my son is 19 months old and does not speak a word yet

Sukanya - posted on 03/06/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )

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he responds to all the commands and he understands everything but he does not speak a word...if we teach him the basic words ,he keeps his mouth closed...and he has a blabla language for himself and answers our questions in his own language...

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Try not to worry and don't compare your child to others because they are all indiviual. I am a Speech and Language Therapist so trust me! Usually we would expect around 6 words by 18mths..(and joining 2 words after 2 yrs).remember these can be mama, dada or just sounds that he associates to things - it does't have to sounds perfect. It is very positive that his understanding is good and that he chats away in his own language! Keep talking to him but try not to make him copy you...he will be soaking it all up and one day his speech will start to explode! If he points to juice as if to indicate he wants it, don't just give it to him or why would he speak?!! Ask him juice or apple??? and he has to make a verbal choice, praise every sound he makes!
Sorry for going on....you prob know all this anyway:)
All the best!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/28/2010

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My son is 20 months old, he understands what is said to him and follows commands but only says one word "hot"...I have been speaking with my pediatrician about my concern for the past 2 months (I had no other concerns other than speech)...so starting at 18 months and he recommended I contact early intervention for speech therapy. Which I did, and he just began to recieve services last week. I agree with earlier posts about the wait and see, but I also think you should trust your instincts. The earlier the intervention the better.

Gail Davis - posted on 03/16/2010

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my daughter didn't really start speaking words that anyone could understand till a few months ago and she just turned 3.i wouldn't worry to much either like everyone else is saying they really do talking in their own time frame cause my 9 year old son was the same way.

Marnae - posted on 03/13/2010

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my son is just like this, he tries to say some words, and we celebrate and get really excited when he gets them, but he often will stop using them again in a few days. i've always talked and talked and read and sung to my kiddo. we babble to each other all day! he has really developed well physically (large and small motor skills) and i can see that he understands when i speak to him (responding when i ask him to do something) so it appears development is fine. he's just slow to actually form the words. my dr talked to us about how difficult that is and how there are so many muscles used to form just one word. so we just keep at it, trying to get him to name and ask for things with out making him too frustrated, showing him different letter sounds (sometimes even putting his hand on our mouths to feel how they're moving) and continuing to read a LOT and pointing out things wherever we go. i do worry sometimes that we talk/teach so much we don't allow for him to try and say the words, so we've become conscious of that now and give him some time to sit quietly and process and try the words for himself too. he says a lot of things we thought were jibberish and later found out were him trying words! it can be disheartening sometimes when we are around other kids the same age that are way ahead verbally, but girls develop in that area first and everyone develops in their own time... good luck :)

Joan - posted on 03/12/2010

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The good news is that your child's receptive language is good. Expressive language can take more time to develop. It is good that he is babbling and jargoning. I agree with the previous posters that you should not overly worry. However, since it is obviously an area of concern, I recommend you speak with your pediatrician and/or your state's early intervention system. Early intervention is part of the public school system and it will evaluate your child (usually at no charge) and provide services if needed (there may be a cost for the speech therapy).

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Chelsea - posted on 03/16/2010

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My son is 20 months and he doesn't speak much either, like your son he understands everything and can tell us things in his own way. I spoke to his ped, and he told me boys verbally develope slower than girls, but if you are concerned make an appointment with a speech therapist. We are awaiting that app. Don't worry though, if he understands you, let him talk when he is ready.

Ashley - posted on 03/16/2010

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By the way, they said that at 18-20 months, a child should have 50 words in their vocabulary and should be able to say 10 meaningful words everyday. Those are actuall our short term goals with First Steps. First Steps told us that a lot of doctors want to wait to have kids evaluated but said that it is unfortunate because the program is only available from birth to 3 years and that they lose a lot of time that they could be working with the children. They said that by 2, she may not even need the program anymore if we start now.

Ashley - posted on 03/16/2010

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My daughter is 20 months old and does not speak yet either. She was 8 weeks premature at birth but seems to be caught up in everything else. She understands commands as well but only says mama and dada. She does not say her name or her sisters name, nor does she try to call them anything else. She will occassionally have a little babbling sound but it isn't "meaningful" as in that she is trying to really respond to anything. I was worried about this and the pediatrician kept trying to tell me that it was ok but I knew I would feel better if I just had her evaluated. I actually called First Steps on my own after 3 separate biting incidents at daycare (she was sent home when she drew blood during one of them.) I felt that these episodes were resulting from her frustration of not being able to say what she needs to. First Steps has been wonderful so far! They came to the house to do a full speech and physical evaluation. They said her motor skills and cognition are very good but she did score the lowest possible on communication and speech. We did not qualify for free therapy because of income but still only have to pay 15 dollars per session (once weekly) which is not bad at all. The speech/developmental therapist comes to her daycare once weekly to work with her for one hour. They have evening, weekend and daytime appointments and these can be done in your own home or at the daycare. They have been able to teach us cool little tricks to try and have been working on using gestures as well as spoken language to help her communicate more effectively. First Steps is in all states I believe and you can initiate the evaluation yourself. They will work with the child until they are 3 years old. Good luck!

