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Do I need to worry about my 21 month old son not talking?

He babbles, says mama, dada, sometimes nana and paw paw, meow (he named our cat, so I know he comprehends some animal sounds), and sometimes will say a new word, only to not seem to know how to say it a short time later. He has a 9 year old brother and a sister that is almost 3. His brother didn't have "clear" speech until he was almost 5 and we still have volume and mumbling issues with. His sister was speaking full sentences by 18 months and has a huge vocabulary. He knows his body parts, can point to eyes, mouth, nose, etc on our faces or on his in the mirror. He will get his cup, shoes, coat etc when we tell him to or ask where it is. So I don't think it's a comprehension issue at all. He knows some "signing", not all are the official signs for things, but it's "Steven sign". He will nod his head yes or shake his head no if we ask him a question. So, should I worry or just let him be? We talk to him all the time.

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Asked by kiss316 at 4:51 AM on Feb. 16, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • I would say no- my now 7 yo dd barely spoke and was mostly unintelligible until well after her third birthday. She communicated just fine with every other method at her disposal. Then something *clicked* and she started speaking in paragraphs and hasn't shut up since!! LOL Her reading skills came in almost the exact same manner as her speech BTW- and the *click* happened at the late end of normal- but she is now reading a grade level ahead and memorizes her sight words on sight!! She happens to really enjoy math and is good at it. I am always reading, so I am not too concerned about that area- but I am determined to keep making math sound like a good thing and fun!! Big sis was teaching kindergarten sis her math facts- they did extra homework for fun!! Kai did touch math on her nose, so cute!! There is an *engineering brain* gene that runs on both sides- it skipped me- but both my grrls got it!! YEAH!!! Decent jobs ahead!!

    Answer by mtnmama111 at 5:17 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • This is coming from someone who has two in speech therapy....

    If he's babbling and saying a few words, that's great. If you feel he should/could be further ahead, then I recommend calling and having him evaluated for possible speech therapy.

    My 3 year old is in speech for articulation delays....he has a vocabulary far above his "age level".

    My 2 year old is in speech for a severe expressive delay...he didn't say a single word until he was 22 months. (I mean not even Momma or Dad...nothing, just babble around those with whom he was familiar)

    My nephew didn't receive any help...he didn't speak until late and then he was barely clear. He is now 8 and VERY difficult to understand. My 5 year old is MUCH clearer than my nephew.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 6:58 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • I have a lady from the hospital who comes by my house once a month. She said she is looking for our son to say 50 words by the time he is two. She said it is normal for children to learn a new word and then "forget it" My son can say Mom and Dad but chooses not to. The same with other words. tHe trick for us was to see if he could hear since hearing is such an important part. We ask him to do simple things, like bring us the remote and he can. As long as your son understands you and has good receptive language it is not a real problem. I would wait a couple months and see if he doesn't pick up on more words. Our Local AEA will test kids for hearing and speech delays. I was told to wait until my son was 2 to worry about this but if you are worried now give them a call. They have a trained speech pathologist and would love to help if you are concerned. And it is funded through a grant so I believe it is free.

    Answer by simplysmiles13 at 8:18 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • You could have him evaluated for speech therapy. My 8 year old received it when he was 3 and it worked really well. My 3 year old now also is very hard to understand, talking mostly in mumbles and garbled words. He also qualifies for speech therapy. You could wait awhile but if it is a speech delay, you probably want to catch it right away. The lady who evaluated my son said it could lead to problems down the road. Good Luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:07 PM on Feb. 16, 2009

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