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My son is 20 months and doesn't speak actual words. He will babble constantly but that is about it. We know that he has no problems with hearing as he follows directions just fine.

Other than doing a running commentary, how can I encourage him to start using words?

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Asked by Triplestack318 at 5:05 PM on Jan. 3, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Sit down with him and teach him a few,

    My daughter did that as well,

    She is two now and within this week alone she has took up tons of words on her own she copies every thing me and her father says

    it takes time and children differ,

    Answer by LexsiesMommy at 5:29 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Call Early Intervention to see about getting him evaluated. They are there to help. He may qualify for speech therapy and they will have all KINDS of ways to help him!! (I have two in speech)

    Don't do a running commentary. Shorten your sentences. Not baby talk, but instead of saying, "Let's play with the ball." say "play ball!" Stretch it out and make it a little sing-songy. And when he makes an attempt at a word, PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE!!! "Good talking!!"

    Try to get him to repeat single words. At first, if he repeats the correct of syllables, that's GREAT!! That's a start! Then, when one of those syllables is a close approximation of the correct word..SUPER!! Next comes the close approximation of the entire word. It doesn't happen over night, though...but it will happen.


    Answer by TiccledBlue at 6:10 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • My youngest (severe speech delay) didn't say a single word until 22 months. He's now 3 months into therapy and starting to attempt 2-3 word phrases!

    (the character limitation is really annoying! most questions canNOT be answered in less than 1000 characters!)

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 6:11 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • By "actual words" do you mean sounds that you and everyone else recognize? Like Banana instead of "na"? Or Milk instead of "me"? Or Balloon instead of "dee"?
    If he uses the same sound, in the same way, every time and you come to understand what he means, then it counts as a word even if no one else has a clue what he is saying. Clarity comes with time and age.
    If he doesn't have any sounds that he uses as words, then have him evaluated. It can't hurt. They may tell you he's fine or they may tell you he is a little delayed and give you ideas of things to do.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 8:13 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • dont't worry, my son did not speak many words until he was 24 months. Then he would not stop talking!!!!LOL He soon learned all of his letters, and numbers up to 10. Now he is 3 and in preschool. He is very smart and very funny!!!Also my cousin did not speak much until she was over 21/2. She graduated from Notre Dame top in her class and is at Grad school to become a research doctor.

    Answer by team21 at 8:49 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • My oldest had/has a severe speech delay (he is 17 now) and I was always woried about the other kids. My second started talking just before 2, and that seemed to be true of the other's after her, one was even later then 2 and one day she opened her mouth and out came complete sentences. My last one was talking 1-2 words at 19 months, and full sentences by 22 months, we figured that with 6 older siblings he was only going to get heard if he made himslef clear. But he is not the norm.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 8:58 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Mom he is fine. Keep talking around him. He will talk.

    Answer by Godswk at 9:09 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

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