18 month old still not talking

Jackie - posted on 06/09/2009 ( 222 moms have responded )

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My 18 month old is still not talking. She makes noises and points when she wants something. I've been trying so hard to practice words with her, but she's not getting it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Bettina - posted on 06/18/2009

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Hi Jackie. My name is Bettina. We have 3 generations that have had a slow talker. Let me tell you, all have made up for it & then some. My brother's first word was, "Billy wants drink water." (Obviously, his older sister (me) did all the talking!) He was well over two. I have dealt with this with my 4th daughter and now my eldest daughter has a daughter age 17 1/2 months who is not talking much at all. She points, uses gestures mostly. First, I want to say that each child develops at his or her own pace. I had 5 daughters. Some were early talkers, some later. One was an early walker, one was a late walker. Kathryn was the one who talked the latest. I asked our doctor about it - I was concerned. Her hearing was fine and she was bright. And, she was very active physically. My doctor said that when babies are advanced in one area, they tend to be slower in another area as their bodies can only do so much at a time. What we have found over the years is to carry on conversations with the baby. You talk, tell her something and then let there be a time of silence for her to talk (be it words or babbles). I ask questions like, "What do you want to tell me?", "Is that so? Tell me more.", "I love to hear you talk.", "I love to hear you tell me things.", etc. Another thing to help her is to read out loud to her.



I'm sure you've checked her hearing. If not, snap your fingers just in back of her ear, she should turn towards that side. Check both right & left.



Take care, Bettina Morton

Miki - posted on 08/24/2010

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I TRULY believe that every child will reach their "milestones" when they are good and ready... and not a moment before! Enjoy your "little baby" while they're still little babies! :) That time goes by soooo fast!! :( I know it's hard sometimes, but try not to rush it. Of course if your toddler isn't at all close to where they should be developmentally with their speaking, {etc} there may be an underlying medical reason.
I copied and pasted the following. It is a little 'wordy' but I hope it helps. :)
At a year and a half, most children speak a dozen words (or more) clearly. Besides "Mama" and "Dada," favorite words include "bye-bye," "milk," "cookie," "car," "oh!," and "my." Many 18-month-old toddlers can also link two words together to form rudimentary sentences — sentences without linking verbs or other connecting words. She may say "All gone," "Want ball," or "Me up."

Your 18-month-old probably still does a lot of babbling in imitation of the adult conversations she hears. With increasing frequency, though, you'll hear clear words in the midst of the chattering. (If your child can't say at least two words by now, be sure to mention it to her caregiver at her next well-child visit; your caregiver may wish to test her hearing or have a speech pathologist do an evaluation.)

Tone speaks volumes and your 18-month-old is rapidly figuring that out. Since her vocabulary is still limited, she uses a combination of simple words, inflection, and body language to get her point across. In fact, you may be surprised by how much she can tell you with a just a few words. When she says "COOKIE," she's not merely ruminating about her favorite treat. You know by her tone that what she's really saying is, "I want a cookie — now!"

Many 18-month-old toddlers also begin to refer to themselves by name. It will be a few months before your child can use pronouns (other than the ubiquitous "my").

What you can do
At this stage, it's better to applaud what your toddler can say rather than try to correct "mistakes." For instance, if your child says, "Want cacka," don't correct with, "No, say cracker." Say, "Okay! Here's a cracker!" Modeling the correct use of a word yourself helps kids learn faster than if you correct them outright. And not being constantly corrected will help boost your 18-month-old’s self-confidence and her eagerness to learn and try out new words.

Listen to children's music tapes or CDs together; it's a great way to hone your child's listening skills and you may be surprised by how many words she picks up from the songs.

Other developments: Improving comprehension, memory games
Your toddler has begun to realize that every toy, every animal, every person, every thing, has a name. And she relies on you for labels. She constantly points at pictures in books and asks, "What's that?" Or she just points repeatedly at the picture until you name it for her. She comprehends many more words than she can say easily and is filing the information away for later.

