My 18-month old daughter barely talks. Should it be a cause for worry?

Ysabel - posted on 07/28/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




My husband and I have recently started to worry about our 18-month old daughter because she barely speaks!

Our pediatrician says that if she can at least say six (6) words, it isn't a cause for worry yet.

We said that she can say:
"Mama" (sometimes she goes on on and on like 'mamamamamama')
"Blue" (she says 'boo')
"Hello" (she says 'e-yow')
"Bye" (she says 'bah')

And on very rare occassions we think we hear her say 'thank you'... sometimes she's calls our pet by name... and some other words she does not use regularly. But that's it, and for the most part, she only seldom talks.

What she does a lot is point and gesture:
- she would grab your hand and pull you / point towards the direction where she wants to go / she wants you to go.
- she would point to the TV / give the remote control / push the buttons herself if she wants to watch the TV
- she can point to her body parts (nose, ears, head, tongue, bellybutton) when you say "Where is your ?"
- we also have posters of alphabet, numbers and shapes and she can point to the correct object when you ask "Where is the dog/cat/sun/star/cricle/etc...?"
- she follows simple instructions ('sit on the couch','turn off the light','pick up your toy', etc)

So... I think she understands what we tell her and she knows how to communicate non-verbally...

...But she barely talks!!! :(

The concern and worry and anxiety is slowly creeping in... should we be doing anything to address this right now? Or should we trust the pediatrician that it is not a cause for worry yet?


Chet - posted on 07/28/2014




At this stage, I would not be concerned, but I would put some targeted effort into supporting her language development.

Definitely shut off the TV. Television is not recommended for children under the age of two, and there are studies that suggest it can interfere with speech development. This applies to both children watching TV and TV being on in the background.

When she points and gestures put words to her actions. Speak what she is communicating: "You want the ball." "I see the duck."

Expose her to lots of language. Chat with her about what you're doing, what you see, etc. Sing songs. Recite rhymes. Read stories.

Mostly though, I would just be patient. Some kids don't talk a lot. Lots of kids just talk a little more time to start talking. Everything else sounds like it's it order, so I expect that her speech will come in time.

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