ready! Don't feel guilty!

Katie - posted on 09/13/2011

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Call you pediatrician and ask for a referral for a speech/language evaluation and hearing evaluation (the hearing eval is usually required by SLPs to rule out any hearing issues that could interfere with speech development). My son did the same thing and needed speech therapy for articulation problems (he's 5 now and doesn't stop talking) and my 20 month old is in speech right now (has been since 16 months). Don't be afraid to ask for the referral sooner than what the pediatrician may have said. You know you son better than anyone else and there's nothing wrong with being a little "pushy" when it comes to early intervention.
Try not to feel like a failure - I know it's hard but it's not your fault, especially since it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help him. Good luck and hope he starts talking your ear off soon!

J - posted on 09/13/2011

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They all develop differently. Abby did not start walking until 18 months - but otherwise?? OMG - knows all colors, numbers through 20 and counts forwards and backwards, all shapes, her alphabet in and out of order and sings the alphabet song, and her vocabulary is amazing - understands just abiout everything you say - knows all common animals and their sounds, knows what a ststue is, says her pleases and thank yous, and has such a sense of humor - laughs out loud at some Sesame Street DVDs. But again - did not walk until 18 months - so they all develop differently - her mental skillls right now are exceptional - still catching up physically.

Alisha - posted on 09/13/2011

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I have a very similar child! My son Thomas just turned 2 and only says mom every now and then and like what you hear he grunts a lot and makes his own noises. I am also very concerned about it and yes at times I feel it's my fault b/c this past year I was a full time nursing student and sacrificed a lot of my time with him for my homework and studies. I recently enrolled him in speech therapy where they are teaching him sign language and I had his hearing tested last week and he passed. My lil niece who is 3 months younger then my son also talks up a storm and points to things or just brings you to it. My son is the total opposite. He ignores me mostly, he did use to react to me saying no to him or sit down but now hej ust ignores me which is very frustrating. If you ever decide to do speech therapy I have found it helpful and Thomas is learning to sign and that is helpful to me and they give you techniques to try at home. Plus there are other children and mothers who know what you are going through so its also like a support group too.

Mariette - posted on 09/12/2011

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toddlers are like sponges they say. My son is now 23months,he was the same. learn a new word, but stops saying it in a day or 2. And then just 1 day they will just amaze you and start using those words again. My opinion would be not to worry too much. Just keep doing what you are doing, it gets better. And just talk to him/her alot. every now and then i would say to him, we are going to play with your toy car (or what ever the case might be) and then i would say "what are we going to play with?" and he just loves to answer me and will say "car!" as if its a huge achievement, and then i would praise him for the effort. it makes him try again. try using words you use alot. and then go from there. goodluck!

Natalie - posted on 09/11/2011

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This is my story to a T!! I'm trying so hard not to worry because he really does communicate well, just not with words. And he does the same thing you described, if we really practice one word over and over again, he'll say it, but the next day or so - it's gone! He used to say da da all the time, now he calls both me and my husband mom. In every other way though, he very smart, communicative, he follows instructions, he's affectionate, empathetic to his little brother or other babies. Ugh - so frustrating and a little scary.

Tonya - posted on 09/10/2011

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well elizabeth im sure your son is probably talking more by now,but I know how you feel my son will be 18 month on the 26th and he doesn't talk much either. when i ask him does he want something he shakes his head yes, no, or he points to what he wants. he will say spongebob though but thats about it. im am really upset because he doesn't talk. so i know where you are coming from.

Christina - posted on 09/10/2011

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Has he had his ears checked? Our youngest, was doing the same thing, although we taught her sign language starting at 6 months old. We had her hearing checked and low and behold, she wasn't talking because she couldn't hear properly. A month ago she had surgery to put tubes in her ears and she's now talking up a storm, not just small words either. If you haven't already, get his hearing checked.

Rebecca - posted on 09/09/2011

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Signs of Autism



•No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter

•No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter

•No babbling by 12 months

•No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months

•No words by 16 months

•No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months

•Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age



Markie had the loss of speech but was a happy child. Affection was given on his terms. By the age of 2 a child should be speaking around 50 words.( Markie was at less then 20) He also was not pointing to let us know what he wanted.

