Needed input regarding daughter onlying saying 2 words

Melissa - posted on 07/28/2009 ( 31 moms have responded )

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Just had my daughters 18 month check up last week and my pediatrician is a little concern that Olivia is only saying 2 words (momma, dadda) She does alot of noise imitation but doesn't repeat any words. We have been playing the "name your body part" since she was about 9 months old and she still does not try to say the word "nose" or if you ask her "where is your nose" she does not try to find it. Our pediatrician said it could be anything from a speech delay to a possible mild form of autism. I don't know what to think. All I know is that for the past couple of months I have felt like something was not right. She started saying dadda around 12 months but did not not say momma until she was about 16.5 mos old. Just need to input or to know if anyone else is in this situation or been in this situation. My doctor did a hearing test and Olivia passed, he wants to see her back in one month. She is my 2nd daughter and alot of people say that is why she is not talking b/c she doesn't have too, I am just not sure how much I believe that. Any advice/input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Claire - posted on 08/01/2009

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- if you are speaking to the child about something try to repeat the main focus word as much as possible (say you are getting her a drink) - "would you like a DRINK?" (leave a pause for response) and then say "yes mum I want DRINK" "mum is getting you a DRINK of water" "thats a big DRINK" "DRINK it all up" etc. hearing the word constantly makes it easier to relate the word.

- sometimes sign language can be a big help, it doesnt really matter what type of signing you use it is just giving her another option and make sure you repeat the word with the action

- play games where she has to run somewhere and repeat the word "run run run to the ball"

-play on a swing and say "swinging swinging" as you push and then stop swinging and say "More swinging?" (pause for response) "yes, More swinging" and start again, this can be done with alot of things and bubbles is a good one to"

- try to focus on things that she is interested in and maybe give her a choice of 2 of her favourite toys saying "would you like the car or the truck?" (holding one in each hand out in front of her) let her choose the toy even if she doesnt speak and say "Yes, the truck" and again with the repeating of the word truck. (can also be a hide and seek game - who shall we hide? hide car? hide truck? hide dolly? (let her choose) "hide dolly" (then you hide it for her to find) "where is dolly?" "find dolly!" "Yay! you found dolly!"

- reward her with a sticker chart when she does make an effort to communicate (even if it isnt a clear word the fact that she is trying is great)

Claire - posted on 07/31/2009

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My oldest daughter is 3 and a half now and she has global development delay which includes speech delay. I have found talking to her in shorter sentences was a HUGE help example instead of saying "hop into the car now" say something like "in car" just try to shorten each sentence to give her that extra push. I have been taking Caylin to an occupational therapist and whilst they deal with her motoring skills I have found it has been really helpful for her speech. also try not to predict what she wants and encourage her to ask if you know she wants a drink say "drink please" and leave a gap for a response (but dont expect one as you may just frustrate her and delay it even more) I have a huge list of speech development tips if you would like. good luck and dont stress too much it will come in time :)

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Kelly - posted on 08/28/2009

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hey sweetie u poor thing yeah i have heard the same as u too.My son lockie is 19mths old n he says maybe 3 words he walked late as well and doesn't do what i thought he should somy advice to u is yes this is normal and they will do it when they are ready i have an older son who is 8 and he was very advanced walked at 9 mths and spoke at 8mths so when lockie came along and didn't walk till 14mths and still at 19mths only says 3 words like u i panicked not 2 say ur doc is wrong my doc said lockie would do it when he wanted to and that he was healthy n 2 just b patient having more then 1 child we do tend 2 compare and that is just normal but stressful lol a suggestion i work 3 days a week so lockie goes 2 family daycare and he has improved alot since going he now says 5 words lol and is no longer clinging 2 me lol maybe try that 4 ur little 1 just 2 days a week if u can it gives u a rest it helps them and that is greaT well i hope i helped ease ur mind a little ur not alone if u need to talk or a reassuring word just let me knw goodluck

