21 Months and not speaking

Alicia - posted on 11/06/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My son just turned 21 months old and refuses to talk. The only things he says is Dada, and Momma that is it. He is very smart, he can do anything you ask or tell him to do and he understands just fine. He just won't speak. Is there something wrong with him or is he just not wanting to talk? He is not around anyone else that is his age. He is now potty training and instead of telling me he has to potty he just takes me by the hand and leads me to the bathroom. Please give me any insight on this. Sincerely; Alicia

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S - posted on 11/18/2010

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My daughter is 21 months and she was using several words, then just stopped. Now she refuses to speak in English and uses only her own words. Her pediatrician gave me the standard response that it's normal for kids not to talk yet (especially since she's an only child and not in daycare) and that she will speak when she's ready. Since she can communicate by showing me what she needs and can follow instructions, he said not to worry.

Carly - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son is also 21 months and only has a few recognizable words, like momma, dada, mow-mow (for our cat), dog. But then every now and then, he'll spit out something like "wake up jeff" (the wiggles) or "Skylar" (our neighbor's daughter who we didn't even know that he knew her name) and then never say it again.

He babbles a LOT but doesn't make sense, LOL We know some of his babbles but strangers wouldn't. Like stuzzz is stars and a 'mmmmm' hum is for moon.

Our pedi. told us as long as he is communicating with us in some way, not to worry about it yet and we agree. He knows a lot of stuff, body parts, different animals and all the sesame street characters, he's picking up on colors. He is also learning 2 languages (he's with my MIL all day and she speaks Greek) so she said he will be a little more delayed and there isn't a real guideline to follow in that case. He also isn't around other kids, which I do think contributes. Kids in daycare interact with other kids and have to ASK for things, whereas at home we always anticipate what they want or need and have it at the ready. Also, kids with siblings definitely learn to speak up earlier LOL!

I'm sure our boys' speech will catch up, not to worry :)

Lu - posted on 11/11/2010

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I would really ask your doctor about it. My little girl was 16 months when she had the "word explosion". She only said dada before that and by the time she was 18 months she had learned a ton of words. Now her little brother was saying mama and dada and a few other words by 6 months and now at 21 months he is a regular parrot. Some kids will be more focused on developing physically others will be more focused on developing mentally but I do think they will all be around the same level by school age unless there is a problem. Once you rule out any problems, just talk to him like he is a big kid, saying easy words to start with. Everytime he asks for something try to give him as much chance to talk as you can and even if he won't repeat or answer, keep talking. Kids learn by repetition. Good luck!

Christine - posted on 11/08/2010

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If it helps you to know, our son is the same way. He will be 21 months on the 24th. He is so smart...points to things in books, follows directions, really he understands way more that we ever think he does. But talking?! He would rather run outside and play his drums. He has been in an Early Intervention program since he was 12 months because I am a little psycho about the whole developemental milestone thing. Well, all they keep telling me is that he is fine; he is not autistic at all; and that he is a boy and is just too busy to talk. It is extremely frustrating not because he does not talk but the why doesn't he talk. His ears have been examined by an audiologist every 3 months and they have no issues. Sometimes it helps to hear other people's similar situations. Sounds like your little guy is very much like our William. I am just waiting for the day he speaks full sentences....it feels like he is storing up those words for an explosion (I hope). Hang in there!

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Sherrie - posted on 12/16/2010

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Alicia, he will start talking soon enough!lol...please don't worry i have 2 older children and my son was the exact same but very intellegent,also.He waited till about 2 years old then just started saying everything he had held inside.Every baby is differant, also my Destiny now she only says about 20 words but has shut down now only says a few and lets us talk for her.I noticed that, right away so now i try to make her say or at least remember the word or words.I sing abcdefg...ect and she doesn't say a word but if i miss one she knows right away.SShe points to all the colors i ask her where is Blue, ect and she knows all of them, so it's just timing i believe.My ped. said not to worry in their own time,i said ,ok!?She is the only one at home also now and IT MAKES A DIFF. ,i truely believe that! She screams sometimes and says no-no-no alot..lol and yes, yes. But she also knows 3 languages and understands 2 of them!She speaks American and Spanish and Chinease.But recently the silent treatment and they are prob. about the same age because she to is potty training now.Good luck and i'm sure he's just waiting like my Desi for the right time. then we'd better be ready, eh?Take care!Sherrie