Other things that Markie did were to line things up. For him it was cars. He also twirled towels.

Markie was a 33wk 6 day preemie who had a seizure at less then one day of age.

I would say talk to your doctor, if you don't get satifaction there then try contacting a local Autism group to find out where your child can be evaluated.

with Autism EARLY INTERVENTION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

Hope that helps

Sherry - posted on 09/07/2011

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I have to agree with Dee Edwards, my son is a former 29 weeker who is now 17.5 months actual and 14 adjusted. He says a total of 3 words. He has a cousin who is 3 weeks older and one who is 10 days younger, both are girls and talk up a storm. I know that my son is delayed by 3 months. He talks jibberish and is very serious when he talks, he understands everyhting we tell him and will get things that we ask him to get. He just doesn't say words yet. I took him for a speech study last week and they said that as long as he was able to communicate non-verbally they are not to worried at this point. I am very happy with how my little guy communicates with us. His siblings even understand what he is trying to get across, all that really matters is you know he is capable of talking, he just doesn't want to right now.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/07/2011

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Luckily my son has not had any ear problems. He had 2 ear infections his first year (1 was caused by RSV and the other was caused my snotty nose backing up into his ears). The full evaluation from our states early intervention program will be this coming Friday. I have a feeling he will pass almost all of that like he did at the screening (he failed the adaptive section because he can't take off his own shoe, however he loves wearing his shoes and doesn't want us to take them off!). As i think i said before, he passed his communication screening because he can understand everything you say and 'tries' to talk all the time.

On a good note, he did say 3 new words over the weekend. He said 'football', 'baseball', and 'backpack'. Go figure, he says more advanced words and still won't say mama or daddy again. We are hoping that this will be the start of his 'talking English.'

Thanks for all of the support. I really appreciate it. It's so nice to know that others are going through the same thing. It's still very frustrating, but we are getting through it! I'll update after the evaluation of Friday.

Stephanie - posted on 09/06/2011

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My son will be 2 in November. He is the same way. He uses his hands and understands absolutely everything that is so to him. He'll pick up his toys if you tell him to. He waves. He seems to be absolutely brilliant. We went to the doctor today about it because he had ear tubes put in back in June. He had a hearing test before the tubes and they said he had moderate hearing lose. Before his tubes he didn't understand and hardly ever listened. The doctor told us today not to worry about it because its common for kids to start talking later because they know they can use their hands to express themselves and get around that way.

Sarah - posted on 09/05/2011

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oh wow, honey i feel like i was just reading my own post my son is 22 months and says maybe 3 whole words on a regular basis. He understands everything we tell him and ask him to do and can even point out things when we ask( ie... where is the tree? he will walk to the nearest tree and point.) but he refuses to actually say the words. i was worried and worried stayed up at nights labeling and makingflash cards untill one day it hit me. there is nothing wrong other than the fact he doesn't want to talk. since then i have just left him alone and he has shone improvement. my point is that as long as your son is hitting all his other milestones then maybe he is just shy about talking or just simply don't want to. he will talk when he is ready. just know you ARE NOT ALONE.

Dee - posted on 09/05/2011

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I'm sorry, Julie. Points to you for your restraint as I probably would have knocked her head into the desk.

Julie - posted on 09/05/2011

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my son does the saying a word for a few days then nothing i took him to a slp and he went weekly for 2 months with no progress and she said "he must be retarded" took me everything not to knock her head into the desk. he understands what we are saying and we have decided he doesnt feel the need to talk he is great at telling you what he needs without words when he decides he wants to have a conversation he will :)

Dee - posted on 09/04/2011

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From my experience, it seems the biggest problem with children is that parents spend so much time playing the comparison game we forget to see them as individuals. I have noticed that girls tend to speak earlier than boys due to the way their brain processes language. Honestly, I don't think that language is as important to boys, but I hate to generalize as there are exceptions to every rule. I took my son to a speech therapist for an evaluation, not too long ago, just to be certain. What I found was that my frustratingly stubborn little monkey is trilingual, but otherwise perfectly normal. He talks when he wants and you cannot force him to do otherwise. Language is not as important to the child as it is to the parent at this age. My advice would be to take your son to an SLP, if you have serious concerns, especially if he doesn't seem to understand you at all. Otherwise, keep reading and talking to him and be patient. He may surprise you after he turns two, like other boys I have seen.