Nicole - posted on 08/27/2009

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I was told at my sons 18 month apt that he should be saying about 20 words, he says about five, he does not call me mama when he comes up to me, only when Im not in the room, he does alot of talking (in sentences) but is not making any sense(to us anyway) I know that he knows what he is saying, and if you ask him who certian people are he will point to them, so I'm certian he knows what's going on, just doesn't have the words just yet. I have two older children and have been told the same thing, that the younger one takes longer, I always thought that they would learn faster. Other people who I know have been through this say he will just start talking in full sentences and not to worry. Once in a while one actually does come out. I know he copies his siblings more than anyone, maybe your older child can practice words w/her. Good Luck! Nicole

[deleted account]

I'm a little lateo n this but the "No child left behind" has a baby area in it. In OK it's caller Sooner Start and it's free. Some states you have to pay but not a lot. You won't get help from the public school with speach until the child is 3. Please don't wait that long. They baby programe they will come to your house an dsee where your child is on all development and go from there. They have speach people that will come out too. My Daugher has been seen 2 times and they are coming again in another month because although she has been saying a lot of words and 3 word sentences for months there is no "B" or "P" sounds. So no book, bug, ball, papa, puter. "M" come and go. She pretty much won't say a sound that her lips touch. You can call your Health Department to see wh o you need to call for this service. It's not through a Dr, per say, but can be.

Best of luck to you and remember, as mom, if you have a concern or your gut tells you something, follow it!!! This is your baby. don't wait until 3 to do something that you can do today. : D

Michele - posted on 08/25/2009

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My daughter is not talking either. She had to have tubes put in her ears because of alot of ear infections, so the doc thinks her speach is delayed because of that. Her ENT took a hearing test and her hearing is perfectly fine. I just called Early childhood intervention to have her evaluated. We are both very frustrated because she knows exactly what she wants, but she can't get the words out to tell me and I play the guessing game to find out what she wants, she finally gets mad and starts screaming. I hope that she gets approved for speech services so she will finally start talking!!!

Amanda - posted on 08/16/2009

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My son is in the same boat as your daughter! He only says a few like the typical mamma and dadda. He does say hi and night night and baba when he wants his bottle before bed! Unlike my niece who is a month older who has complete sentences! So i feel ur frustrations! But i have heard that the second child will learn words later to because usually the older one will answer or know what the younger one wants, it happened in our house that way when my sister and i were kids my mom said i did all her talking for her!!

Niki - posted on 08/14/2009

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My son can say about 10 words or so, but he can also sign around 10 more I think. We didnt start signing until about 3 months ago, but over half the words he can now say he learned to sign first. Maybe this will help?

Aleid - posted on 08/13/2009

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Sorry to hear so! Could be all sort of things... I have a 18 month old son he does not say much either, only 'lamp' (Dutch for light) and 'nee' (no) and da da (daddy), probably because he is raised bi-langual? And he can point to his nose, but that is the only bodypart he plays along with. I try not to worry too much.My mum always keeps reminding me of my own story, app. I did not speak much until I was over 3 years old and said a complete sentence, I probably did not find it necessary to speak earlier.

In teh meanwhile, I keep singing / reading / talking / pointing out stuff to my todler, who hopefully will start to speak more soon! Hope your daughter will start babling soon too!

Rea - posted on 08/10/2009

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Hi, my daughter hardly talks too. She seems to understand everything we say to her and can make herself understood without words. She also only started saying mama at about 16 months. I have a 3 year old daughter aswell who loves to talk for her sister! I found Hannah has done everything slower than Ayla. I think Hannah is just lazy! I really feel you should follow your gut instincts, if you feel something isnt quite right keep fighting until you get some answers. In the mean time, try to spend some one on one time with her away from your other daughter so she has a chance to get a word in.

[deleted account]

Go with your instincts if you think something is wrong. They're usually right on but it might not be something huge so don't worry too much. Personally, I probably wouldn't wait a month to have her checked. I'd get started on finding out what you need to do right away because if you need a specialist, they always seem to have a wait to get an appointment.