Sometime between 18 and 24 months, toddlers begin to be able to think about things that aren't present. She knows that her shoes are in her closet and will go fetch them if you ask her to. Or she stands in front of the pantry and asks for a cracker, which she knows is there even though she can't see it. If you want to test her on this ability, play a very basic version of the game Concentration. Hide a favorite toy under two or three blankets. She won't be foiled when she removes the first layer and the toy isn't visible — she'll keep searching. In fact, she'll have fun looking for things that you hide.
Good luck to you! I'm sure everything will be just fine with your little one, and he/she will be talking your proverbial ear off really soon!!

Krystalin - posted on 07/06/2009

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Just thought I'd give a little input. I have four kids, three girls and one boy. The girls were all talking by age two. In fact, my eldest daughter was talking like a veteran by 18 months and she was able to recite Bible verses by age two. However, when my son was born, he was a really good baby and large. Physically, his development was quite fast, he walked before the age of one and he obviously understood all that went on around him. However, he could not say much even at two. I was a little worried as his sisters were all talking way too much by that age. He's now almost four and he's doing fine, although there are some things that are still a little unclear. He only started to really talk at three, but once he started he improved really fast. Every week, he learned a whole lot of new words. What I want to say is this. Maybe your daughter just doesn't feel the need to talk right now. That's how my son was. If you've had her tested and there's nothing wrong, I think you need to just wait patiently. Each child has their own pace... that's what I've found with my kids. Hope this helps.

Shawna - posted on 06/10/2009

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If the doctor can't see any obvious problem it may just be that she doesn't NEED to talk. If you know exactly what she wants then she is communicating. With both of my boys, I faced the same problem. They didn't need to talk so they didn't. They didn't really start talking until they were between 2 1/2 and 3, and since that, they haven't stopped :-) She will likely just get frustrated some day and say the words she means, and then you'll wish for the days she didn't talk at all. If she is developing in every other way as expected, I say don't sweat it. Continue saying the words for her, and let her grow at her own pace.

Tammy - posted on 07/01/2009

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I think you might need to have her hearing checked it could stem from that. I know my twin son was delayed and when I took him to the doctor I found out he was not hearing well. He had tubes in his ears and very large adneoids and tonsils removed and speech improved 100% Now he is almost 6 and never shuts up. Hope things work out for your daughter but she really should be evaluated.

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Claudia - posted on 07/10/2009

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Dont worry Every kid is different...As long she is fine and healthy and hearing is find.

My 21mth old talks like crazy but you can only understand him a few words...But he understands clearly in 3 differents language..So dont push her..she is just paying alot of attention and soon you will speak and verry clearly.

Mary - posted on 07/07/2009

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you may want to talk to your childs doctor to make sure there is not a problem with her hearing or some other problem

Stephanie - posted on 07/06/2009

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my daughter didnt talk till after she was about 3. we used to say that she had her own language. We called it Meeganese. We had her in speech 2 times a week, but she didnt start talking until we got her into pre-school. Now she wont stop talking. take her to her doctor and have her hearing tested and tell them that you are concerned. The should know if there is some service out there that helps with speech.

Stephanie - posted on 07/06/2009

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my daughter didnt talk till after she was about 3. we used to say that she had her own language. We called it Meeganese. We had her in speech 2 times a week, but she didnt start talking until we got her into pre-school. Now she wont stop talking. take her to her doctor and have her hearing tested and tell them that you are concerned. The should know if there is some service out there that helps with speech.

Krystalin - posted on 07/06/2009

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Just thought I'd give a little input. I have four kids, three girls and one boy. The girls were all talking by age two. In fact, my eldest daughter was talking like a veteran by 18 months and she was able to recite Bible verses by age two. However, when my son was born, he was a really good baby and large. Physically, his development was quite fast, he walked before the age of one and he obviously understood all that went on around him. However, he could not say much even at two. I was a little worried as his sisters were all talking way too much by that age. He's now almost four and he's doing fine, although there are some things that are still a little unclear. He only started to really talk at three, but once he started he improved really fast. Every week, he learned a whole lot of new words. What I want to say is this. Maybe your daughter just doesn't feel the need to talk right now. That's how my son was. If you've had her tested and there's nothing wrong, I think you need to just wait patiently. Each child has their own pace... that's what I've found with my kids. Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Have her hearing checked. She may not hear you correctly and is saying it the way she hears it. If the hearing is fine, tough love, it's hard but can be helpful. Don't give in right away when she points and grunts. Making her actually work for it will teach her that you aren't gonna just jump and run at the first grunt. Good Luck

Keri - posted on 07/01/2009

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My son also was not talking by 18 months. By 2 years he had about as many words as a 1 year old. We had him tested for both hearing and speech. His hearing is fine, but he has moderate speech problems. He has started talking a lot more in the last couple of months and he is now 3 and a half. He starts speech therapy this fall at the early childhood program. He is speaking a lot more, but he is really hard to understand. Get your child tested. It can't hurt.