Alicia - posted on 12/16/2010

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I feel a lot more relieved knowing its not just my son. He is very smart in other fields just no speech for him. I recently took him to the doctor and he informed me that everything looked fine with him and I should not worry, but all of your stories help my feelings alot...Thank you all

Gina - posted on 12/15/2010

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My Son is 22 months, and he's got about 15 words but no sentences...but like all the other Mom's have said, as long as he is communicating in other ways, he should be just fine...I am very parinoid about these things so I am always mentioning to friends and family who are around him often, that he's not saying too much, and ALL of them (esp, the ones with kids and those in the Child Care/Development field) say that they don't see any signs that I should be concerned about. Take the little man to the Dr. if it makes you feel better...but hang in there, things are probably just fine, and there are a lot of us Mom's out there with you.

Leza - posted on 12/15/2010

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I felt the same way with my 22 month old son. But don't worry! A few weeks ago he stared talking out of the blue and in short sentences. Babies are miraculous!

Lacyn - posted on 12/15/2010

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Some children are late talkers. I don't think you have anything to really worry about because he is understanding the words he hears. My daughter is 22 months old and not only doesn't have any vocabulary (not even mama or dada), but she doesn't seem to understand easy concepts like "stop", "no", or anything of the sort. She won't even respond to her name. I'm having her evaluated by an early intervention program provided by the state.

Stephanie - posted on 12/11/2010

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well it sounds like you have a smart cookie on your hands. He may just want to learn other things first than devote all his energy on learning to talk. I think if hes 2,2 and a half and still not saying anything maybe going to the gp would be a good idea.

Amber - posted on 12/05/2010

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Hi all
My little guy is 21 months and just recently started to parrot everything we say! befor then it was just his own little language lol. He seems to have begun to talk in just a week

Brenda - posted on 12/03/2010

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I have 3 children (all girls) the oldest is 3 1/2 and the younger two are 22 months (twins). My oldest at did not start talking really until the beginning of this year, even now there are a lot of words that are unclear and we will probably end up having to take her to speech therapy, it is plunket who are worried about her not us. The twins the older of the two is a right little chatterbox who is always coming up with new words but the youngest one doesn't talk, the only word I have ever heard her say is mum and that is only once or twice.

Really, I would not start worrying yet, children learn things in there own time at there own pace (which can be frustrating at times) but they get everything eventually, and once they start talking you can't shut them up so enjoy the peace while you can. It is not uncommon for them not to start talking til around two years

Jene - posted on 11/29/2010

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Hi
My son has his own language that only he gets! I am in the same situation that there are no other children around my son, I have been told by alot of mums that your first child usually takes longer to speak, when there are other children around, the other children (especially if they are a little older) will teach them! I say don;t stress, I think we are going to wake up one day and our sons are going to have a full blown conversation with us that we understand and wont keep quiet hehe
If you are really worried then take him to your Peadatrician....mine suggested a play group

Bex - posted on 11/29/2010

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Hi Alicia, my son is exactly the same he is 2 in febuary and he also chooses not to talk except simple words like mumy dady No and a couple others, but like your son he would rather take my hand and show me than tell me... i have been advised to let him show me and then when he has, talk to him about what he has shown me, so for example if ure son takes u to the toilet then talk with him about it and try get him to repeat sum words like Toilet.. wees...
THis has helped my some over the last month and progress is slow but noticable... I also get told alot that its just boys... boys tend to talk alot slower than girls and that is definatly tru in my case as i have a 3 year old daughter who was talking full sentences at the age of 1...
Hope this helps a little..
Bex

Vicky - posted on 11/20/2010

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Hi Alicia
My 21 month old id exactly the same, says a few words (mumma, dadda, nanna and bubba) but wont say other words even though he understands anything we say to him. He is not around other kids alot but we are hoping to change that next year. I was told that if he spends as much time as possible around other kids he should speak more.
Not sure if this helps.
Vicky.

Mary - posted on 11/20/2010

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It is so helpful to know there are many of us out there facing the same issue.
My daughter is 21 1/2 months old and just started saying a couple of words other than mama and dada.
I speak to my daughter in 2 languages so I don't expect her to say as much yet as the other kids do. the reason i haven't panicked is because I see progress in her comprehension of everything I say to her in both languages.
Just a few days ago she picked up my keys and said the word "key". Naturally, the word "no" didn't take that long to come out,lol!
I just think that if I keep talking to her the way i have and explaining things and reading that more words will come pretty soon.
It's so hard not to compare other kids who are speaking in sentences but we can't get cauggt up in that. our kids have their own pace and eventually we won't be able to keep them quiet! lol!