Kristen - posted on 03/16/2010

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My brother didn't talk much at all until well over 2 years and my daughter speaks very little. She's 20 months and understands us but like your son she just babbles mostly. By the way, my brother grew up to be a very intelligent man.

Tracy - posted on 03/16/2010

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I would not worry just yet. As long as he understands what you are saying and responds to you, chances are that he is just fine. While most kids start really speaking at 18 months, that is only and average as with anything else they do. My son didn't crawl (or roll, scoot, etc) until he was 10 1/2 months old (after he took his first steps) and it was so frustrating for me to see other kids his age and younger crawling around. But he caught up and was walking before many of them. So maybe your son is just taking everything in right now and will talk when he feels comfortable. I've also heard of children who didn't talk until they were 3yrs. and then just started blurting out complete sentences. Maybe if he's not talking at all by around 2 or 2 1/2 you might want to look into getting help, but for now I wouldn't worry.

Marnae - posted on 03/15/2010

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Ruth, since you're a speech therapist, I'll ask you this. Is there something to letting them learn the skills (like speaking) on their own in their own time rather than rushing in to therapy on this? I can see it can be helpful for some but for some couldn't it be pushing them before they're ready? Or does it not really matter in this case?

Aimee - posted on 03/14/2010

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My son is the same way. He does what we tell him to do, most of the time. And he can understand us. He just doesn't talk. And I have 2 older kids who I thought talked earlier than this. Apparently it's normal. All the replies to this make my feel much better about my son and my parenting. So I would like to thank you for approaching this subject.

Alessandra - posted on 03/13/2010

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I would contact your pediatrician and tell them - Ask them to refer you to a EARLY INTERVENTION program - they will come to your house and evaluate your son and see where he is developmentally - They will check his speech, cognative, fine and gross motor and social development - if he qualifies he will get intervention for the area he qualifies for- Ignore those people who say dont worry about it - if your son needs intervention for expressive language than he should get it - Let the ealry intervention team know that you are not worried about his receptive language but rather his expressive - language is the precursor to learning -

Erin - posted on 03/13/2010

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I'm sorry I am not in the camp of don't worry, boys talk late and wait till he's two, or rely on your pedi. My pedi told me my son was fine at his 15mo appt, I was worried so had him tested, and the state agency said he had a 6mo "expressive language" delay. Yes, age and maturity are helping, but weekly speech therapy I feel is really what is getting the words out of him. Not until literally 2 days ago did he start repeating words on the first try and it really seems like its about to take off. If you have good state services and can get him evaluated (should be free), I would.

Janet - posted on 03/12/2010

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I swear that it took my now five yrs did not speak a word till 24mnths! My (almost) 20 month old says about ten to twelve words already! Hang in there, it will come all at once!

Randi - posted on 03/12/2010

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My son also does that he is also 19 months old my pediatrician said this is normal for boys because they are less verbal and when they respond and understand commands there is nothing to worry about , however being a mom we will worry anyway my son just started saying somw words he does say mommy daddy geese school cookie this started recently u shld ck in ur area to see if there is an early intervention for speech its thru ur local state facilities I found my info online my typing in early speech intervention this way u can have ur son accessed... I hope this helps it does not stop any of us from worrtyng.

Kristi - posted on 03/12/2010

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I wouldn't worry too much! My (older) son's doctor told me not to be concerned until he turned 2. After that, they would evaluate him. I would wait until he turns two and see what happens. Make sure that you don't "baby" talk!

Laurie - posted on 03/12/2010

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My son is also 19 months old and not talking. He follows all of our instructions, he of course toddler babbles, and he understands everything we say to him. Our pediatrician asked at his last checkup if he could say 5 words (he seemed panicked at our 12 and 15 month checkups when we said he wasn't talking then either), which of course we said no to. He has a few names of speech therapists if we wanted them, but we said we'd wait a little bit. He just started preschool 2 days a week for socialization, so we want to see if that will help him talk or not. I have also heard like some have mentioned, that mild ear trouble that we may not be aware of could be the cause, so we plan to check that out before we start any speech therapy. Like many said, some kids will just start talking at 2 out of the blue. We just work with him everyday and repeat words. Best wishes!