Keri - posted on 07/01/2009

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My son also was not talking by 18 months. By 2 years he had about as many words as a 1 year old. We had him tested for both hearing and speech. His hearing is fine, but he has moderate speech problems. He has started talking a lot more in the last couple of months and he is now 3 and a half. He starts speech therapy this fall at the early childhood program. He is speaking a lot more, but he is really hard to understand. Get your child tested. It can't hurt.

Stephanie - posted on 07/01/2009

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my oldest son ws 7 wks premature. he did not speak until well after the age of two. he had cronic ear infections, and they put in his first set of tubes at 19 months. with that and speech therapy, he began talking. he is 8 now and still does speech therapy, but it really helped him as an infant.

User - posted on 07/01/2009

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Hang in there! I was concerned about my daughter at around the same age. But, it seems as if a switch went out when she turned 2. Give it time. The language will kick in. My daughter is 3 now & talks like she is 10 sometimes.

Jael - posted on 07/01/2009

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I thought my son was a little delayed in talking but my doctor said it just seems like he wants to say words. so he is to now n to this day he only says words he knows and if he doesnt he just points. he never did the baby mumbo jumbo stuff like most kids.

Meredith Hertel - posted on 07/01/2009

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If you move her foot back and forth several times a day to lengthen her calf muscle, this is suppose to help. However, I would have your daughter, any child, seen by a chiropractor who works on infants. It is really a nessessity for a child's natural/maximun health, as the spine controls the entire nervous system etc...It is a shame many doctors overlook the immense benefits of chiropractic. Also, if you do not see improvement over time, I would not hesitate to see if your child has heavy metal toxins in their system, prob. mostly from vaccines which could be the prob. of delayed speech, or loss of it. You can get a hair sample analysis done and it will show this and any deficiency. Also, it is important to note that vaccine contents/toxins etc. get harbored in your t2 cells and disguise themselves in elder years as diseases etc. and are a major factor in poor health today, not to mention the tons of other environmental toxins. Remember, a hose still works if it's kinked, just not good...

Shayla - posted on 06/28/2009

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My son did that - we had him tested but he was fine. What worked...we taught him sign language. It worked like a charm and he started using actual words.

Kimberly - posted on 06/22/2009

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I just thought that I would add my own 2 cents. I have three children and my oldest is 10 and my middle is 3. They are both boys and both of them had speech therapy. My 10 year old started speech when he was 2. My middle son just turned 3 in January and he just started speech. My daughter is 2 and is talking better than either of the boys were at that time. Now my ten year old talks more than any girl I know and after just 3 short months in speech my middle son is doing super. So like some other posters have said, it could be a number of things causing it but I wouldnt worry to much about it. All of mine are fine. They just seem to be slower at it or just like you said , lazy!

[deleted account]

My oldest was almost three before he talked more than one word ("thank you" was his only 2 word phrase, and not very comprehendable). But, he had no problem communicating with pointing, jestures, sound FX and walking me places. He was just a late bloomer in this area, that's all. He's quite articulate now. (he was an early bloomer in walking though - 7.5 months!!) Every kid is different. Good Luck!

Erin - posted on 06/21/2009

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My daughter was not talking at all at 18 months and didn't even babble in her room when we weren't there. I would talk to your doctor about speech therapy. They had us have her hearing tested first - it was fine. Then we were referred to First Steps - a program in Indiana that provides therapy for children 3 and under. I would assume most states probably have a similar program. The therapist came to our house to keep her in her own environment and taught her some sign language so she could communicate more before she actually started talking. We continued until she turned 3 and I would definitely recommend the experience. She is now 5 and we can't get her to be quiet now. Hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

[deleted account]

Quoting Jackie:

18 month old still not talking

My 18 month old is still not talking. She makes noises and points when she wants something. I've been trying so hard to practice words with her, but she's not getting it. Does anyone have any suggestions?