I have two boys and they seemed to learn speach about the same way. I have heard of delays with the second child, but that was not the case with mine. (Boys and girls might be different though, I don't know.) Although my 19-month-old does not have many words (mama and mine is about it), he does understand everything and responds when he feels like it - about half the time. He knows some of his body parts (hair, teeth, hands, toes, eye--not nose, ear, belly button, for example) when we play "where's x?" I hope this helps give you an example what other kids your child's age are doing.



I truly hope that there is nothing wrong, or if there is a delay, it's just that. I agree with Lindsey though that children do develop at different rates so it may be nothing at all. Good luck. She's beautiful!

[deleted account]

My oldest who is now 3 was speaking in very clear sentences very early. My 18 month old just seemed to babble and we didn't know what he was saying. A few weeks ago I heard him clearly counting to himself 1, 2 3 and when I looked he was pushing pieces of crisp across the table. I was so excited I mentioned this to my friend later that day (who is also their childminder), she was like 'Yeah, he's been doing that for ages, I thought you knew'. I was so upset with myself for having misinterpreted his babble, she told me it was just 'second child syndrome' but now if I actually listen to him he is saying an awful lot and has his own words for lots of things, I just didn't understand them. He also understands a lot and can do what we ask him to do with fairly complex instructions. My friends youngest let her older sister 'talk' for her until she started school, we were old worried that the teacher wouldn't understand her, but it turned out that she could talk perfectly well, she just didn't have to at home. Don't worry about Olivia, she'll come along when she's ready.

Michele - posted on 08/02/2009

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Does she seem to understand what you say? My oldest boy, 3, barely said a handful of words until about 2 months before his 3rd birthday and then all of the sudden it was full-blown sentences. My 18 month old boy only says a couple of words. My daughter was saying all kinds of words before her first birthday and she hasn't stopped talking since! She will be 12 in Aug :) But, I am not worried. My pediatrician said that a lot of times people worry, but it happens frequently that all of the sudden right before 3 they take off (as with the case of my oldest son). I read somewhere that the key to look for is if they are understanding what you are saying. I just read it the other day, I wish I remembered where and I would point you there.

Melissa - posted on 08/02/2009

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Claire.........you are so right about it being hard to implement........but I am sure we will get the hang of it before too long.............thanks again for the help

Melissa - posted on 08/02/2009

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Tisha,
I agree that it is better to be safe than sorry.......good luck with your evaluation

Tisha - posted on 08/02/2009

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I am getting mine evaluated by early intervention with the school district just to be safe. He is not saying too many words. He can follow commands though. He had tubes and has started saying more words, so it may just be taking him some time, but I would rather be safe and get him tested than be sorry.

Claire - posted on 08/01/2009

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It is really hard to get into the habit of doing it every day but if you and your husband remind each other every now and again it should eventually become second nature. and the other thing I forgot to mention is when you are doing the 2 word sentences with her that is just until she starts getting more words in her vocab then once you think she is improving push it up to 3 word sentences etc. I think once they get about 20-30 words in their vocab they start putting 2 words together. (dont quote me on that though) it is great having this support here, nice to know there are other people in the same boat etc! good luck!

Melissa - posted on 08/01/2009

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Claire, thanks for the "homework" after seeing it on paper it seems so easy, but speaking is something I think we all at times take for granted. I am going to let my husband know about our new communication "rules" for Olivia and even get her big sister Elsa (5) in on the action. Again, I appreciate the help/advice and I am grateful to have a place to turn to for advice/help from other moms!!!! It's GREAT!

Melissa - posted on 08/01/2009

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Thanks Julie for the words of encouragement. You're right about the quality time. I am so glad to be apart of this circle..........:0)

[deleted account]

I have twins and they are behind in their speech as well! My doc really isn't too worried though. He says that the younger children always seem to be a lil' slower, kinda like your friends advice! Just keep reinforcing and repeating over & over! Talk about EVERYTHING you see! Soo important!! You are a GREAT mom to be so concerned! Just keep making the time, make it fun, and don't worry! I'm sure by 2, she'll be fine!!:) My twins were preemies, so they were a lil' behind before, but, I'm working hard and just praying for them too! My ped. said we will start by doing the hearing testing at two, if needed, but, remember each child is an individual and will progress at their own speed, but, it's the QUALITY time that YOU spend that is the utmost important! (I know I've been babying my two cuz' they are my last... But, now I'm really working on them too!:) Good Luck & God Bless!!

