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#1059616 - 10/07/08 02:38 PM My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas?
BrendaC Offline
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Sweet Home AL
One of my younger grandchildren, age 18 months, seems to be so far behind in her speech skills. She can only say 4-5 words that a stranger would likely understand. Mama, dadda, yeah and huh about wrap it up (and those aren't clear). The other grandchildren could carry on full conversations and sing several songs all the way through at her age so I am beginning to be truly concerned that something is wrong.

She seems to be meeting basic motor skill milestones and seems fairly intelligent. Initially, I suspected that she could be autistic, but she seems to be interacting with others too much for that to be the problem.

She had multiple ear infections as an infant, so I tend to lean toward some type of hearing problem. I know that she can hear because she responds when you speak to her behind her back. But maybe the sound is somehow distorted?

My daughter is currently relying of government medical coverage for her children, so options are more limited. Hopefully, they will allow some type of special testing soon, but who knows? I know public funds are limited.

Any thoughts or resource ideas would be appreciated. THANKS!
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#1059638 - 10/07/08 02:50 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BrendaC
RebekahL CRCM Offline
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Brenda, I wouldn't be overly concerned. My 20 month old still has a very limited vocabulary, even though he is sharp as can be. He probably only has a vocal vocabulary of about 5-6 words, but in the past week or so he has started mimicking us more. He definitely knows how to communicate with us, and is good with sign language, and boy does he have his own jibber jabber! Our pediatrician told us not to be concerned, since everything else is fine developmentally. She said some kids just talk later. As a side note, my mother in law loves to tell the story of her son (my hubby) taking forever to talk, and when he finally did, his first word was hippopotamus. I've always chalked it up to her tendency to exaggerate, but now I'm not so sure!
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#1059652 - 10/07/08 02:57 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BrendaC
Hoosierland Offline
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Brenda, I don't know that I can offer you much except some encouragement. My own son (now 9) has always been very verbal and was an early talker. But my niece on my husband's side (now 7) was very slow to talk and there were no health issues at all, she just took her time.

My brother has an 18 month old girl who also speaks a dozen words (or less) clearly, but she is very intelligent and has no health issues.

I think there is a pretty wide range of what is "normal" so I wouldn't worry too much yet. Especially if there are older siblings, she may not "need" to talk to get her point across. Her needs are perhaps noticed and met before she ever has to say a thing.

I don't know about Alabama, but where I live, there is a state-sponsored program that will provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy (maybe others as well) to young children at no cost, regardless of financial need. The child's pediatrician or doctor would be a good place to learn about any available programs like this.
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#1059692 - 10/07/08 03:18 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Hoosierland
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Brenda, My advice to you is: wait 6 months before you get concerned. I wouldn't be surprised if this child's vocabulary explodes exponentially and she starts talking a ton by her 2nd birthday. There is a huge range of what is "normal" and ironically, your worry (and her parents' worry) is communicated to her and may actually feed into this and cause her to talk less! Relax, hug her a ton, talk to her as much as you can, and wait it out and let nature take its course. I will keep her and you in my prayers.
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#1059695 - 10/07/08 03:19 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Hoosierland
Skittles Offline
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Both of my brother's daughters were slow to talk. The older one just 'started' talking one day and she was very verbal. She knew how, but just didn't bother.

Another thing that my niece pointed out to me (she has two daughters). Just as Hoosierland said (actually my niece lives in Indianapolis - funny) the second (or later) child may not talk as much because they may not need to - everyone else is doing the talking for them.

If you're that uncomfortable, get your child checked out by a doctor. Then when they don't find anything wrong you'll sleep much better.
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#1059721 - 10/07/08 03:30 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Skittles
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Brenda

Go out to a medical site and find out what is "normal" for a two year old. At that age they are not talking very much but I don't remember the actual number. I thought it was like 10 words. If I am correct she will add more before she is two.

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#1059727 - 10/07/08 03:33 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Skittles
RR Sarah Offline
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My niece was slow to talk because her older brother did the talking for her. One day (close to her 2nd birthday) she just started talking and she hasn't shut up since! Enjoy the peace while you can.
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#1059844 - 10/07/08 04:08 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BurntSienna
QCL Offline

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Originally Posted By: Cerulean
Brenda, My advice to you is: wait 6 months before you get concerned. I wouldn't be surprised if this child's vocabulary explodes exponentially and she starts talking a ton by her 2nd birthday. There is a huge range of what is "normal" and ironically, your worry (and her parents' worry) is communicated to her and may actually feed into this and cause her to talk less! Relax, hug her a ton, talk to her as much as you can, and wait it out and let nature take its course. I will keep her and you in my prayers.