My daughter (now nearly 20!) didn't talk at all until she was 18 months old. She would come out with the occassional sound but was mostly quiet but then suddenly spoke in small sentences, she was obviously taking everything in but felt no need to give anything back. However, you may be advised to take your child for a hearing test, just in case. 



NB. My daughter would be quite happy for me to answer questions on her behalf in a social situation in her early teens but has no problem holding conversations with people from all walks of life these days.

Dez - posted on 06/19/2009

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When my daughter was 18 months she had only 3 words and everytime I can't understand what her grunt meant, she would throw a fit. I happen to be reading a book about babies and one chapter was called Sign 101. I decided to follow their advise and bought a sign language video for babies. I had the whole family watch and learn a few basic words. My daughter loved it and she really used. She signed for a few months and then she signed and talked for a while and then she dropped signing and just talked. Exactly like the book described babies and toddlers would do. The video was called We Sign "Babies and Toddlers". I also used it for my third child when she turned 1 just for fun. She loved it.

Karen - posted on 06/18/2009

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My little girl did not really start talking much until she was 2. She wanted to just grunt and point as well. We would always tell her to use her words and we would say to her what she needed to say. She is now three and talking up a storm, you would never know that she started talking late. It just seemed to click one day and every day she amazes us more. I'm sure her speech will come along. Some children just take longer than others. Try not to compare her to other children, we did and that only made things seem worse. Good luck and keep telling her to use her words and repeat what it is you want her to say.

Karen - posted on 06/18/2009

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My little girl did not really start talking much until she was 2. She wanted to just grunt and point as well. We would always tell her to use her words and we would say to her what she needed to say. She is now three and talking up a storm, you would never know that she started talking late. It just seemed to click one day and every day she amazes us more. I'm sure her speech will come along. Some children just take longer than others. Try not to compare her to other children, we did and that only made things seem worse. Good luck and keep telling her to use her words and repeat what it is you want her to say.

Chinggay - posted on 06/18/2009

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My youngest child, a daughter, spoke when we enrolled her at age 3.6. She still doesn't speak straight but we can understand her better. I would like to say that you let her speak in her own time & not to dwell too much on her inability to talk. Enjoy your darling. Because when she learns to talk, you wold wish her to just shut up. Just joking on the last part.

Louise - posted on 06/18/2009

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Have you had her hearing tested since the first one they get when they are born??she might have glue ear it is common in children and it can be easily sorted out they just drain the ear andif grommits need to put in to stop the build up of wax they will do it when they drain the ear. just a suggestion as my 3year old has only just started talking so as we can understand her .she had a hearing test done and they have said that it looks like glue ear ,sometimes they let the child try to get rid of it by themselves and other times they drain and grommit. hope that i've been some help to you

Lisa - posted on 06/18/2009

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The first thing that I would do is talk to your doctor about it. I'm no expert, but I have taken many human and child development classes in college and what I've learned is that there are many reasons for why children develop at different rates - some require medical intervention, others just require patience. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not there is cause for concern and help you figure out the best course of action.

Lisa - posted on 06/18/2009

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The first thing that I would do is talk to your doctor about it. I'm no expert, but I have taken many human and child development classes in college and what I've learned is that there are many reasons for why children develop at different rates - some require medical intervention, others just require patience. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not there is cause for concern and help you figure out the best course of action.

Laura - posted on 06/18/2009

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I'm not sure what state you live in, but some states have early child intervention. California has something called early start and they will test your child to see if they qualify. If they qualify, someone comes out to the house and will actually work with your child to help develop their speech. These are credentialed teachers who do this all the time. They really know what they are doing. In Calif. the service is free. The first step is to tell your pediatrician your concerns and see if there are any services in your area to help. I know that early intervention really helped my son who had a gross motor delay. They got him into physical therapy and the early start program and it made a huge difference!!!

[deleted account]

My oldest daughter didn't talk until she was 2 1/2. This was due, in part, to a tremendous number of ear infections which affected her hearing. To this day she has a difficult time hearing certain tones (she is 12). But some kids just do things later than "normal." Others do things earlier than "normal." I think we moms get way too worked up about our kids not doing things "on time." As long as they are healthy and active, I don't worry if they don't do things when the "experts" say they should.

