View Full Version : Baby talk: when did you worry/how and when did it start?

10-03-2006, 10:43 PM
I've been searching these boards about early intervention and speech therapy for children. DS is 19 months now and babbles a ton...telling us stories that we just don't understand. Of course amongst his babbles I know what he means for things he wants like his milk etc. He knows how to say mama, dada, baba, and all those sounds and what not. He says choo-choo for his trains. However, he won't call me mama or daddy dada on purpose. Sometimes we'll tell him say dada or mama...or whatever we want him to say...but he will refuse to say it. You can see it in him that he's being stubborn about it.

Now my friend who is a speech therapist spent some time with us while travelling through town. I did ask her if she thought DS was delayed because we wondered why he wasn't talking as much as some other kids. Of course we don't want to compare kids but you know how it is...you start thinking somethings wrong or what not. Well my friend told me that Ds is a really smart kid and is slightly delayed in his speech. She told me to sing with him (which we don't do much of) and talk to him a lot (which we do of course). She mentioned early intervention but then she also mentioned how she knows a lot of kid that just don't talk then one day are speaking full sentences. She just gave me some tips and what not and told me not freak out too much...I was glad she was honest with me but then I just started to try to sing with him and talk to him more.

Now here's the kicker. I think my boy is just STUBBORN. I say this because I had my aunt visiting this past week, and I swear DS would mimic things we say or things he hears on TV, like "Ahhh-choo", "bless you", "blues clues", "yeti yeti yeti" and "tootles" etc. But when you (more like myself or DH) asks him to say it he refuses. One day DH brought home a new car for DS and he told DS you can have it if you say dada...i swear the two of them were at it for like 20 minutes...until DS broke down and cried hysterically then DH just gave him the car. I just have this feeling he's just being stubborn. If that's the case fine I know he'll talk when he's ready...but i also fear he'll be one of those kids that never talk but cry and scream to get what they want instead (having a nephew who didn't speak until 3 because he got what he wanted other ways).

So not that I'm freaked about a speech delay...slighty concerned but I know he can do it. I also want to give him a chance to get there on his own...he was a slow crawler and walker but once he learned those things he was GREAT and fast at it. Was wondering what other parents have experienced with their children outside of speech therapy and those things. Just curious how things happened for other.

Sorry so lengthy but thank you for reading. :)

10-03-2006, 11:50 PM
I wouldn't be too concerned at this point, esp. with the start your little guy had (something like surgery early on can cause delays). I have a friend who is a speech therapist as well and what she told me is that it is a word if it has meaning to your DS. DD points to my nose and says "shoo" consistently. To her, that means nose, so it's a word - LOL!

Honestly, trying to bribe him or force him to talk will probably just cause stress for him and make matters worse. Never would I spend 20 minutes trying to get DD to say a word. If it makes you feel better, DD knows I'm Mama, knows how to say and even sign it, but rarely calls me Mama. She has just started to call me on occasion in the last couple of weeks. Everyone in the family was always trying to get her to say Mama and she just wouldn't do it. I didn't force her and she is now starting to say it on her own.

Maybe he is stubborn. If that it the case, trying to make him talk will just make it worse. If it makes you feel better, go for the screening. It's free and they can tell you more accurately what you need to know. If there is nothing wrong, then your mind will be put at ease. If he is delayed, then he can get therapy. I would say go for the eval as there is no harm in it and either way you will feel better.

Good Luck,

10-04-2006, 06:04 AM
My first said 3 words by her second birthday. She had a lot of baby signs, but few words.

My second maybe had 10 words by her second birthday. She had fewer signs.

My third is a week shy of 2 and probably has about 20 words.

My point?? Every child is different. If you're really concerned and want him assessed, go ahead. If he were mine, I wouldn't worry. I've learned that once they start talking, they don't shut up and I kinda miss those quiet days sometimes..... LOL

10-04-2006, 07:30 AM
I know it's hard not to but I wouldn't worry. All kids are different and your ds is pretty young yet. If he's not improved at all by 2YO(nak) i *might* worry.

fwiw, dd had a language growth "spurt" at 22M and another at 27-28M.



10-04-2006, 07:39 AM
My 17 month old has 3 words right now- mama, dada and baby. She can understand plenty and babbles a lot. I have started the process of having her evaluated for EI, becuase I don't see any harm in finding out where she is developmentally in her speech. I do not think she is behind enough to qualify at this point, but I might go to a private speech therapist after the eval as well. We sing, go to gymboree, are in various playgroups, she goes to mothers day out, etc etc. So if you are concerned, I don't think having your son evaluated can hurt at all and it might put your mind at ease. You can make the call yourself.

10-04-2006, 08:42 AM
I don't post often, but I wanted to respond to this.

My son is 2.5 and in private speech therapy and early intervention for a speech/communication disorder. Personally, I would recommend contacting EI in your area and asking for an evaluation. It's free and will either alert you to a problem or put your mind at ease.

I wouldn't be so sure that your son is just being stubborn. My son can say things spontaneously, but is unable to repeat them on command/request. This can be a hallmark sign of Apraxia, which is a speech disorder involving a problem with motor planning. For a child with this condition, refusing to give a toy or other object until he says the target word is sheer torture. The more pressure the child feels to talk, the more the motor planning process breaks down.