Teresa - posted on 03/11/2010

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I would not worry about it. My middle daughter did not start talking until she was around 2 1/2, and then she just started saying everything! Her older sister would always talk for her and she pretty much just explored everything around her. My youngest daughter started talking around 1-1 1/2 years just like my older daughter did. They start doing things at thier own pace, but I have found it helps to make them repeat what you say. I also agree with the comment about asking them specific questions, such as, "Do you want the apple or the orange?". I am working with my 19 month old to help her learn the correct way to say words. I will say the word slowly and she will repeat me. Take care and just be patient.

Andrea - posted on 03/11/2010

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Dont feel bad, I have a 19 month son and he does not talk either. We have our own way of talking to each other i understand what he wants. I did a hearing test and he screamed because he did not like the little room. We are trying to teach him sign langauage. Dont stress out.

Kelli - posted on 03/11/2010

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I wouldn't be too worried, but if you feel like something is off, then trust your instincts. If you feel like you may need Early Intervention to do an evaluation, then there is no harm in that. Try not to do too much comparing, he may just be the "strong, silent" type. Also, narrating your day, and some simple signs and books may help him along as well. Hope this helps! every child is different. P.S. - "Christee" this isn't your personal brag post to highlight your child's immense vocabulary. I'm sure you're proud, but that was a little unnecessary.

AYSHA - posted on 03/11/2010

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if he does blah blah so just wait a little he is close to talking soon he'll b starting
just try talking to him more nd more tell him stories
or try talking to him when he is going to bed or wakes up

Rebecca - posted on 03/11/2010

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i wouldnt worry our son is 20 months and is a social daycare child he says a few words but resorts back to his baby language weve learnt what some of his words mean. (eg: he calls his dummy 'ningy') kids will start around two or older remember 18 months i not all about talking but fine motor skills, hand eye coodination etc.

Kathryn - posted on 03/11/2010

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I wouldn't worry if I were you. Every child develops differently. My first knew her abc's & 123's by the time she was two, her best friend could read by two! But he couldn't slide down a slide or be away from his Mother for two seconds. My second is slow but repeats a few words and is just perfect. My first born knew a lot but rarely spoke until later, so I say don't worry and if you are see your doctor and they will put your mind at rest.

Kristen - posted on 03/11/2010

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My son is 19 months old. He does not talk the way his 3 sisters did at 19 months but he does say about 20 words. I was concerned about his lack of speech at 12 months. We had him evaluated by Early Intervention. He received speech and language services for a few months. He was then taken off of the service as he was no longer considered delayed. The Speech therapist gave us many ideas and plans to work with him on. Ideas such as making specific noises in play and repeating single syllables work well. I would talk to your doctor and see if some early therapy could prevent later problems. Good luck!

Cindy - posted on 03/11/2010

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My daughter is almost 20 months and she also does not speak. She will answer us in her gabba words but nothing solid. I know she understands me but sometimes Iwish I could understand what she is trying to say to me.

Lenice - posted on 03/11/2010

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Hi Hun,
I have a 19 month old and he is the same. Our reason for this is he has 2 older brothers. The child health nurse said that he doesn't see a reason to talk when they will talk for him. She suggested to us that we give him oportunities to talk as often as possible. If he answers in his own language he will eventually start to use big people language. If all else fails just ignore the lack of language and he will start to talk because he needs to. Hope that helps, L

Susan - posted on 03/10/2010

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I was having a similar problem with my daughter and at her 18 month development check i mentioned it. The nurse sent us for a hearing test. She didn't believe anything was wrong but wanted to be certain her hearing was ok. she said that speech problems can stem from hearing problems.
In saying that Ruby's hearing is fine and they are happy with how she is developing but it might be worth asking for a hearing test.

Christee - posted on 03/10/2010

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Wow! Really? My daughter is 20 months old and talks up a storm...she knows all her abc's counts up to 10, knows and says all her body parts (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, knee, arms, legs toes, belly, butt, hair, head, fingers, etc) she says a ton of her friends names, knows all the names of all the animals and points them out and says what they are and the sounds they make, knows her shapes, colors and so much more. I would def. be a little concerned and would probably consider making an appointment with a speach therapist or something.

Krisanne - posted on 03/10/2010

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my boys are the exact same, they understand each other when the speak in their own language which sounds like a whole lot of jibberish to me but they understand me when I tell them things or when we read they try to make animal sounds. Don't stress they will get the hang of it eventually.