Paula - posted on 09/03/2011

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My son doesn't say much either but i have found that most of my friends who have little ones seem to be talking but there mainly girls. I'm not worried about it as from experience i have found that girls often talk before boys. Please try not to worry i'm sure your son will talk when hes good and ready.

Krista - posted on 09/02/2011

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My son is 24 months old and says about 15 words, but he is similar to your son, so I took him for a speech evaluation and he has been approved for it, which we start next week for once a week visits, but I felt that if I can do something about it now than waiting until he is in kindergarten and be behind the other kids why not? Good luck.

Kate - posted on 09/02/2011

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i also wouldnt compare him . if he is picking them up i would imagine he is just a man of few words. i had the opposite problem my son talked but he just didnt want to walk and i got myself all worked up comparing him to other kids his age.the dr told me if he wasnt by 15 mo to call ET. i decided just to wait till he was 15 1/2 mo he was right on the cusp. well 2 days after he turned 15 mo he started walking. they definitely do things on their own time. im sure he will definitley be talking away and you will want him to just be quiet lol ..

Jackie - posted on 08/30/2011

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my daughter, almost 23 months, is doing the exact same things that Elizabeth is describing. she babbles constantly, says few distinct words, and will say something once and then stop. we have had her evaluated and she is seeing a SLP. however, there has been very little difference with the therapy and it has been happening for several months now. we have recently decided to stop. realized that in every other way she is within normal or sometimes above normal range of development and that she will talk when she is ready to talk. i don't believe that she is "forgetting" words i do think that she just chooses not to say them. she can be very stubborn at times. we have also noticed that she talks more when she is around other children her own age. she we have chosen to also put her in a more child groups so that she can get that interaction with her age group. we continue to talk to her constantly, read to her every day, and use pictures and flash cards to help her with her different sounds. as parents we know are children better than anybody else, especially complete strangers. trust your own instincts. it is extremely frustrating, i know, to not hear your child speak clearly. keep doing what you are doing what you think is best. try not to stress to much, that doesn't help anybody.

Christin - posted on 08/30/2011

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You really should get an early intervention evaluation for your peace of mind, you can call them and ask for it yourself, you do not need a Dr referral or anything. If there is truly a problem, you want to get intervention as soon as possible, if they so no there is no issue, then that is great but better safe then sorry. Call your local school district and ask who to call about early intervention or birth to three programs. Both my boys started speech at 17 and 18mon old, and trust me it really helped them a lot, the soon the better we were told, speech is learned in a widow from birth to five (not that it can not be learned latter, but it is much much harder for them) so you want to get early intervention if need ASAP to help your child be all he can be. I forgot the 1yr mark with no words is the warning sign to be looking out for to call early intervention for at least an evaluation.

Amy - posted on 08/30/2011

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My little girl was not a big talker. We were concerned, even had other "mothers' make rude comments about how she had some sort of speech or learning disability. I talked to the doctor when she was 18 months. They told me that as long as my child was communicating in other ways (pointing, grunting, etc) I had nothing to be concerned with. Shortly after that, she really started putting words together. She is 22 months now and says a lot of words. All kids are different. We read books and hear other stories by parents about what our kids are supposed to say or do. All of our kids are different and are going to pick up things differently. I say give your son until he is 2. Then be concerned. He might wake up one day and say a bunch of words and surprise you!

Tina - posted on 08/30/2011

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Hun, please do not feel like a failure for your sons speech delay. The fact that you are worried about him shows that you care and want him to thrive. by reading to him, and pointing out objects, you are doing what it takes to help him talk. I would go back into his doctor and see what he says. The fact that he communicates with his hands and understands what you say means that he does communicate it just hasnt made its way to spoken words yet. Keep working with him and dont stress out about it.

