I'm concerned about my 18 month old daughter development

Sarrah - posted on 08/21/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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When we went to my daughter's 18 month old check up they told me they had some concerns about her development. Physically she's fine...It's that there are some milestones she a bit borderline on. Those are the doctors words, not mine. I asked what was wrong, where she was falling behind, and that was their answer. That she might be border line. What have I missed..? She she doesn't use a lot of words, she is vocal, it's just you can't always understand. She follows some instructions, but not all. She's stubborn, like me. She doesn't talk to other toddlers a lot, but that's because she not around 'toddlers', she spend more time with me, her 8 year old brother and her dad. She doesn't spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, so she doesn't interact with her reflection that much, she did try to touch it though. She also would rather just eat with her hands and not a spoon. I'm at a loss, they are referring first steps to us, and I'm at a loss. She was three weeks early when she was born and after two weeks she was severely jaundice and had to go back to the hospital. She's also been prone to ear infections,some that didn't come with a fever. Like I said, I'm at a loss, what could be wrong with my baby. I have to admit I'm scared, did I miss something...what could I have done? What is wrong with my little peanut?

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Cheryl - posted on 09/13/2010

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I think you need to go back to the doctor and see what they are talking about. It doesnt seem to me that he/she has been very clear on what concerns him/her. But i do agree that you shouldnt worry too much, they really do hit certain milestones at their own pace. My daughter didnt crawl until she was 11 months and didnt walk until the end of her 16th month and shes perfectly fine.

Laura - posted on 08/29/2010

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Dr."s sometimes have a tendency to freak us parents out. I know they did when I was prego w? my little one. At certain stages they like to see certain things in children but in truth they all do things at their own pace. Children progress at different rates so don't stress. As a preschool teacher I see children all the time doing things that other may not be able to do for 6 months to a year later. Kids will do things when they are ready. But if you are still concerned giver her dr. a call and see what else if anything you should/could be doing to help your child. Hang in there!!

Tegwen - posted on 08/29/2010

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If you are that confused by the doctor's response you need to call them/their nurse and ask for clarification. You deserve to have a better understanding when you leave the doctor's office.

Erin - posted on 08/29/2010

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As you can see from just this thread, there are plenty of other kids at the same level as your daughter, and I'm sure they don't all have speech or developmental delay. My daughter was an early talker, and is now talking 3-word sentences, but my two nephews and two friends' babies (all within a month of my daughter) only say a few words each, and still a lot of babble.

As someone else mentioned, if your daughter has had chronic ear infections, this will effect her speech and you may want to get a referral to an ENT to rule that out as a problem. The preference for eating with her hands is totally normal. Toddlers like texture - it's how they explore their world. And if you have concerns about her social interaction, there are play groups that can help you gently encourage her to be more involved.

Debbie - posted on 08/28/2010

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I felt the need to post my comments and hopefully help reassure you that your daughter, most likely, is developing totally normally. Your description of her could be my daughter you are describing. Eating with her hands, being stubborn, babbling but not really understandable, minimal interaction with other toddlers. All of these things were discussed with her Pediatrician last week at her check up and the doctor said she is doing wonderfully. We have joined a playgroup for her and she has improved greatly on her social skills. However she turns out, she'll be just perfect to us...

Hope - posted on 08/28/2010

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ok first take a deep breath now consider that since she was born 3 weeks early she is actually mentally 3 years younger than she is physically. Another thing to consider is that if she has had alot of ear infections than alot of the sounds she has heard u say are not what they really heard so her vocab is going to be alittle mixed up for a while till she can go awhile without an ear infection. For example, you say cup but with her ear infection she hears hub (sounds alike and lips move the same) she will learn that it is a hub not a cup so that could be a reason why u cant always understand what she is trying to say, also kids at this age same as my son are not really into playing with other kids they are developmentally more into what is called parrallel play. They will sit beside another kids but still only play with there own toys its very normal. I will have to look up my child development book again and give u spacifics if u would like.

Melissa - posted on 08/28/2010

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my daughter is 18mos old and just started walking independently. we were incouraged to see a physical therapist and a developmental specialist for evaluation because of her delay in walking. I kept telling them that she could walk, she just didn't want to do it without holding on to my finger or some object/wall. it wasn't that she couldn't, it was just that she didn't have the want or courage of letting go. about 2 days before her appt w/ the specialists, she stood up and walked across the room all by herself. not all kids do everything at the same time and just because they are not doing something doesn't mean they cant. my daughter is incredibly smart and vocal but does not always talk alot (she has an older sister who talks constantly and maybe she just doesn't feel the need to compete?) and also just because there is a slight delay doesn't mean there are long term or major problems. did your dr suggest a therapist? sometime just going in and discussing the issues or delays your child has and finding out things to do to work with them on can be really helpful. oh and my 18 mo old and my almost 3 year old both still eat w/ their fingers alot. both CAN use a spoon just don't always Choose to. that's what finger foods are for!! : ) don't stress about the small stuff, all kids do things at different times!! good luck and enjoy every minute!!

Leslie - posted on 08/27/2010

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If you are very concerned about your daughter's development, I would have the pediatrician refer you to Easter Seals (or something of that nature in your area). They will check her for developmental and physical delays, as well as hearing, sight, and speech. My son is perfectly normal physically and mentally, it's just he has speech delays. If they find something off, they will be able to address the matter and offer help. Then when she turns 3 she will be "turned over" to the school district. Fortunately, we live in one of the best school districts in the state! My son, just turned 4 a couple wks ago. He is starting his 2nd yr of the Pre-K program and sees a speech therapist once a wk. The one regret I have, is that I waited until he was 2. It's better to catch these things early, so more help is given to you and your daughter. I hope this helps! Good luck and take care! :o)

Kim - posted on 08/26/2010

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I wouldn't worry to much. (easy for me to say I know) Early Intervention is a great program, and if I'm not mistaken inexpensive or free. It doesn't seem like there is anything more you could have done, all kids are different. Early Intervention will just teach you games that you can play together to help her improve in multiple areas. IF IF IF something is "wrong" early intervention will help you to catch it early and give your daughter everything she needs to be on level. You didn't do anything wrong and there is nothing you could have done differently. Your daughter is perfect just the way she is!!!!