Saroya - posted on 06/18/2009

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Its ok don't get 2 alarmed u can talk to her doctor about it, but my 7 yr. old didn't talk until she was 3 1/2 yrs. old and she fine.

Saroya - posted on 06/18/2009

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Its ok don't get 2 alarmed u can talk to her doctor about it, but my 7 yr. old didn't talk until she was 3 1/2 yrs. old and she fine.

Saroya - posted on 06/18/2009

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Its ok don't get 2 alarmed u can talk to her doctor about it, but my 7 yr. old didn't talk until she was 3 1/2 yrs. old and she fine.

Saroya - posted on 06/18/2009

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Its ok don't get 2 alarmed u can talk to her doctor about it, but my 7 yr. old didn't talk until she was 3 1/2 yrs. old and she fine.

Saroya - posted on 06/18/2009

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Its ok don't get 2 alarmed u can talk to her doctor about it, but my 7 yr. old didn't talk until she was 3 1/2 yrs. old and she fine.

Saroya - posted on 06/18/2009

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Its ok don't get 2 alarmed u can talk to her doctor about it, but my 7 yr. old didn't talk until she was 3 1/2 yrs. old and she fine.

Keola - posted on 06/18/2009

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The binky is probably the reason for the delay. I used sign lanuage with all three of my kids and it helped. My son really didn't talk till he was 2 years. My daughter is 21 months and she can talk but chooses not to. Give her more time and don't give her what she wants till she says what it is or makes an attempt. This can result in stubborn screaming but if you are worried, Maybe try this tactic for a few days and see if she attempts to talk more often. This is what I have to do with my little girl. She is very stuborn and just doesn't want to talk a lot of the time - she is use to her brother getting her what she wants with out making an effort.

Stacey - posted on 06/18/2009

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My son is 2 years and 4 mths and is still not talking. He has been in speech theropy for a year now and knows some signs. Some kids just take longer than others. If the hearing test is normal I would see about getting a speech theropist they are really great.

Nathalie - posted on 06/18/2009

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I just went through something like this. Does your little one point at the pictures when you say the word? I had ruled the hearing problem out because Amelia could point to everything I was saying. But that was my main question for the pediatrician when she was 19 mos. I told him she was not talking enough for my taste and I was worried. He said "Does she say at least 4 words" and I said yes. Then he said she was fine. I left not feeling sure about it. It didn't help that my now 4 yo was talking like a 4 to 5 yo when she was barely turnin two. And somehow, I was comparing the two. Each child is different and develops skills at their own pace. About a month after seeing the doctor, she started saying pretty much every word possible. I was amazed. She is now 24 months and I can understand pretty much anything she is saying. Good luck!

Anne - posted on 06/18/2009

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She still is young... You shouldn't worry... but try to got to toddlers groups. Other children will come to her, that could be fun... My 3 year old is very slow as well but he is got a big brother to motivate him!!! good luck...

Zoe - posted on 06/18/2009

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My son is the same he is 20 months and all he says is hiya and mummy,his hearing is fine as he knows exactly what u are saying to hin i personally think he is lazy try not to worry im sure she will talk when she is ready.

Jessica - posted on 06/18/2009

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My 18 month old is the same way and she has three older siblings, they will talk when they are ready. I am not going to push the issue because they are pushed through school, let them be young and enjoy.

User - posted on 06/18/2009

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I read many of the thread above and some of them may scare you.. First of all, I am sure you child doesnt have Autism, if she is getting her wants relied by pointing. This does mean she is related. I definetly would get rid of all sippy cups, get the playtex ones with the pop up straws, they dont spill! You are doing the the right thing by repeating the words everytime you give it to her. Try having her repeat the first sound in the word as a start.. Some sounds that are easier are B, for bubbles, etc.. She is only 18 months old, but within a few months (2 or 3) try to not give it to her everytime unless she attempts to vocalize some type of sound. Is she saying anything? Definetly take her to an ENT, it could be as simple as fluid in her ears. Has she had many ear infections. The pediatricians hearing test is not the same! You are doing a good job.. Keep it up. --Karen ( a mom and a Speech Therapist)

Azlin - posted on 06/18/2009

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Hi,I've got 4 kids.My first one who's 8 now didn't say his first word till a few days before his 2nd bday.We weren't ever worried,we always said we'd look into it after 2 & a half. By 3, his vocabulary challenged that of a 5 year old & now he's on the gifted & talented register. My 4th one,at 17 months has still not shown any indication of a "proper word",& again,we find it perfectly normal. Don't force anything on her. Talk to her like you would to an older child or an adult,short,to the point sentences.I've never baby-talked my children,my youngest,while not talking,is able to follow instructions very well.