[deleted account]

Speech therapy can be started as early as 12 months. Both my boys have dyspraxia. Speech therapy is critical in helping develope language if it is in fact a speech disorder. My oldest started speech at 24 months because I didn't know I could go get an early intervention evaluation without a referal. My second I refered myself and he started speech on his first birthday. My thought if it turns out he does not need speech, great. If he does you won't be kicking yourself in the butt for not checking into it sooner. There is lots of great information out there. I have to be very firm when I tell you my sons are 100% boy. They are both very very intelligent and uderstand EVERYTHING. There is a motor planning problem, not a problem with the way they think.

Trisha - posted on 08/29/2011

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my daughter will be 2 in december and she does the same thing and i know where u are coming from it is very frustrating but i think when she is ready to talk she will one day and then you wont be able to keep her queit

Kim - posted on 08/29/2011

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I have 20 month old boys, twins born Dec. 2009. I have already had them evaluated for speech therapy and they qualify. I know twins often speak later than singletons, but I wanted to intervene as soon as possible to give them a jump start. It's frustrating and sometimes I feel like i'm not being a good enough mom to them cause they don't talk. So far one has gone for a hearing test (and passed) and the second one is going tomorrow morning, which i'm sure he will pass too. Sometimes there can be a problem with hearing that can keep them from learning how to speak. But like your son, my boys listen to me and follow simple commands, so I know they can hear. But before they can get speech therapy they have to rule out any hearing problems. Ask your pediatrician to get the ball rolling and ask for help!



My boys were also evaluated by our states early intervention program. They failed the speech and adaptive skills areas also. But excelled in their gross motor skills and one other area that I don't remember. I know a lot of moms who have boys who didn't speak until after they were 2years old. So don't take anyone's negative attitudes to heart! We are not bad moms because our kids aren't where everyone else's kids are. Just the other day I was over a friends house and her son isn't even one yet.. and clearly says ma and dad. My boys don't even do that clearly yet. Your son will get there! Just do what you feel is right!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/25/2011

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I had my son evaluated last week by our states Early Intervention program...He did pass the communication part, but mostly because he is trying to talk and does understand everything that is said to him. However, he did not pass the adaptive skills because he can not (or will not, i'm not completely sure) take his shoes off...honestly, he loves have his shoes on, so i can see him not wanting to take them off himself. They are going to come out and do a full evaluation in 2 weeks...also, his Dr. is not concerned with his speech, as Coulton was babbling away when we went in for an appt.

Mary....i'm so glad i'm not alone with my son not saying the word he has learned after a few days...He also did learn his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and belly one day and a few days later...nothing! it is very frustrating! one thing i have noticed, when we are out...he points and says something not even close to the word truck whenever one drives by...so yes, he is trying...i am trying to listen more closely and see if i hear anything that even remotely resembles a word from him...i feel like sooner or later i'm not going to understand our language, but only his!

Thanks so much, guys, for all of your comments! I do feel better about all of this now...especially knowing that some people are in the same boat that i am!

Mary - posted on 08/21/2011

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And yes, in response to your recent post, My son also will learn a word and say it for a couple days then "forget". It is pretty frustrating. One day he learned where his ears, nose, and belly button were and then a few days later he stopped and acted like he had no clue. We still practice but he would rather play and do other things. I know that wasn't really a word example but it's a little similar.

Mary - posted on 08/21/2011

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Elizabeth, I am in the same exact boat as you! Our sons sound about the same entirely. I feel the same too...wondering if it's something that I'm not doing for him to help him. It really is stressful. I just have to keep reminding myself that he is only 21 months old...not even two yet. They still have some time before it becomes a major concern for us, that's just my oppinion. I don't want to stress myself over it or stress him out and make it worse. I know he'll talk when he is ready....I think since he is understanding us when we talk to him that he will eventually use the words for himself when we aren't getting what he wants.