Kelly - posted on 11/18/2010

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my daughter is pretty much the same, she doesn't say a lot of words- but she has been developing fast in every other area. i've read in several places that boys usually tend to be later "talkers" because they are busier with physical development... always trying to accomplish climbing, throwing, kicking, stuff like that... and my daughter has been that way too, too busy attempting to climb tables and chairs to sit for 2 seconds to learn to say words. if your son seems to understand you and follow verbal directions, i think there's nothing to worry about, he will start talking eventually. i've heard stories about very smart people who started talking or walking late when young, that it doesn't have any effect on the future. also have read that many kids that wait so long to talk have better pronunciation skills and can speak in sentences sooner than other kids, so your child might surprise you. i try not to worry about my daughter so much, i have a feeling when she is ready she'll be talking nonstop!

i also wondered if not having her around other babies/kids often has anything to do with it? but i try to keep working with her, a lot of times i will get her to say a new word, but the next day she won't say it again, feel like i'm back to square one... so if i keep bugging her throughout the day, i mean A LOT, because repetition helps, and clapping and making a really big deal every time she says the new word does help her want to say it again... i've been trying to do that with a lot more enthusiasm and i have some hope that will help a lot...

Heather - posted on 11/18/2010

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The important thing is to NOT compare your child to another child. Everyone is different and develops differently. My son is 21 months and has a vocabulary of about 15 words but completely understands and can follow directions. I started getting worried about him when my sister-in-law voiced some concern that he wasn't talking yet. But then I discovered he could count to 10! Who knew! He may not be talking but he is way ahead mechanically. He can figure out how things work and only has to be shown something once before he masters it. Some children are just stronger in certain areas than others and instead of worrying about it, try to just celebrate what your child can do really well. Everything will come with time. My son didn't crawl until he was 8 months old and didn't walk until he was 15 months. He just will always be behind in some areas and that's ok. I was awful at Science and History but excelled at Math and English. Most people tend to have one side of their brain that functions higher than the other and that's normal. So try not to worry and just let your child develop at his/her own pace...you will soon be surprised:)

Darci - posted on 11/18/2010

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My son is a lot like yours in many ways. It can be very frustrating. Does he jabber at all with words that make no sence. My son talks alot but only a mother can understand it. But words he actually say well consist of about 4-5 words. What I can think of papa(daddy we call him papa instead) Ma or mama, no, bye bye, yeah,cracker. Thats all I can think of and if I am missing one its like maybe one or two more words he can say. So not a lot at all for his age. But like your son he is very bright. He can do a whole puzzle by himself. He knows all his basic shapes, star,heart, circle,square,triangle,rectangle and oval. He knows all his primary colors and can point them out when asked. I tell him to go get his shoes and jacket he does it. I tell him go get mamma a spoon or whatever and he does it. He knows exactly what I am talking about always and always appropriatly responds. When he is hungry he shows me by getting his bib or climbing into his booster seat. So I have been very concerned about his speach because he is so smart and his receptive language is so so good (receptive- what he understands) you would think with how smart he is that he would be talking more right? So hears what I did and recomend it to you. I called a place called DDI Vantage. I live in Utah so i dont know where you live or if this in international buisness or not but if not they have something else just like in in your town what ever the place is called every state has one. So I called DDI Vantage and told them my problem. What they do is send someone out to your house for free and they test your child they ask you questions and see what your child can say. They come understanding that they are a stanger to your child and your child may be shy but that is why they come to your house make it more comfortable for your child and they also ask you questions. So they come test him in all areas, tell them you are really only cocerned whith his expressive language(what he can say) but they will go ahead and test him in all areas too. Receptive language, expressive, social/emotional, fine point motor skilss, gross motor, cognitive, adaptive. Then if your child passes the test for expresive langusge meaning if he test below the average then he is eligible for them to send out a speech therapist to your house twice a month for an affordable price. They go off of a scale that is according to how much you make so if you only make like below 35 a year its like 15 a month or if are on whik or medicade they take that in consideration so the more you make a year the more it will cost but it will be affordable to you. So I had my son tested and I was very happy with his results. He tested way above his level in every area except his expressive language. He tested as a 25 month old in his receptive language. I knew he would. Hes smart. He is only 20 months old well almost 21 but I had him tested at 20 months a few weeks ago. So in his expressive language he tested as a 16 months about 4 months behind in his speech. So yeah we have set up an appointment and a speech thearpist will be coming out to our house this month. I think it will be really helpfull. You want to help your son at a young age before he is in preschool and his speach falls way behind other kids. So I hope you do this cuz I really think it will help good luck! I hope I was helpful to you

