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Speech delay? Where should my toddler be?

My son is 20 months, and doesn't talk. He says Mumma, and Dad-da when he wants to. He has other words we think he's saying but we can't tell. We've been teaching him sign and he's been learning that very well. He doesn't have any hearing problems. (he responds to sound several rooms away) He's recently started saying "huzzat" which I think is "What's that" because he's always pointing at something or someone when he says it.

Our doctor says if he's not saying 15 words by the time he's 2 he'll need speech therapy. My husband didn't start talking until he was 3.

I was wondering where he should be, how many words he should be saying, and if anyone knows of any good ways to get him to talk more.

Please help, ladies. I greatly appreciate any advice, or information you can give me.


Asked by BisketLiss at 8:55 AM on May. 15, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 18 (4,943 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Every child is different, so don't let it worry you. To me the best way to help him is talk to him, not baby talk. Ask questions about every thing through out the day. Read books even if they are the one word a page book. Let him hear what talking sounds like. I read to my first and talked to him like I was talking to myself half the time, but now he is 4 and will not let his younger sister talk for anything. Just remember, we spend the first 2-3 years trying to teach them to walk and talk, and the next 16 to sit down and be quiet. If he has good motor skills and seems to be developing in all other areas don't let it stress you. Good Luck


    Answer by wmbeener at 9:13 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • If your wanting a comparison. My son is 14 months old. He says momma, dadda, nana, papa, uh oh, whats that, whos that, and go. I think thats it that I recognize.

    All kids are different. Obviously you know that already though. :)

    I would try reading to him, if you do already just increase the anount of time you read. Don't be devastated if your child needs speech therapy. If you give your son everything he wants by just him pointing to things and don't give him the chance to learn to talk then that could be it too. Thats how I was as a child. I refused to talk because my 3 older brothers just waited on me hand and foot and never put m down :)

    Good luck :)

    Answer by amy31308 at 9:03 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Oh my son can also say hi, bye and dog.

    Answer by amy31308 at 9:05 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • there isn't really a set number. My son was my first child and he was a slow talker. At 20 months I think he only had 4 words that he said. Now he is 3 years old and I can't get him to be quiet. He has just started forming sentences. My son's ped. said not to worry he will be a good talker and when he hits kindergarten things should be normal. Don't compare your child to other kids. It will only make you worry and miserable. Kids learn and develop differently and at their own pace. Go to the store and buy him some flash cards that have pics on them. I have some that have the colors, shapes, numbers, nature and animals on them. I sit with my kids (3 years and 18 months) 40 minutes a day and we go through the cards. Also, if this is your first child, it is normal for him not to talk as much. My daughter and son are 21 months apart and my daughter is saying around 45 words already,but she has her bubba to look up to.

    Answer by 2wndrfl_btrflys at 9:08 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • All kids are different. Speech therapy would probably give him a boost but most likely he will start talking in his own time. Our doctor said signs count as words. My middle daughter had a speech delay. At 18 months she only said 2 words. She did start to pick up a few more words right before she turned 2 but even then she only knew like 12 words. At 3 she was talking but no one could understand her (not even me). She never had speech therapy, though. She's 6 1/2 now and in kindergarten and her teacher says she talks fine. She does tend to mumble and make up words so she is still hard to understand sometimes.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 9:19 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Speech therapy doesn't mean that your child is mentally slow, I have a nephew that had delayed speech, but is as sharp as they come. If at the age of 2 your doctor recommends speech therapy, and you have decent insurance, your speech therapy should be covered. Double check with your provider. That being said, my sister-in-law wishes she could have sent all of her children to speech therapy; her first child had so much fun! Some of the simple excercises they did included drinking milkshakes through a straw to strengthen his tongue and lip muscles, prcaticing certain mouth movements. I say, if they are offering it and it isn't much cost to you--Go for it! It is definitely not a bad thing. When your kid can communicate easily with other children, his/her social circle widens. If other children have trouble communicating with your child as they get older, they can get left out.

    Answer by batikeggartist at 9:40 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • My son had speech therapy at two. He never babbled as a baby and did not talk or attempt to talk by his second birthday.
    He is now 11 years old and tends to be lazy with is speech in wanting to use gestures to communicate, although he is a great vocal orator when he wants to .

    Answer by mom2boys1997 at 9:40 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Ignore your doctor. If your child is babbling and making sounds (but not necessarily a lot of words), he's probably fine.

    My first child hardly spoke a single word until he was 2.

    My second spoke in sentences by the time she was 18 months old.

    My third is 20 months and says about 5 words.

    All kids are different.

    Answer by fluud7 at 9:49 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Yeah...give him time. My son sounded like a kindergartener by 20 months. My friends son said almost nothing at 20 months. Today they are 13 and you can't tell them a difference.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 9:56 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Read him the same book everyday so that he will try to say the words himself. 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear' is a really good book. You can make him a book of all his favorite things, including food, a picture of you and his dad, any siblings he might have, and read it to him, then let him name the pictures himself.

    Answer by bellasrose71008 at 9:59 AM on May. 15, 2009