Another thing I've noticed with my son, I have been able to pick up some words every once in a while that he is saying but they just sound a little different, in his baby voice. So I definately think he is trying but we don't always understand what he says. I just always keep talking to him like I understand and he'll keep talking and eventually I do understand what he's asking or trying to say. I think they are going to be fine! But I completely get how you feel...some days I worry more than others. It's good to encourage each other and never give up. :) I'm sure you are a wonderful mother! Do not feel like a failure at all!! We all have struggles and concerns as mommies. :)

[deleted account]

Vanessa I suggest you state your opinion and nothing more. There is to reason to go on the way you have done so. I live in the Uk and here children aren't referred to speech therapy until 2 years old and that's generally only if they can't speak at all, or have very limited speech. A month ago I was quite worried about Logans speech, he could say around 10 words but I had people constantly asking if he could talk yet?. I consulted my health visitor who told me he was absolutely fine. Lo and behold about 2 weeks ago he started picking up words up from everywhere and now has a vocabulary of 25 words and it's evergrowing. Every child develops at different rates so try not to worry about it right now! If he is recommended to have speech therapy later on that's only a good thing which will help but it's very likely he'll start talking more any day soon.

Anna Marie - posted on 08/09/2011

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Didn't read all the drama, but...
In a similar situation, I thought my ds1 was color blind. He would occasionally recognize colors, but more often than not would throw out a random color. Eventually, in context, he has given us the colors. The biggest reason that this connects is that he was a very late talker, and his colors - and other academic pursuits - are following a similar pattern. He is doing things at his own pace, just like yours. With the oldest, I was worried about the delayed speaking, but with #2, I am much more laid back and know that he will start to speak when he is ready. Do what you feel best with. Remember if they consistently say a sound for a certain word, it is considered a word. Good luck figuring it out.

Vanessa - posted on 08/07/2011

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Hi Elizabeth,



Your son should not be forgetting words after 2-days. He should be building up his vocabularies (Receptively and Expressively) on a daily basis without forgetting what he learns. The knowledge and verbalizations increase dramatically after 18-months :) He is ready for a formal speech and language evaluation to see if he is having developmental apraxia difficulties (speech difficulties with sequencing sounds), pediatric anomy secondary to a language issue, etc. Get professional help from a SLP ( you will need a Pediatrician's prescription if the services are through insurance). The SLP will probably make recommendations to see other professionals as well if there are other issues beside speech and language going on. Again act as soon as possible and best of luck!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/07/2011

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wow...i never expected this much of an argument on my post.

to all of you experts out there, whether they be speech, behavioral, parental, etc...have you ever seen a child learn a word, say the word for 2 days max, and then all of a sudden stop saying it and never say it again? that's the 1 thing no one has really commented on from this post. i don't want any arguements, i just want an opinion (whether or not you disagree with the previous posts). that's the one thing that REALLY bothers me about my son.

Thanks!

Melissa - posted on 08/06/2011

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Vanessa: You are beyond belief! Your response confirms your inability to listen to any perspective other than your own. Although I disagree with you entirely, I would never stoop so low as to say that you were not worth the conversation. I marvel at your ability to cast stones so freely. Perhaps that is something that YOU ought to have checked? I think I can probably speak for the rest of us when I say how thankful I am that we will not receive any more responses from you. Best of luck! :-)

Kelly - posted on 08/06/2011

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Thank god! My little girl is 20 mth and exactly the same though she says things in singing tone and i know what it means but no prounounce. Again her friend same age talking and saying everything, and girsl suppose to be quicker than boys? I worry she has something wrong and Ill be saying I knew it and i tried doing something about it but you all said not to worry!

Melissa - posted on 08/06/2011

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Vanessa: Why am I surprised that you have missed the point again? Perhaps you are the one with the language delay if you are incapable of reading that my response immediately following your original post was directed to Elizabeth and not to you. There were no personal attacks. If you took the trouble to read the first line you would see that I thought your perspective should be considered, which, by the way, is heck of a lot more open-minded that you have shown yourself to be. My concern IN EVERY POST has been with your words and ideas, not with your character. So, please, spare me your self-righteousness on that point, particularly since you have no compunction whatsoever in attacking me because I don’t share your professional, expert opinion. I would think a “professional” would be above that, but let me get this straight. Based on a discussion thread, and although you have never formally evaluated me or even met me, it’s your opinion that I “have a serious language delay,” that I “cannot process information adequately,” and that I “need therapy.” How does a self-proclaimed “professional” base a diagnosis on anything other than a formal evaluation? Answer: True professionals would reserve judgment and utilize compassion with people who do not agree with them. Your attacks on my person are inappropriate at the least and patronizing at the worst.
My issue (with your WORDS and not your PERSON), since you've failed to grasp it now -- twice -- is that you need to be careful about doling out your "expert opinion" and be more thoughtful about the weight that your words carry. In your second set of posts, you made it abundantly clear that my feelings and the feelings of EVERY OTHER parent who has posted on this thread besides you are wrong because you are the expert and you are right whereas we are not experts and we are not right.

