Hey Everyone I recently took Carson to his 18 month check up and his peditrician asked how he was speaking and all the words he knew, I said he says a few words like Mama, Dada, Juice, and Kitty is about the just of it, she explained that they like to see toddlers at this age saying 6-8 words clearly, I was stunned.  I completely think I know my child and he is very reserved and shy, so I figured he would develope his speech slowly, but she seemed concerned and suggested we consult a speech pathologist.  I feel really responsible for his delay, like maybe I haven't encouraged him enough to voice his needs.  What do you ladies think? Should I wait and see how he does, How do you encourage speech development in toddlers? Any ideas or suggestions are greatly welcomed.


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Jun. 5, 2008 at 10:41 PM He's 1 1/2... there's NO need for concern YET. I've met some 2 year olds who don't say more than 5 words, and they started talking eventually. Keep working with him, and I'm SURE you'll see some improvement soon. I imagine he's a physically active young man who devotes most of his energy into playing instead of talking.

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Jun. 5, 2008 at 10:47 PM

I think you need to find another doctor! Her expectations are rediculous! Every child develops at his/her own pace. My (almost) 3 yr. old didn't say a whole lot of "clear" words until well after 2 yrs. Even today, a lot of what he says isn't that clear, although he talks constantly. My 17 month old, however, has a big vocabulary and says most words fairly clearly. Every kid is different. As long as your son is saying some words, is understanding what you're saying, communicating and you know his hearing is normal  ... well ... frankly, I think consulting a speech pathologist just because some know-it-all doctor enjoys alarming poor parents -- would be VERY premature! Look around the internet for information on what is "normal" for toddlers, and you will see there is a huge range of "normal." I have 5 boys and 1 girl ... and I've noticed my boys did not develop at the same pace as my daughter did -- potty training included. Just be patient, and listen to your instincts. YOU are the mother and you do know best! Your child does not have a "delay"  (and I hate it when so-called experts label our children) ... he's just developing at his own pace!

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Jun. 5, 2008 at 10:53 PM

First off, you aren't alone.  Remember that kids develop at their own rate.  Not all kids not talking at 18 months/2 years need professional health.  I say this because two weeks ago we had my son's 2 year check up.  He (at the time) could say about 5 words, although he understood far more than he could say.  He could also follow complex commands like "it's time to brush your teeth.  Go get your tooth brush and your special book and sit on daddy's lap so mommy can brush for you."  Our doctor was very upset by the lack of speech, and insisted that we get a speech therapist set up.  One phone call later I found out it wouldn't be covered by insurance.  Forget that idea.  We don't have $1500 sitting around.  So I looked up early intervention for our state.  We have until he's 3 to get him help with state assistance.  DH and I talked at length, and then spoke with a friend of ours who is a retired teacher and speech therapist.  Her recommendation, knowing our son well, was to WAIT.  She suggested waiting three months and watching our son closely.  She also told us how to work with him in the mean time.  It's been a great decision.  In two weeks, he's added 12 words to his vocabulary.

Here's how to help your child:
1. READ READ READ  As often as you can.  Repeat books, too, even if you only get through a page or two.  Don't worry as much about the story, but point at pictures and name them.  Example: "Sun.  The sun is yellow.  The sun is in the sky.  Can you find the sun?"
2.  TALK  And do it all the time!  Turn off the TV and radio and tell your child what you are doing in simple terms.  Example: "It's morning.  The sun is in the sky.  Let's eat breakfast.  We will have cereal and milk.  This is cereal.  Cereal is good.  Here is a banana.  The banana is yellow.  Do you want the banana?  Where is your milk?  What color is your cup?  It's blue.  Milk is white.  Milk is good.  Your shirt is blue.  Where is your shirt?"
3.  PRAISE and ENCOURAGE But don't over-do it.  A simple "good job, you said 'more'" is very effective.  Don't try to bribe.  Being able to talk is it's own reward.
4.  USE THE THIRD PERSON To refer to everyone.  "Mama is going to change (child's name)'s diaper now."  "Does (child's name) want a snack?"  "Mama and (child's name) are going to go buy food."
5.  PEER PRESSURE Can be really beneficial.  Joining a playgroup or spending time in the park with other kids who are talking can help encourage a toddler to talk as they try to immitate their peers.

Above all, be patient.  If you really believe your child doesn't have a problem, there isn't necessarily a need to get help at 18 months.  If, however, your child isn't babbling or trying to immitate sounds, there could be a problem worth checking out.  In my personal experience with friends children, children at church and such, I haven't met many 18 month olds who can say that many words clearly.

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Jun. 6, 2008 at 7:47 PM Thanks so much ladies for all your great and valuable advise! I really appreciate all your help and I plan to take it all into consideration, I hope I'm doing the best I can right now and he beneifts from it. Thank You again

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Jul. 10, 2009 at 12:01 AM

I'll try to make this short...MY girls (now 17 and 14) were talking VERY young....sentences by 1.  My son who is 7....didn't do alot of babbling as a baby and I constantly asked my ped if he was ok....NEVER got a negative answer........he'd say...well, his sisters talk for him or he's a baby what do you want him to say...needless to say...at 18 months...he really wasn't speaking as my girls did and finally the ped said to get him evaluated....I was scared to death  but am sooo happy I did this and got him into early intervention....he had a speech therapist at our house 45 minutes a week......then at 2 1/2 he was going to speech 2 x's a week...at 3 it was 2x's a week......even in pre school he didn't say all too much...understood everything, but his speech was not understandable by other ppl besides myself.....NOW he's 7 and is fine.......he still receives speech in school one time a week and is doing well.......He is/was definetly speech delayed...and there is nothing wrong w/ that.........The earlier you catch this the better......Good luck.......boys are definetly slower at the talking than girls for the most part.......

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Jul. 10, 2009 at 12:02 AM

ok, just realized u wrote this last year !!! lol i hope all is well with your son and his speech....xoxo

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