I suggest you read the book "The Late Talker". It has a really great chart of what is typical for each age and when you should suspect a problem. It might give you some insight.

Hopefully your son is just delayed and will catch up in his own time. But if there is a problem, it's best to address it as soon as possible.

10-04-2006, 09:41 AM
We are in the exact same boat! DS is 19 months too and not talking too much.

Our DS says: Dada, Mama, Car, Tire, Duck, Cat, Dog, and Dat (for plane). He signs baby but won't say baby. He doesn't say Mama too often. We sometimes hear him say something and ask him to say it again and he doesn't. He walked up to be the other day and said "Hi Mommy" but hasn't said it again. Our neighbors kiddos around the same age are saying so much more.

DH and I read to DS several times per day. He gets 3 books at bedtime. We also have music time everyday where we dance and sing. Of course he loves music time and books but still he's not talking much. We talk to him non stop and ask him questions. When he tries to say something we always praise him and say some thing like "You're right Curt that is a cat, that's a grey cat" etc..

Like you and your DH we are frustrated and concerned about the speech delay. We talked to our Dr about it but she told us to relax until he's 26 months or so. Between now and then is the big language development period in Toddlers and they should start saying more words soon.

I think we probably both have to keep doing the things we're doing and just wait for these boys to learn at their own pace. It's hard though. I think our DS is a bit stubborn too. So I know where you are coming from.


10-04-2006, 10:30 AM
Thank you everyone for sharing. Right now, we're not really at the EI step. Our pediatrician and our speech therapist friend and plus our family thinks our DS will get there and it's not to concerning at this moment. We're more bothered when we see how other children are and then we look at him and we really don't want to let the comparing and whatnot to get to us.

As for ourselves, we're okay with how he is progressing. DS had surgery at 4 months old and has hit his milestone a bit later than the "normal" but nothing out of range. For him, he usually would start doing things following after his well child checks. So I don't think there was a milestone that he got to "early" if you know what I mean. And yes, I know here I am worried that he's not talking...but once he does, if it's anything like his babbling...oh boy he's going to be NONSTOP!! Plus I've noticed that as DS spends more time around other children, he starts to do what they do...this is how we got him to eat things he won't try and how we got him to go to a sippy cup.

Right now, we're going to wait until he's two. It's hard...very hard...as with every milestone. But It's comforting to know that others have done the wait and everything came along. Of course later down the line we'll just go with his lead and see what we need to do to help him. For now it will be more books and songs and talking.

10-04-2006, 11:47 AM
Your instincts about stubborness could be right on. This happened with my cousin, my aunt did go the EI route and they recommended all of these interventions, but my aunt really felt this was just his personality, and that he could talk but didn't want to be made to do so. She was definitely right. EI can never hurt though, I know plenty of people who had some small concerns, went ahead and got some services for a short time, and really felt that whether the child needed it or not in the long run, that it was very helpful.

10-04-2006, 01:14 PM
nak...but ITA.

10-04-2006, 01:33 PM
I just wanted to say that my DS sounds a lot like yours in that sometimes I don't know if he doesn't say/do things that I want him to because he can't or because he won't. When DS was 2, he said maybe 15-20 words spontaneously (and appropriately) and would repeat a lot of words, but you could just *see* his frystration. We had him evaluated for EI at 26 months. He is now getting therapy and has been making slow, steady progress, but this past week has been a big success (spontaneously saying lots of 2-word and several 3-word sentences). He just seems so much happier being able to express his wants and thoughts. Getting an eval is never going to hurt (they may say he doesn't qualify, you always have the right to refuse therapy). My only regret is that I didn't realize that you could start the EI process without a doctor's recommendation, so we kept waiting on that. Between the time I called and when therapy actually began, it was over 2 months. So he won't even have a full year of therapy before we have to consider if he needs to receive therapy through our school district when EI stops at age 3 (if he even qualifies for that and I am not sure if I want to go through our school district, despite it being a great district).

So, definitely take your time to see what happens for a few more months, but don't hesitate to get an eval if you think he needs on, either.
~Connor's Mom 02/2004~
Agency paperwork completed - waiting (and waiting) for another baby!

10-04-2006, 01:50 PM
We just had our monthly EI visit this morning, DD is 17mo old. She says a few words, but not very consistently, and does not say things like some of the other kids we know. The EI person (therapist? don't know the correct term) said that at this age, until 2, the more important issue is whether or not they are trying to communicate. Does he point to things he wants? Push you away when he doesn't want something? Express frustration when he can't do something? Also, is he more advanced in other areas? DD is very advanced in gross motor and emotional skills and the therapist said most kids work on one or two areas at a time. So, your DS might be a hotshot climber or a good runner, he might have great small motor skills or a wide range of emotions, but most kids at this age don't do everything all at once.

Also, he might not be stubborn as much as he might not understand that you want him to repeat you. I wouldn't try to push it, though, since it seems the more you push the more he wants to stay quiet. I've noticed that DD uses her own made up words for things (zaza is kitty, wsthat is what's that) and if I repeat what she is saying she seems to talk more. (When she says zaza, I say kitty--that sort of thing) I pretty much worry all of the time, but have learned by reading the other mamas on this board that most of the time there isn't anything to worry about.:) I've also learned that forcing an issue because I'm nervous (I did this with feeding, so I totally understand the feeling) only makes DD nervous too.