Too often, we, as parents, are driven by fear. This fear is imposed on us from the pediatrician’s office to the commericals on television and from the school room to our friends and family. Breast or bottle? Routine or no routine? Spanking or time-out? Is my child thriving? Is he happy? Does he weigh enough? Is he tall enough? Is he socialized enough? Is he eating enough? Is he talking enough? These are all questions that we as parents grapple with, and finding those answers is challenging and often scary. Fear, however, causes many parents to overreact and hold their children up to high expectations based on a set of averages that NO CHILD can meet at every stage. I am convinced, Vanessa, that a big part of the reason that you are so adamant about “acting quickly” is as much based on your own experience with your son as it is based on your expertise. You acted on your instincts to see other doctors and specialists. That worked for you, and it continues to inform how you feel about addressing potential delays early on as a SLP. So, then how are you any different than the rest of us when it comes to how we decide what is right for our children? We may not all be the expert that you are, but we have just as much right to our own instincts and how those inform our choices as parents. Your professional advice is important, but it is not always the best advice in every situation. And, professional advice, by the way, should not be doled out in a way that tears others down or makes them fearful. When you speak as an expert, you have to WEIGH YOUR WORDS. Talking about “acting quickly, but don’t stress” and how you’ve dealt with the parental guilt of your clients who didn’t act “early on” only serves to make those who read your words more scared and guilty because it’s the nature of parents to be afraid that we’re not the best parents we can be – even when we are following our instincts and doing what we think it best for our children.

I wonder what other parents think about how you have responded in these posts because I have to tell you that if I knew this was how you dealt with people who don’t see it your way, I doubt that I would want to work with you or have you anywhere near my child. Given that I am a veteran educator of 15 years and have successfully worked with all kinds of parents, doctors, therapists and specialists (including SLPs) on the behalf of children, I know a thing or two about professionalism, and frankly, yours needs improvement. Certainly, you have done a disservice to your profession in your responses to me. Thank goodness my past experience working with others in your profession gives me the confidence to make the decision to work with an SLP when and if I decide it’s necessary for my child.

Finally, if I am sorry for anything in this thread, it is the state that we have come to when differing perspectives on a website conversation thread are not tolerated. Elizabeth, if you have read this far, I bet you marvel at the path your original post has taken. If I have offended you, I apologize, but I want you to know that your mommy instincts are just as valid as any expert out there. Trust what that little voice inside of you says to do, and don’t let ANYONE make you parent out of fear or guilt.

Vanessa - posted on 08/05/2011

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Melissa: I have serious doubts about your credentials as a parenting counselor. I have NEVER dealt with someone like you. You have a SERIOUS LANGUAGE DELAY, due to the fact that you CAN NOT process information adequately. I pitty the people that listen to you. You need THERAPY Melissa and go try to go to school to get formally educated.



My response to Elizabeth was both personal and a call for her to seek professional advice. It was not made to you. You should be more careful the next time you decide to attack advice from people who speak from experience. I hate that this thread had taken such an ugly turn, but things got personal and I stand by my original response as a mother and a SLP.