Melissa - posted on 07/31/2009

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Dawn,
Thanks for the heads up about the school system. I will make sure to have a detailed list of questions when I call. Also, it helps that I work with a psychologist, all thought he does not work with children, I can still pick his brain about any label the try to put on Olivia ans see what he thinks.

Melissa - posted on 07/31/2009

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Claire, thanks for telling me about speaking in shorter sentences. I do try to make her ask for drink or cup when I know that is what she is wanting, but she has no patience and just has a fit, if I just don't give her the cup, but I will keep trying. Also, if you could get me that list I would greatly appreciate it. Any thing that I can do at home to her with this delay would be great.

Melissa - posted on 07/31/2009

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Lulu
thanks for the advice and I really hope our kids start talking soon........I feel like I am in limbo sometimes with her

Dawn - posted on 07/31/2009

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My son also doesn't say much. Very inconsistant. But he understands most of what we say. He will follow simple commands, so I am not worried about a learning issue. We figure he will talk when he's ready. I would be hesitant to get her tested by the public school system. Schools get extra money for every "special needs" child and might be too anxious to label her with a learning deficit so they get more money. Then, as she gets older and outgrows this delayed stage- it might be really hard to get the "label" removed because the school doesn't want to lose money. Not saying all schools put $$ before the child's well being, but there are enough that do that you need to be cautious.

Lulu - posted on 07/31/2009

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hi..my son doesn't say anything but the number 2..he maks lots & lots of sounds he even talk his oun launguge ( it makes me laugh when i hear him talking to him self ) ...i did hearing teast he passed...he is my 2nd & my 3 year old talk alot & take all the attention...1 more things thats making all the speach thing slow is we speak arabic & english in the house which makes it worse...i'm not trying to make a big deal out of it ( trying really hard) & i'm just talking to him in clear slow words & he watches my mouth moving...i hope our kids start talking soon :o) good luck

Susan - posted on 07/30/2009

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I recommend having her screen by the Early Intervention run by the state. They do the testing for children below the age of three. The state school system tests after then. It is free and they can recommend whatever help they believe she needs. I did this with my son. It is also made the transition to the school programs much easier. He didn't say much either though he was trying. On the other hand, she might be like my uncle whom did chose to speak until he was four and then he used complete sentences. Apparently, my mother (his older sister) was speaking for him all the time. Good luck.

Marcette - posted on 07/30/2009

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mine is 18 months and only says a couple of words like, mamma, dadda, nanna and bobile (referring to mobile)

Melissa - posted on 07/29/2009

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Thanks Lindsey for the ideas. I will definitely try them. I usually do her bed time story by herself and she will mimic the sounds that a dog and cat make but will not point the animals out yet.

Melissa - posted on 07/29/2009

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I have not taken her to a speech specialist yet, but may ask our dr about next month when I see him.

Lindsey - posted on 07/29/2009

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I think all children develope at different speeds and that you shouldn't worry too much. She is your 2nd too so the older one probably takes over alot like mine. He'll come to me saying Madi wants a drink and stuff. My little girl only says the odd word still she can say more then two words but its only really the past week or so she has started to say more.

If you play the body part game with my daughter she can point and show you everything you ask but she can only say hand and head she makes a noise when you say nose but she isn't actually saying nose.

However my son at this age could say all the body parts, make all the noises and name all the animals in a farm/zoo and was already putting words together.

My health visitor told me not to worry if I know that she is understanding what I am saying and doing what I ask her too. She definately knows what I am saying and does what I ask when she is in the mood.

I find she tries to say alot more when my 3 year old is not around - maybe see if you can get some one to one time and encourage her to ask for juice or drink. Or if she wants to picking up - ask her to say up and things.

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