Speech Clarity

Danielle - posted on 03/15/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Just curious, but how clearly should a 20 month old be as he learns new words? My son says certain words very clearly. However, it seems like lately, as he is picking up a few more, he is getting lazy. He is now just saying the beginning sounds of some words.

Clock used to be Cock (I know...too funny) Now he says Cah

Down is Dow

Is this typical? When they give you an approximate amount of words a child "should" say by 2, do they mean clearly or just words that he consistently uses to refer to something?

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Tamara - posted on 04/10/2010

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absolutely there are wide variations - a norm is just a stat- no-one actually has 2.4 children etc! but you should always get their hearing properly checked too. in the UK speech therapists aren't even trained in hearing issues any more so don't expect them to pick up the fact that, for instance, your child could be deaf and responding to vibrations (as one parent discovered once there child was about 3 - despite them having been seen by a wide variety of specialists....)

Jennifer - posted on 03/28/2010

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I think you have nothing to worry about. It seems that he is using words frequently and understands their meanings as well. My July 08 doesnt speak clearing at all, and certainly doesnt know what a clock is. She is very smart but the docs are saying that with so many older siblings she doesnt need to talk. You seem like a great mom, stop worrying and enjoy these beautiful moments while he is still young:)

Megen - posted on 03/26/2010

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I think he's fine! My friend was just saying her daughter was doing that and mine does as well. It's not a big problem for me because we've done baby signing with her forever, so between the sort of sign and the mumbled word, we can usually figure out what she's saying!

Kris - posted on 03/26/2010

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My son does the same thing I took him to a speech therapist 2 months ago because I was worried but after a lot of consideration I decited I would just work with him more on pronouncing his words because that is all the therapist did was talk to him and she spoke slowly and used sign language as she spoke to him. The amount of words a child should say by 2 is just what you can understand them saying. There are so many things my son says that I understand because I am with him 24/7 but other people think he just babbles still.

Krista - posted on 03/26/2010

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My daughter will be 20 months on the 30th and she can say some things perfectly clearly but somet things she has never said correctly, like "ball" is "gall" and "running" is "hunning" and our cat Sammy is "Ammy". I'm not too worried about it yet, they're still learning, and how many 20 month olds REALLY speak perfectly clearly??

Jessica - posted on 03/25/2010

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Dear Danielle,

I think what you're talking about is VERY typical for toddlers of this age. I asked the pediatrician at my son's 18 month check about speech clarity, and she basically told me that what's more important is that he IS in fact using a number of words with the correct meaning, and starting to string a few words together. She also suggested repeating some words back him and enunciate clearly so he hears all letters and syllables, but not doing it to correct so much, rather to relay that you understand what he's saying to you. And obviously to teach him the way to clearly enunciate. She also said he should be speaking about 50 words by age 2. I wouldn't worry yourself too much about it......afterall, he's still only 20 months old!

Abby - posted on 03/25/2010

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my son does exactly the same thing, im not worried at all, his sister barely spoke till she was 2.5 and now u cant shut her up. it's nothing to worry about. x

Michelle - posted on 03/25/2010

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Like everything else they learn in their own time.
My 20 month old is a parrot and attempts to repeat all single words or short phrases that she hears. She started saying two words together before she walked (she was almost 18 months before she started walking) so she has focused on her talking skills. Some of her words are really clear like 'bye bye daddy' and others are close enough for us to understand - fish is 'ish' and butterfly is bu-bu-ai, strawberry is 'tawbebe'.
I find that her words can start out being close enough for us to understand and gradually get clearer. I've also noticed that she drops some words when she is learning words related to the same context. eg she lost 'ta' and learnt 'tan tu' for thank you and then lost that when she started saying 'pees' for please. She has just figured out that 'pees' is when you want something and 'ta' is when you get it, so she uses both now but 'tan u' hasn't come back yet.
She has also reached that stage of saying things that she knows is wrong and waiting for our reaction, but we can tell she knows that she is saying the wrong word because she has a huge smile on her face when she does it. eg she will say 'eat teddy' and then grin and say 'poor teddy' or call a turtle an ototus (octopus) just to get that reaction from us. Apparantly that is normal around this age.

If he could say words clearly and isn't now he could be just concentrating on learning something else, or working on saying new sounds. If you are really worried then get his hearing tested but otherwise just film the cute way he says it now because it won't last forever.

Brandee - posted on 03/23/2010

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I wouldn't be too worried at this age. Their vocabulary is growing at such a rapid pace right now. My son generally pickes up on the emphasized syllable (usually the second syllable) in a word.. ex. Elephant is phant.. but he is the first of 4 grandsons that can say "Grandma" and "Grandpa" instead of "Gamma" and "Gampa".. however, he didn't say Mama until he was 18 months old!! (drove me crazy). Each kid is different and mine has just hit a huge language spurt. Just this past weekend I showed him a Thomas the Train toy and he said "Thomas", "I want it".. If you are really concerned ask your pediatrician to recommend a speech therapist to answer all your questions.