Dawn - posted on 08/25/2010

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We just got back from the doctor and SURPRISE....she was happy with his communication, even though he doesn't use many words. What doctor are you going to? Did they have any other reasons to be concerned?? It seems to me that maybe they are jumping the gun a bit?? The information I posted earlier, was just out of a book, and I don't always agree with the AAP anyways....I think if it was set in stone that @ 18 months they need to speak 15 words, then my ped. would have said something. So again, don't worry too much!! :)

Tabitha - posted on 08/24/2010

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oh sarah... stay calm. i think you are doing everything right. i don't know who your doctor is, obviously, but every child grows at their own pace. my son was 5 weeks early and was in the NICU for 9 days. Now he is doing great. i don't count how many words he can say because i know he is communicating the best he can. he is stubborn and listens part of the time and i am the only one who can understand his language. lol but he is with me and our dog... every day. we live in a small town and there are really no kids. so, don't worry. if they say nothing is wrong with her health, body, or mind, then you should just wait until she shows you how she is developing. my advice is to just stay on top of her communication and talk/teach her everything you can. have interactive toys that she can learn from and just be the best mom you can. she will come around. as long as there are no other issues. good luck!!

Debbra - posted on 08/24/2010

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my daughter is 18 months in a week and she doesnt say alot odd think but has started to copy what we say and with eating she eats more with her hands which isnt a bad thing as she can use a spoon and folk id be worried after they say what they have to you but all children do all thinks at diffrent times and your daughter will when shes ready and dont worry they exspect to much of young children these days i think xxxxx

Lisa - posted on 08/23/2010

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My first 2 boys didnt talkuntil they were a little over 2. we were so worried and then they just started talking one day. my now 18 mnth old says mabey 6-7 words. But im not concerned. if he gets to be 2 and still isnt say anything then mabey i'll look into it, but if hes anything like his brothers, he just donet want to talk yet, and Ive learned not to push it. Remember that every baby is different and the list of things they need to do by a certain age is just a general listing for average babies/toddlers. It doesnt always apply right awayt o your. My boys were slow ona few things, but are totally fine now.

Erin - posted on 08/23/2010

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In reply to what Dawn posted, I think some of that information might be outdated! My doctor gave me some printouts of what a child should be able to do by 18 months and, while I can't remember all, I do remember that by 18 months the spoken vocab should be between 5-10 words.

But like everyone else said, I wouldn't worry about it very much. As far as following instructions go, who really expects a toddler to do everything they're told? My daughter can eat with a spoon and fork very well, but prefers to eat with her hands because she likes the textures. And as my doctor told me, his daughter didn't even say her first words until she was almost 2, and then spoke more than they expected. Your daughter might just be listening more than speaking.

Kelina - posted on 08/22/2010

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My son sounds very much likes your daughter! He doesn't really talk, actully he only says two words with any regularity and those are mama and dada. However i know he understands everything i say and while he doesn't always want to listen when i ask him to do things, he does listen ocaasionally which means he understands. My son doesn't talk to other toddlers much either, he's quite shy with kids his own age, much like i was. Again with food, it's not that he can't it's simply that it's easier for him to eat with his hands. He can eat with a spoon or fork just fine, it just takes longer. I don't think it's a big deal. He will do these things when he's ready and there;s nothing i can do to hurry them along. PS According to my MIL my husband didn't start talking till he was about 20 months and what words he did have were his own little made up language and he's a perfectly normal person 21 years later.

Dawn - posted on 08/22/2010

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I have a book I call my Baby bible! It's by the American Acadamy of Pediatrics and it has a lot of helpful information. Here is an insert from it that may be why the doctor recommended... just remember the word "possible" and that every child may still do things differently (my son knows what the fork is for but will not even attempt to use it correctly):

"Because each child develops at his own particular pace, its impossible to tell when yours will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones listed in this book will give you a general ideas of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if he takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician, however, if he displays any one of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range. (The second year -12 mo - 24mo)

Cannot walk by 18 months
Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exlusively on his toes.
Does not speak at least 15 words by 18 months
Does not use two-word sentences by age two
Does not seem to know the function of commom household obljects by 15 months
Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
Does not follow simple instructions by age two
Cannot push a wheeled toy by age two."

Dawn - posted on 08/22/2010

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Don't worry about it too much...they are probrably just being cautious. I would go and see what they have to say and suggest and then use your best judgement! I am almost anticipating my doctor to suggest similar; my son sounds alot like your daughter. He is always "talking" to us and as he plays, but there is not many understandable words. He will say some words, but not many, and he tends to stick with one word for a long time. He understands most everything I say and will follow many commands, but only when he feels like it!!. When we are with other children he will watch but not always interact or acknowledge with them, and he does the same with adults; I refer to him as aloof!! He is a very athletic little man who loves playing with balls, climbing everything he can, and making up new fancy foot moves...I call him "Happy Feet". He also seems mathmatical..loves his shape-sorters, blocks, legos, and beginner puzzles. If my doctor suggests having him checked out for his language, I will certainly consider the imput, but I am not worried (all that much, but I AM a Mommy!!) about his development...I figure he will get around to it when he is ready. And by the way he "talks" now, I am in for many a story! Good luck with the journey and be good to yourself...you are doing a great job.

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