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18m lack of vocabulary

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  • 18m lack of vocabulary

    I have an 18m, dcb. The only words he says is cup(everything is a cup to him) and sometimes mamma. that's it. Last week, dcm said that she thought he should be saying more words. He makes a lot of babbling noises but that's it. He seems to know what I'm talking about. Like if I say it's lunch time, he comes running out to the table and sits down. If I say, let's go to the bathroom and change your diaper, he goes in. The same if I say it's nap time, he goes running to his blanket. Is this something to be concerned with? His 3 1/2 yr old sister is a talker. Non stop from about 6:15-4:45, except for nap time. Maybe the poor kid can't get a word in even if he wanted to talk: )

  • #2
    It does seem like the second child talks later than the first, doesn't it? It doesn't sound too far from average - I have twenty month old twins who only say about ten words or so between them, though they can mimic pretty well, if I say it first, and they've only started saying more than a couple of words in the past month.


    • #3
      I have a 23mo nephew (will be 2 next month) and he's the same (also a 2nd child now that you mention it). I take care of him on a drop-in basis and all he can say is ball, mom and what sounds like Dodgers as well as maybe another 5 or so words. That's it. He fully understands everything you say and can communicate his needs through his actions and grunting but I chalk it up to either laziness or just the fact that he's allowed to do this. The words he does say clearly he's learned at my house because I make him attempt to say the word before giving him what he wants. As long as he makes a good attempt and it sounds like something similar to what he's asking for I'll give him what he's asking for. Maybe your DCK is being catered to at home.


      • #4
        I have a boy that will be 2 next week. He seems to be kind of spoiled. He ALWAYS has his pacifier when he comes to my house. The only word I have heard him speak is "mom". That is what he calls any older person (age 15+) to get their attention.

        When he gets to my house we put the pacifier in the diaper bag so we don't lose it. He doesn't talk much at all. He, too, understands things very well. He seems smart otherwise. He is very curious and you can constantly see the wheels turning.

        I try to work with him here on words, but I know it will come to him eventually.
        Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.


        • #5
          As long as his receptive seems good, which it sounds like it is, then you probably don't have to worry for another couple of months. It still might worth a mention to the parents--just a simple, "Hey, I noticed he doesn't have many words yet and was wondering if you're concerned at all." If I were you, I would also start using some simple sign language with him--eat, more, sleep, diaper (when you change his) are good ones to start with. If the parents hesitate, but seem receptive, you could mention that it never hurts to run it by his doctor or put in a call to Early Intervention. It never hurts to have an evaluation done, and could definitely help.

          I had one 18 month old back in the spring who I thought was definitely speech delayed--no words, didn't respond to his name, barely babbled, very little receptive language. His parents mentioned it during the interview but were at that point chalking it up to genetics since his dad talked late. A month or so later, his mom picked him up and was talking to me about his language and did express concern. She asked me point blank what I thought (my background and degree are in Child Development and Education so I do know what I'm talking about) and I told her I was worried too. She told me that his dad was not willing to consider a delay yet. A couple months after he left my care, I saw on Facebook that he had started speech therapy. I had him as a drop-in Monday (first time I'd seen him since April) and he's got some sign language and a bit more expressive, he responds to his name, but doesn't have many actual words yet. I actually think he's probably autistic, but it's a bit early to tell that.

          I have a 16 month old now who reminds me very much of the boy above--except that after 3 weeks in my care he's picking up a few signs and he babbles a lot more than the other boy ever did. This boy also settled in and likes being here--the first boy cried *a lot* almost every single day.

          The difference between them, I'm thinking, is the difference between late talker and speech delayed.
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