Jennifer - posted on 03/22/2010

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My son has donethe same. Banana has become nana and he's just recently started using two different vowel sounds in the same word. He doesn't like to say anything over two sylables and will break up phrases into 2 sylable pieces. Funny the way they all learn differently. I saw a little girl in the store the other day who just turned 2 and was singing the ABC's, twinkle twinkle, and the Barney song - I can't wait =)

Sara - posted on 03/19/2010

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Congrats! Your child won't be going to college speaking like an infant. When he says certain words just correct him by saying it clearly then sit back and enjoy the cuteness.

Andrea - posted on 03/19/2010

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All kids are different. My husband and I both didn't talk at all until we were 3 (except for Mommy.) My son is 19 months and only says a couple of words.Right now he is working on his alphabet and individual letters. He also can point out a few letter on a keyboard that says the letter. You're son is probably just absorbing all the information thrown at him. When he's ready, he'll talk.

Jennifer - posted on 03/19/2010

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Honestly I am having the same problem with my daughther who will be 20 months next week, she says many words, but now some words she use to say clearly are coming out much more unclear than they use too, she too seems to be getting "lazy". I use to could get her to repeat almost all the colors out of a book we have, now she says the same word for a lot of things, I don't get it either, but I am not that concerned, my son, who is now 8 did not even say words till around 2 or after, and he speaks just fine now, and reads excellent, I wouldn't stress yet, I am not going too......too many people stress out early on, not all babies develop the same, I would give him some time.

Nichola - posted on 03/19/2010

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my son does that with some words but he is also starting to speak in setences and in the last month his language has taken off...but i work at a daycare and all of the kids in his class are at very different levels of speech so it really is each kid at their own rate and its funny about the early walkers comment cuz i thought that too but my son walked at 10months and is now talking alot pretty early too

Kristin - posted on 03/19/2010

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My 20 month old, chops up her words too. Although she seems to like to sign things more than speak them. She says words like mommy, daddy, hi, bye quite clearly, but words like truck are tuk, and sock is suk, ball is buh, and so forth. I saw the comment earlier about early walkers chopping up thier words and perhaps that may be right because my daughter was an early walker. At the end of the day, everything I see/read says that kids all develop differently, so I would say don't worry because I'm sure that you're little one will be jamerring away soon enough!
By the way, my mother told me that I did not begin talking until I was almost 3. And she says there were no words, only mumbling until that age. She had me tested to see if I was deaf or if there were any other developmental problems and the doctors said I was perfectly fine and I would talk on my own when I was ready. And as she LOVES to tell the story, "Once I started talking, I never stopped!" ; )

Best Wishes,
Kristin

Chikodi - posted on 03/19/2010

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At two years, a child is trying to do what other kids around do and should know how to say certain things, not clearly but it could be what people close to the child will hear or understand.

Rebekah - posted on 03/18/2010

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Check in with your doctor and maybe call for some suggestions from the school's speech therapist. My daughter was a preemie and she is about the same level of speech and our support team says that it's natural to have speech delays like this...some words just come and go. Most kids have a better vocab around 22-26 months old.

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Honestly, kids at this age don't have the mind to be thinking about two "educational" things at the time. Like walking, Early walkers (like my son) don't put that much attention into talking, and vis-versa for early talkers. My son just turned 20 months yesterday, He can only say a few words clearly everything else comes out chopped up of letters. Don't push your kid to hard to talk, walk, or do anything, just like us they will do it when there ready. At certain ages this would be a thing to worry about, but right now enjoy time with him and don't care how he compares to other peoples kids or the charts your doctor gives you. Enjoy, and have fun with him theres more then enough time to teach him how to talk.

Love-
Jessica

Alisha - posted on 03/17/2010

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My 19 month old can say a few worlds like hi, bye, ear, eye, daddy. very clearly but words 2 sylables or more are sounds she says wuv u and used to say tank u, but now sounds thank u, kind of like humming the word if that makes sense. I've been told this is normal for her age and surroundings and should improve over the coming months...
I was given the advice that if she used to say it clearly but now not so much don't make a big deal about it, but just repeat the clear word after she has said it just to reinforce how it should be pronounced. Good luck :-)

Mandy - posted on 03/15/2010

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My almost three year old does the same thing. You really need to take him to a speech therapist. We are going to our local school, and they are GREAT there. They will test him, and give you ideas and booklets about what to do to help his speech, AND it's free of charge. My two year old hardly talks, but the speech therapist wasn't worried about him.

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