Melissa - posted on 08/05/2011

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Vanessa: Well, I'm certainly glad that you cleared up that you are knowledgeable and that anyone with a different perspective is NOT. It's hard to take you seriously as a professional when you seem to be biting my head off because I don't tend to agree with you. And, by the way, it's extremely inappropriate for you to insinuate that because I think differently than you that my child, or anyone else's for that matter, isn't priceless or that I'm not thinking about my child's quality of life! You TOTALLY missed my point. You're so wrapped up in your conviction that acting quickly and early is paramount that you fail to see that it's not necessary in every case. I'm not disputing that speech and language intervention early on is helpful -- when it's warranted. But is it that hard to consider that if a handful of us are on this site sharing about our children's possible, so-called "delays," then it stands to reason that there are more of us out there? All of us could not possibly need the services of an SLP! Some of us with obvious warning signs, sure! Those of us whose parenting "sixth sense" is sounding off should absolutely seek information and peace of mind if that is what they feel that their family and their children need. This is what you did, Vanessa, to your son and family's credit. But while I appreciate the seriousness of your personal experience, as you said, that is YOUR situation and not necessarily Elizabeth's or anyone else's on this thread. I would expect an SLP of 15 years to be open to the idea that every child that doesn't hit the average developmental communication milestones does not immediately require an evaluation. Many of us are choosing to wait and that is what works for us because, as you said, we know our own children. Your choices are not OUR choices, and there should not be any judgment about that. Oh, and one more thing: Professionals are aware of the weight their words carry. So, it’s only fair that if you are going to speak as an expert, then you also have a responsibility be careful about what you say and HOW YOU SAY IT. Saying “act quickly, but don’t stress” is a mixed signal, and when it comes from someone with your experience, it can be scary.

Vanessa - posted on 08/05/2011

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In addition, Elizabeth: My son is 20-months old and have very advanced communication and social skills. However, he has sensory issues that a lot of professionals did not take into account and did not understand, hence, I changed my Pediatricians twice for being dismissive and closeminded. Also, two OT's that evaluated my son found him to be perfectly ok. But guess what? My instinct and our struggles ( my husband's and mine) when it came to his eating and sleeping habits helped us get to the bottom of what was going on. Our lives ( my beloved

son's and ours-his parents) are so much better ever since he started his sensory therapies. Why suffer when nowadays there are non invasive treatments that could improve our quality of life as early as in infancy? I am still amazed at people that choose to wait instead of nailing any issues ASAP to enhance quality of life.

Vanessa - posted on 08/05/2011

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Melissa: To act quickly on a matter that could irrevocably affect your child's emotional, social, familiar and academic development is priceless. I am not playing on anyone's fear, do not confuse giving expert advice with random and baseless advice to gain something. Certainly, Elizabeth was venting and asking for advice. Nothing is better than getting KNOWLEDGEABLE advice from a professional that has had plenty of experience and has helped thousands with the same concerns. Speech and language issues can be prevented or resolved more efficiently and quickly if they are identified as early as possible, it is a FACT. The guilt that other parents have felt come from not following their initial instincts and listening to people (including professionals) that did not know enough about the area or did not really understand how to help out. There are plenty of

excellent SLP's all over this nation. Adding children to our caseload is never a burden, since helping a

youngster improve his/her quality of life and future is PRICELESS.

Melissa - posted on 08/05/2011

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Elizabeth: I think that Vanessa's perspective is worth considering. On the other hand, I dislike her comments urging you to "act quickly" and about comforting parents that feel guilty for not getting help earlier. Those comments seem completely at odds with telling you not to stress by playing on your fears and reminding you about parental guilt! And, I would also like to point out that while OTs, PTs, psychologists, and pediatricians are not EXPERTS in the area of communication, they certainly do know more than the average person about child development. My pediatrician doesn't know as much as I would have him know about communication, but that doesn't mean that he is incapable or unwilling to recommend appropriate services that he clearly sees a need for with my son. Besides, a child's doctor needs to be in the loop if any specialist is going to be getting involved so that everyone can work together to help that child and his parents. Certainly, Elizabeth, you should do (and if you are this invested in your son's development, I have no doubt that you already ARE DOING) what you think is best for your child, but that doesn't mean that you cannot benefit from other people's experiences. I mean, all you wanted to do with this post was vent, right? So, here's my advice as a full-time, parenting professional: If you're worried to the point that you can't sleep at night and you're constantly thinking about how your son isn't talking, then absolutely get some peace of mind. Even if he doesn't have a speech issue, your stress level and worry can have an unwanted effect on other aspects of his development. On the other hand, if you get the sense that what other people with same-age children are telling you about struggling with a talker that is slow to start, then chances are the issue is less of a problem than you think it is and maybe you can give your son his own timetable to express himself. After all, if this many of us are concerned about this problem, then you know that there are other parents out there in the same boat. I'm not suggesting that you ignore obvious warning signs; but, there aren't enough experts out there to take all of us into their case loads, so it stands to reason that most of us don't require one and need to let our children develop at their own rates.