Great advice.
My little one didn't talk much at 18 months either. I too worried. No shame in that. But I patiently worked with her, pointing out objects and practicing the word over and over and over. And now, at 5 - she gets in trouble in school for talking too much.
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#1059872 - 10/07/08 04:19 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? QCL
BurntSienna Offline
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Some comedian I saw once said (I'm paraphrasing here): We spend the first 2 years of our child's life wishing, hoping, worrying, holding our breath waiting for them to start walking and talking, and then we spend the next 16 years telling them to quiet down and sit down!
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#1060136 - 10/07/08 07:02 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BurntSienna
Mrs. Rizzo Offline
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My cousin will be 5 at then end of this month...she's created her own language and you can't understand a word she says. So, just think...it could always be worse.

Seriously, I wouldn't worry too much with it right now. I think kiddo's develop at different rates. Just when you think they'll never start talking, you can't get them to be quiet!
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#1060346 - 10/07/08 08:49 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Mrs. Rizzo
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Just to relay a similar experience, my step-cousin only spoke baby-talk and gibberish until she was nearly 3 I think. Don't know what was going on in her head, because she finally decided to talk one day, and she's a completely normal girl now.
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#1060349 - 10/07/08 08:52 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Mrs. Rizzo
Countess Kiwi Offline
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My children have had speech therapy and my youngest was tested after he was 2 and his vocabulary was less than 50 words and nothing together. He did speech for a few months through the state (MN offers it if the child qualifies based on testing). He is almost 4 now and talks a ton, but is still having some issues and will be retested shortly. If it worries you, see if there is an early childhood screening that is offered and have them tested. This can open up a bunch of services some people may not be aware of.

With that said, I might wait if a hearing test shows no hearing issues. The early childhood screening usually tests hearing and vision. With multiple ear infections they may have some buildup and words could be sounding muddy and therefore they are not imitating them correctly.
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#1060392 - 10/07/08 09:28 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Countess Kiwi
cheekEE Offline
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I wouldn't be too concerned. She will talk when she is ready. Even though your daughter is on state med. I'm pretty sure her Dr. can refer her to a hearing specialist, if you really think that is an issue. She should be able to call a representative and ask...they'll let her know for sure.

You have to jump through some hoops, but it can be done.

Good luck to you.
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#1060451 - 10/07/08 11:37 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? cheekEE
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My niece didn't start doing more than babbling until she was at least 2 1/2. She's now a very normal 8 year old with above average math skills.

I wouldn't be worried.

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#1060553 - 10/08/08 11:52 AM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BurntSienna
corkygirl Offline
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Originally Posted By: Cerulean
Brenda, My advice to you is: wait 6 months before you get concerned. I wouldn't be surprised if this child's vocabulary explodes exponentially and she starts talking a ton by her 2nd birthday. There is a huge range of what is "normal" and ironically, your worry (and her parents' worry) is communicated to her and may actually feed into this and cause her to talk less! Relax, hug her a ton, talk to her as much as you can, and wait it out and let nature take its course. I will keep her and you in my prayers.


I agree, my youngest (now 33) did not talk much until he was well past 18 months and then you could not shut him up for awhile. He also did not walk until about at same time but the day he decided to walk, he also climbed on the kitchen table. Kids develop at their own pace, some know how to do stuff but just don't want to. Also, if your grandchild has older siblings, it's easier to just let them do the talking. Good luck!
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#1061470 - 10/08/08 11:24 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? corkygirl
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Brenda, my almost 3-year old was 2 (last October) and wasn't saying anything. The daycare he goes to suggested a referral to Early Intervention. He's been recieving speech therapy once a week at home and he's made huge strides. I would recommend that if he goes a few more months without further words. They do wonderful thing and usually see children to age 3. 18 months, not too concerned having been through it.

Also, he had/has frequent ear infections and it's an important first step to see if there's a hearing loss. I am 90% deaf in my left ear b/c of all the bad ear infections suffered as an infant. An ENT referral can tell you whether tubes may be an option.
Last edited by Pizza Queen; 10/08/08 11:27 PM.
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#1061641 - 10/09/08 01:46 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? P*Q
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Being that I am not a parent and really not qualified to speak, my nephew was pushing 2.5 and hardly saying a word. He actually preferred to bark like and with the dogs, but his folks and everyone would tell him "use your words" and he would just give you this smartarse grin and mumble or bark then.

Mom and Dad had to go away for a week for work training (emt/firefighter) and he had to stay between his grand parents and uncle, and low and behold, guess who started using his words!! Basically I am guessing since we could not make sense of his grunts and barks, he figured he had to use our words, and the he got what he wanted. Perhaps as parents, my borther and SIL knew what the grunts and gestures meant, so he got what he wanted and didn't need to talk anymore than he wanted to.

The kid hasn't shut up since.
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#1061677 - 10/09/08 02:00 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? #Just Jay
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Brenda, I'm also in the "Don't freak out yet" camp. Does she have an older sibling? That *definitely* plays a part in how soon they talk. [And boys talk later than girls, apparently, although that's not the issue here.] A language "explosion" between 18 - 24 months is very common. If after about 26 months you are still concerned, I'd start with a hearing test and move forward from there. Hugs!
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#1063690 - 10/13/08 05:54 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? E.E.G.B
BrendaC Offline
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She does have several older siblings, so I am hoping that she just has so many people interpreting for her she just doesn't feel the need to express herself yet. She is scheduled for a check up the first week in Nov. Hopefully, if she is speaking more by then, the doctor will make a referral.