Most of all,don't worry,children do things when they're ready.

TAYLER - posted on 06/17/2009

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DON'T RUSH IT! MINES STARTED TALKING @ 12MONTHS, NOW SHE TALKS FROM THE TIME SHE STEPS OUT THE BED IN THE MORNING.

Robyn - posted on 06/17/2009

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My daughter was doing the exact same thing. By her 2 year check-up, my doctor put us on to a pediatrician who then referred us to Erin Oak kids - a speech and language program. They have been great! There is an initial program for parents to learn techniques on how to elicit language from their child (using signs and gestures for words is a huge part- Baby Einstein's First Signs DVD may be helpful). Then, the child starts sessions - both group and one on one. At the age of 3, she had less than 10 words. She just turned 5 and is still not up to level with her peers, but she has come such a long way....it is hard to imagine she use to be so quiet!!! I hope this helps!

User - posted on 06/17/2009

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My son did not talk much at 18 month if any and we were very worried, but our doctor told us to relax and he would pick it up and it was so true. He is 2 1/2 now and his vocabulary is enormous!

Ashley - posted on 06/17/2009

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my little niece did not start talking until she was almost 3! .. but when she did start talking it was very surprising .. she has a very large vocabulary. be patient, and you will be surprised

User - posted on 06/17/2009

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My son was 3.5 before we found out what was wrong. He knew what he wanted and where it was but he could not say the words. He did say mommy and daddy and then just stopped. Have the doctors do a fluid test on her ears. They just push air in the ear and see how id comes back and it will show fluid or not. Do not let them tell you to have a hearing test. Anyone can hear a beep or someone making noise. If they are "under water" they can't understand what you are saying. After 3 rounds of antibiotics one after the other because of ear infections it finally cleared and he started talking almost imediately. Good Luck I know it is frustrating. My has been in school since he was 3 because of this and is now in 2nd grade and still has a lot of trouble talking and making sentences.

Rebecca - posted on 06/17/2009

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Words come in spurts. my son didn't talk untill he was almost 3 - and then, over niight, he was talking in complete sentences. My Grandson doesn't say anything for days but grunts, and points or says "pease" doing the sign for please his mom taught him months ago. Then comes up with words like "kepescope" (he heard Micky Mouse say telescope) and runs around the house shouting it at the top of his lungs. today the word was "bounce" and he ran around trying his darndest to literally bounce, He even made it an inch off the ground. He is 29 months now. Vocabulary comes. Don't panic yet.

[deleted account]

Well my son didn't start talking until about 2 months after be took the pacifier away! From there we got a bunch of preschool FLASH CARDS and he is doing great now I am a big believer in seeing and saying!! Try that I hope it helps.

Christie - posted on 06/17/2009

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Has your child had ear infections? If so, it could just be that she has fluid stuck in her inner ears and she is unable to hear. A good ENT can quickly tell you whether that is the case or not. I have 2 kids who both have speech issues and have required speech therapy - and both had recurrent ear infections. You can also contact Easter Seals or your local Department of Child Services (available through most counties) and they can test your child for a speech to determine whether there is a problem. Most will not begin therapy until your child is 2, but they can help determine what steps you need to take next to get your child in with an excellent therapist. They also can direct you in whether your city/county offers a free pediatric hearing screening and who to contact for that service. You can also contact your pediatrician, but most will refer you to these service providers anyway. We did try the private speech therapy route, but Easter Seals has some really incredible therapists that far exceeded the ones we found in private practice. Good luck!

Karen - posted on 06/17/2009

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My son was like that,and now he won't stop talking. Some are early and some are late. It is a waiting game. Hang in there and things will happen. If not then get help.

Karen - posted on 06/17/2009

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My son was like that,and now he won't stop talking. Some are early and some are late. It is a waiting game. Hang in there and things will happen. If not then get help.

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