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Hi Alicia. My son Milan has the same thing. But we are speaking at home Flamish and the nanny speaks English to him. We are living in Panama and soon he will learn Spanish too in the daycare. I think that they will decide by themself when they want to speak. So don't worry he will speak very soon.My older boy six years old, was the same and speaks now fluently 2 languages. Greetings Kathleen

Christina - posted on 11/12/2010

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Hi There Alicia,
i also have a 21 month old son, who is talking very little. Our pediatrician suggested getting a Speech Therapy evaluation through the Early Intervention program, which is program provided by the state of Illinois. I imagine that other states also provide this service. My son just started home visits with a Speech therapist recently, so we'll see how it will go. She has given many suggestions to me, his mom in helping him speak.

Deborah - posted on 11/12/2010

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Alicia, my son is the same way. He babbles a lot but his actual vocabulary consists of Mum, Da-da, gi-gaw gi-gaw (sounds to us like he's saying giggle giggle), and uh-oh. Everyone tells me that boys often start talking later than girls. As long as he's understanding you, responding, and is reaching his other developmental milestones, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Our boys who aren't really talking yet will probably just grow up to be engineers and other such analytical professions, rather than linguists and speech makers. :-D
Just a note to Carly, I'm really surprised your pediatrician has bought into that "learning 2 languages delays speech" nonsense, as that's long-since been disproven. For instance, a friend of mine has a son who's a little over 2 and he can speak a smattering of 5 different languages already, while being very fluent (for his age) in English. Obviously he's the exception rather than the rule, especially when it comes to boys, but it does bear out my point that learning more than 1 language concurrently does not delay speech.

Michelle - posted on 11/10/2010

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the my baby can read program did NOT work for my now 21 month son or 23 month old step son...we did it daily,,,,and flash cards couple times a day...neither one of them are talking..its such a releive that theirs other kids their age not talking...all my son says is mama dada and that..theirs some other words he says often but they dont make sense and cant really figure out what he trying to say..

Laurian - posted on 11/10/2010

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There is a program called your baby can read which encourages repetition of words as well as reading and memorising. My little one started talking with this program, but I'm sure you could do the same thing around the house normally. Placing words on things and saying them everytime you and he pass those things. Saying the words that go with the actions he is doing or you are doing. Play theater with toys that have conversations... but ultimately, unless you are not verbalising to him at all, he will eventually recognise that he has a voice.

Jasmine - posted on 11/09/2010

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My son has a speech therapist because he had tortacollis when he was born. He to only says dada or grunts and hums to state what he wants. His therapist told me boys are usually less talkative at this age but if he communicates to you in his own way than you shouldn't have to worry.

Lisa - posted on 11/09/2010

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I have a 21 month old girl as well, and like your son she is not talking yet either, my daughter is not even saying daddy yet. She is very smart when it comes to books and photos and will do anything you tell her, but the talking is not a big interest yet! Everyone tells me not to worry , she will start when she is ready, but its scary, I know how you feel!Jessica goes to daycare 1 day a week and is around children her own age give or take a few months,,,,, I am just going to wait this one out, maybe she will be like my neice and start talking after shes turn 2 and never give up!! LOL

Bethany - posted on 11/08/2010

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my friend's daughter didn't say much until she was at least 3. She has a big sister and a mummy who know just what she needs, and she just didn't have too much to say. She's 3 and a bit now and is saying little sentences.

Just make sure you're saying what you want him to say, like if he points to his drink you say "drink please mummy" so he knows each time that there are things to say.

Laura - posted on 11/08/2010

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My daughter was like that up until she was 20 months old. responded well to everythinh and could easily tell me what she wanted by pointing etc. she was not around other kids either.
It was only after we came back from a weeks holiday that she just started picking up almost everysingle word we said, instantly. i was really shocked, as just out of the blue, she could talk no problem.
everyone goes at their own pace. If you are worried, get him checked out, but i know a few people whos children arent saying much still, about the same age. my friend has twin boys that can only say around four words. perhaps boys just take longer?

Brandy - posted on 11/08/2010

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i really think you need to talk to your pediatrician about this, or contact a developmental therapist, it might be nothing but you should have him checked just in case.

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