Vanessa - posted on 08/05/2011

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By the way Elizabeth, since his talking situation is already affecting you, try to nail the issue with the right professional. In my practice, I am a SLP (for 15 years), I always have to comfort parents that feel guilty for not getting help when they strarted to worry. If your son has speech and language difficulties, the earlier he is treated, the better chances to receive therapy for a shorter period( when parents ask me about how long rehab will take, I always tell them that it all depends on the severity of the diagnosis, the frequency in which the treatment is received and the age of their child, in many cases, the older the child the more has to be done. My advice as a professional in the area is to focus on what is best for your child and NOT what other people tell you based on their personal experience. Occupational therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, even Pediatricians are NOT EXPERTS in the area of communication. Do not stress, get help for your son with a SLP :)

Vanessa - posted on 08/05/2011

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Have him evaluated by a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) as soon as possible. Look for a licensed and certified SLP in your area. Go to ASHA.org for additional help. All should be great when he is evaluated, possibly treated and you as a mother informed. Good luck! Act quickly :)

Kate - posted on 08/04/2011

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Couldn't agree more Lori! My son is the same - girls his age are saying 'motorbike' and speaking English, where Sam is speaking 'Samese' his own language. It really does seem that most (not all) boys are a bit slower to start expressing themselves. Sam does understand, follows insttuctions, expresses himself through gesture, does animal noises, dances and does actions to songs, etc. I would not consider speech therapy at this point (I'm an OT by trade) because his development is within normal limits for his age and stage. I'm looking forward to the day when he starts speaking!! best wishes xx

Melissa - posted on 08/04/2011

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My son is just the same, but I would be more worried if he wasn't able to follow simple directions, point to objects when I name them, or if he had problems being in social situations. We're letting our son take his time, but we hope that he'll show some inklings of clearer speech by his two-year checkup. If not, then we'll probably see what our pediatrician recommends. Don't lose heart! You are doing all that you can. Most times it's not about doing more.

Melissa - posted on 08/04/2011

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my daughter is 20 months and know more than 16 words but she will only say them when she wants to. she jabbers up a storm! we read to her and talk to her all the time. i guess it just takes time for most kids and i wouldnt be concerned.

Lori - posted on 08/04/2011

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My son is exactly the same at this stage. I don't know if anyone else picked up on this or not, but all the comparisons to children speaking clearly at this age were girls. I think that boys are naturally slower and eventually they get there also. Enjoy the cute jibberish while it lasts because soon they will sound like grown up little men :).

Mary - posted on 08/04/2011

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My son is quickly approaching two and still barely talking. He does a TON of jibbering and knows soooo much it drives me crazy. He knows certain shapes, colors and most of his animals, but the extent to which he "speaks" of this is to make the animal noises. It is exceptionally frustrating for me as well, especially since I'm a teacher and had all of those child development classes. My pediatrician said as long as his hearing is fine - which is displayed by his understanding of EVERYTHING, not to worry. At 2 years old they will offer a RISK speech/lang pathologist, but that most kids - especially boys - just grow at their own time. I'm a firm believer that despite all these months of not truly speaking, one day he is just going to have the world to tell me. Stay positive and just keep speaking to him and trying to get a response...it will come sooner or later! From what I've been told...I should be happy he's not talking yet, because once he does...he won't stop!

Amy - posted on 08/03/2011

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I have three kids and they were all so different. My middle child (3yo now), barely said a word until he turned 2. Believe me, it made me nervous. I mean he rarely spoke at all (even mommy and daddy). Shortly after his second birthday, everything just seemed to click for him, and he started gabbing away, complete sentences. My oldest was basically made up his own language until he was about 20 months old. He would speak so earnestly and clearly, but we had no clue what he was talking about. My youngest is a girl (21 months) and speaks clearly (to me) and constantly! I know it's hard to do when it's your child, but try to relax.

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