NOT TALKING

Grandma - posted on 11/28/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Jada is 20 months old and has very few words in her vocabulary. The ones we understand the most are the ones she has associated with sign language, which is great. Although, she has yet to admit that she's tired or sleepy. She answers those questions with a firm shake of her head.
...She does make her requests known, by taking your hand and leading you to the refrigerator, or pointing, or other gestures. Should we be concerned? I think she'll talk in her own time, in the mean time she's doing everything else to talk to us.

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Alicia - posted on 12/26/2010

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do not worry my daughter is now 21 months and she was at the same level at 20months and it was like over night she learned new words now every like 3 minutes she says a new word so dont worry she will provail just keep saying everything when u give her something say what it is and say it 3 times eventually she will repeat everything

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Ashleigh - posted on 01/08/2011

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I have the exact same issue with Kayleigh. She doesn't talk really either, but damn if she don;t let you know what she wants. So long as they communicate effectively, just leave them to it. My daughter brings me the gallon of milk and her sippy when she wants it, so I'm not concerned.

Meghan - posted on 01/03/2011

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I want to say that no one knows their child like the parent or grandparent. So don't take what we have to say to heart. I hope you weren't offended by what I pointed out about my son. I wasn't trying to rub it in your face that he is an early talker, I just wanted to point out that kids learn differently, and to show you how we have encouraged his speaking.

[deleted account]

Both of my older two kids didn't say more than a couple of words until they were almost 2.5. If Jada is developing in all other aspects I wouldn't be concerned about her talking. She'll come around in her own time. As soon as my two began talking.... wow they didn't miss a beat. It will come and fast. My little guy who is 21 months is talking quite a bit but that's because he has two older siblings. Not to worry - She'll be talking your ear off within the year : )

Meghan - posted on 12/27/2010

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Alicia- that's a great point. Keep repeating words to her and she will eventually pick them up.

Renae - posted on 12/21/2010

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PS - most babies taught sign language are "late talkers" however sign language is thought to aid language development in the long run, but they do usually take longer to start talking.

Renae - posted on 12/21/2010

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Unless you think she has a problem with her hearing you should not be concerned. At her age the most important things are the intention to communicate - which she is doing by making it known what she wants - and comprehension, that is the ability to understand sentences and follow basic instructions.

Meghan - posted on 12/21/2010

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I would have to agree about the early intervention. I would contact someone just to get a second opinion. Is the pediatrician concerned?

I know every child learns at their own pace, but at this point she should be using more words. As someone said, if she is signing then she doesn't have to talk, so you need to start pushing her to "use her words". Even if it doesn't always sound like the right word or sounds a little off, my son says "pumpy" for pumpkins, or "yobur" for yogurt, its better then not talking at all. You will be surprised how quick she starts to pick it up when you make her use her words.

A friend of mine's son wasn't talking and she took him to a few sessions of speech therapy. They showed her how to interact to get him to talk. So if he wanted the stuffed pig, he had to attempt to say it, otherwise he didn't get it. It can be hard at first, but if she's hungry, instead of taking you to the fridge, tell her to say "eat". Don't give in until she makes an effort.

Just for comparison, my son is making sentences like "dog potty outside" or "mama more juice" or "play truck outside", or my favorite, when I come in the room "oh, there's the mama".

Chelsea - posted on 12/21/2010

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My daughter signs as well but i also require her to "tell me with her words" If she doesent want to talk to me, When she leads you to what she wants let her take you but make sure to ask her to tell you what it is she wants, rather then go through and ask until she tells you yes, at this point i would talk to someone about a "early on" program, 20 months is a little late to still not be talking, communicating through sign language is great but as you teach her more signs emphasize her saying the words to. at 21 months my daughter has a lot of signs and almost always signs when she wants something she can sign but she also says the words when we ask her to, good luck

Katherine - posted on 12/15/2010

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According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, at 1 to 2 years of age, children should:

* Say more words every month.
* Use some one- or two- word questions ("Where kitty?" "Go bye-bye?" "What's that?").
* Put two words together ("more cookie," "no juice," "mommy book").
* Use many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words.

They also have a number of things you can do to help your granddaughter improve her speech development now and when she's older.

One of the things they recommend is that you ask open ended questions instead of yes / no questions:

"For example, rather than asking, 'Do you want milk? Do you want water?', ask, 'Would you like a glass of milk or water?' Be sure to wait for the answer, and reinforce successful communication: 'Thank you for telling mommy what you want. Mommy will get you a glass of milk.' "

This addresses something that I see many parents and other caregivers do. It's so easy with everything we have going on in our lives. We get busy and maybe we're making breakfast in a rush and we just want to get the job done. We don't always leave room for lengthy verbal interactions. We also may not be in the habit of offering choices to our toddlers because they've been so dependent on us to make every decision for them since infancy. (If this sounds like you, start offering choices and you'll see much more than just language development taking place. You'll often see a reduction in behaviors like saying "No" and temper tantrums.)

Another similar issue I've seen many times is where children with older siblings and children of parents who practice attachment parenting speak later. Sometimes an older sibling does all the talking for a younger one and a parent who knows a child’s cues often meets the child's needs before there is any verbal notification from the child. In either case, however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Those children are still communicating and learning and as they get older you’d never know they spoke less or later. Still, you can use the ASHA tips to help improve your granddaughter's language skills.

So, to sum up, right now I wouldn't worry about your granddaughter having a delay. If she is closing in on turning 3 years old and you've been working with her in the ways mentioned above but she still hasn't added new words or started putting words together, then you should talk with your pediatrician or seek the advice of a professional speech language pathologist.

Katherine - posted on 12/09/2010

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If she's used to signing why would she have to use her voice?

You need to start making her say the words while she's signing. Instead of pointing and gesturing, make her SAY it. That seems to be the problem.

She doesn't want to use her voice because she doesn't have to.

[deleted account]

Sorry, I have to disagree. I would contact your local Early Intervention Program and have her evaluated. My daughter has a speech delay and her brother is Autistic. It won't hurt anything and if there is a delay or any other concern she will get services and that is the key this early. And either way you get piece of mind. If they say she needs help then they help, if they she's fine then you don't have to worry about it anymore. I bet she's fine but like I said it doesn't hurt to have her evaluated. The fact that she points, leads and has sign language is great. If she does have a delay don't worry, from what you describe it would probably be a minor one and a little bit of Speech Therapy and she'll be jabbering your head off. Good luck. Oh and you might want to look into have her hearing checked too. That's always something to do when trying to figure out why a child isn't talking. Again, good luck.

Nikki - posted on 12/03/2010

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i wouldnt be concerned at all, she has a voice and will use it when she wants to, my son started that and i just started to tell him i dont understand use your words and if he points to something i say its name, she is very smart lelading you where the thing is that she wants a pointing at it, if you are still concerned try not giving in when she points or makes noises at it, try to get the words out of her she has them but has no reason to use them if she is getting it with leading and pointing

Ambyr - posted on 11/29/2010

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I wouldnt be concerned. My daughter is 21 months and she does not talk very much at all. She can say all done, no, ow, kitty, hi, small stuff like that & she just started saying most of it just a couple weeks ago. Everyday a couple times a day I read her an ABCs book and now she can say abc and starts saying di di in the rythem of the rest of the song. I was concerned at one point but quiet a few ppl told me that they will start when they are ready.

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