[deleted account]

I have a 20 month old here who didn't talk much until a few weeks ago. She had no words at 18 months, then POW she is talking up a storm. She understood a lot, early--multiple step instructions (go in the kitchen, get a cup, bring it here). But not a peep--not even mama. We started not letting her get away with grunting and pointing (unless she got really frustrated)--and avoiding asking yes/no questions (as mentioned above) was a big thing that helped her. We also read to her much more intensively and that seems to help too. In PA they have a program called ChildLink and they will come to your house and do a comprehensive evaluation--for autism spectrum, speech and physical delays, and anything else you are concerned about--for zero cost. It is fantastic. See if your state has something similar. If nothing else it put our minds at ease and got us to a hearing specialist to check out her ears. I know it's hard not to worry. Being able to do something concrete to get it checked was a huge burden lifted.

Sumi - posted on 03/10/2010

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If you are truly worried, I would have your pediatrician check him out. I was worried about a speech delay with my daughter, also 19 months, because she does not even babble (still at the grrrr and mmmmm stage). We did both a hearing test and speech evaluation. It turns out that she has a mild hearing loss because of fluid in both ears. She gave absolutely no indication that her ears were bothering her so we had no clue that she wasn't hearing everything. The speech therapist determined that she does have a speech delay (the therapist said she should have at least 10 words by now) most likely due to the hearing loss. She gave me some things that I can do at home but said that they do not take kids for speech therapy under 2. Her twin brother skipped the single word stage and went straight to 2-3 word phrases. Every child is different, but if you are worried, it is worth having your son checked.

Treena-Marie - posted on 03/10/2010

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as long as he understands and you keep talking to him and keep repeating words he should start to speak. you could try teaching him baby sign if you want to communicate with him. My 19 month old repeats every word he hears (he has an older brother) if you are worried it might put your mind at rest to get his hearing checked.

Lynn - posted on 03/10/2010

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what do the doctors say? Also, Is he a first born? Sometimes second, third, etc. born kids don't talk as early. I also have a friend with a 19 month old like mine but he still says only Mama, dada, etc. He's more physical than my 19 month old is though so I think he's just more interested in exploring the physical world on his own. Have you tried encouraging him try to tell you what he wants before you give him something he wants? Especially if you think he knows the word for it? You could try that.

Trisha - posted on 03/10/2010

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I did some reading on this, they suggest not asking your child yes or no questions. stop asking if they want a apple and start saying the food three times. Then ask if they want apple my son did really well at this, by the end of the week he was asking for the food by name and not tellng me yes or no. Good luck! if it's not this it be always be something. Your a great mom.

[deleted account]

My son is in the middle of the vocabulary explosion. Nearly every day he has new words and I get so excited each time. But I wouldn't worry, if I were you. One of my brothers didn't start talking until after he was 2 years old, and 2 of my nieces also started talking later, so I think it's a pretty common phenomenon.

Michelle - posted on 03/09/2010

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My son is exactly the same, hes 19 months and doesnt say a word, he speaks in his own language but understands exactly what is being said to him, eg, he nods and shakes his head to respond. I spoke to my health visitor and she said that she isnt worried at this age, its more when they get to 2 and they are still not saying anything that they will start to look into it.

Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2010

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Well, I don't want to make you think something is wrong at all but he should be trying to say words. If he uses "words" that mean something to him that's okay even if you can't understand them. My oldest said "boosh" for spoon but that was ALWAYS what she said for it. It wasn't just random sounds. If he's doing this, then I wouldn't worry but if he really doesn't seem to be trying to use words it might be worth getting checked out. From a speech-pathologist: by 18 mos. MOST kids will have 50 words (or words they use to mean a certain thing). Hope this helps!

Brandee - posted on 03/09/2010

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Our pediatrician said to not worry until after they turn 2. Our son uses his babble speak a lot, even talks to himself.. but I would say in the past month his vocabulary has just exploded.. He only says one word descriptions of things, but I bet he knows well over 50 single words at this time.. It will happen when they are ready.. I wouldn't worry at this time.. just try to make sure you speak to him a lot with lots of description..(Brandon, let's put on your left shoe.. Can you put your right arm in your jacket?.. etc.)

[deleted account]

my son is the same and I have a lot of friends who's kids did the same thing. The advice I received from his doctor was that there is not really anything to worry about if they can understand commands and try talking. When they do not talk in any way or don't understand is when you should look more in to it. They like to do things on there own time it seems.

Bobbie - posted on 03/06/2010

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I wouldn't worrry about it...you say that he understands when you talk to him....my daughter is the same way, she has just begun to say a few words..but its very seldom...i would only worry if he didnt understand and respond to you....most children dont strat using words until after 2 years of age. Hope this helps you.

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