I have also noticed that she is bruising alot. She is so tiny; I am really glad the doctor's appointment is coming up soon. Nana will feel much better if we can get a clean bill of health or a referral to make sure all is well.

Thanks so much for all the comments and support. Several comments about talking after age 2 reminded me that my mother used to tell a story about how my brother didn't talk until he was over 2 because I did all of his talking for him. Maybe history is repeating itself.
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#1063701 - 10/13/08 06:59 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BrendaC
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Brenda - there has been a lot of great advice here.

I have one question. If you stand behind her and talk or make a loud sound, does she react? If it is a hearing problem, that could be an early indication.

Sometimes they are just obstinate. Our oldest would not talk at that age. He'd drag me into the kitchen when he wanted something and point or somehow get his point across. It was Christmas time, and we went to a local greenhouse for pointsettias. We walked into the main room that was just chock full of flowers, and clear as day he said 'Pretty'. He just wasn't ready. When he was, he was fine.
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#1071366 - 10/27/08 06:11 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Snow Bunny
BrendaC Offline
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I kept my Little K from Friday night until late Sunday afternoon. The entire time she said 4 words - Mama, Nana, Dedad (Granddad) and huh. That's it. She made great eye contact and was very responsive with her facial expressions, head nods, and hand gestures. When my younger 10-month-old grandson was getting into a drawer in the kitchen she gasped and pointed at him (to indicate he was doing something he shouldn't be doing). She also responded when I called her behind her back.

When they were both together it was amazing how similar they were in their speech progress. The 18 month old is about even with the 10 month old in what they can say. Actually my grandson may have beat her, he did add bye-bye and bite to his list.
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#1071433 - 10/27/08 07:18 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? BrendaC
Countess Kiwi Offline
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It never hurts to have them evaluated. My son has made great progress but having a person that is experienced to listen for the correct things is valuable. We recently had our soon to be 4 yr old son evaluated again and she picked up on additional issues that we haven't noticed. We want to start him now so he is not behind later...hopefully.

Our daughter's ENT said she was too young before and she is now still receiving services at age 6 due to speech delays from having recurring ear infections.

Just one mom's perspective.
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#1071640 - 10/28/08 01:34 AM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Countess Kiwi
Princess Leia Offline
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Lots of great advice here. I agree with Kiwi. Our daughter didn't speak (she mainly screamed because we didn't know what she wanted) until she was about 20 months old. Then when she started talking, we couldn't understand a word. She had a history of ear infections and water in her ear and has 3 sets of tubes, adenoids out, and 2 blown ear drums.

Long story short, she finally qualified through our school district for speech therapy. She's been going for about a year. Additionally, we sent her to private speech therapy that was partially covered through our insurance. Lots of work (she'll be 5 in January), but we finally were told at conferences a couple weeks ago that she'll graduate from of speech through the district.

The frustrating part was that it did take a while to have her actually qualify through the district. The age span is for the entire year - meaning if the child is 2 years 1 day, the expectations are the same if they are 2 years 360 days. We kept having her assessed close to her birthday. The assessor told us to bring her in the day after her birthday and she'd most likely qualify because the new age threshold kicked in.

If it continues to be a concern, perhaps the school district has resources - in our state, they are required to provide early childhood services such as this.
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#1072150 - 10/28/08 07:02 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Princess Leia
Snowgirl Offline
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I have a son who is now 8 and he didn't talk as early as his older siblings either. He had multiple ear infections as a baby. He still has trouble to this day with his ears getting congested but not infected. So the only way we know this is happening is when he can't hear that well. He responds when you talk to him by looking at you, but it's obvious that he can't hear clearly. I would definitely have him tested for hearing as the ears can be congested without hurting and being infected.

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#1092195 - 12/04/08 10:41 PM Re: My Little K doesn't talk, any ideas? Snowgirl
BrendaC Offline
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K finally went for her 18-mo. check up and the doctor is referring her to some type of specialist. The doctor said she was significantly behind in her speech development. She has also been acting out (throwing things, temper tantrums, etc.) that could be related to her inability to communicate.

And if that isn't enough, she has been referred to a hematologist for a possible blood disorder. They are going to deal with the blood testing first and then the speech.

This is also my daughter with the asthmatic son. He has now been out of school for 3 weeks on total bed rest. Bed rest instructions, albuterol and steroids don't really work well together.

Please remember them in your prayers; that God will heal these little angels and use all of this for His good. And remember my daughter as well. This is alot for a bi-polar mom with five kids, no money and Christmas all at the same time. (Power and gas are both scheduled for shut off next week.) Satan really seems to be working overtime here. But she knows that God is still in control.
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