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  #1  
Old 10-03-2013, 12:01 PM
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Default OT - What Is "Normal" For A 21 Month Old's Speech Development?

I thought I would ask you guys this question since so many of you have dealt with a wide variety of toddlers: what is the normal vocabulary for a 21 month old boy? My son hasn't been talking and it's starting to worry me. He babbles and uses inflection, tone, and gestures to get his point across but the only words he says is "no" and a garbled "done", "apple", and "again." He hasn't added anything new to his vocabulary since June and has actually quit saying many of the words he used to say...it's now all babble. I've tried teaching him some sign language but the only one that caught on was "milk". He uses that sign for anything he wants. I bring up my concern to his pediatrician at every visit (he has had a few extra lately since we just dealt with another rounf of ear infections) and she always just brushes it off as "typical boy behavior" or typical of a very active child or she keeps saying she will recheck him in a couple months and worry about it later. So now she says if he isn't adding to his vocabulary by December she'll possibly refer him to a specialist maybe check his hearing also. Maybe.

Is she right? Am I just worrying too much? All the other kids I've ever dealt with his age all were saying more words or at least a resemblance of a word for the correct item. Today 16 month old dcg said another new word here and it just reminded me of how different some kids seem to develop. I just might be taking his lack of speech too personally...I feel like a bad parent. I try so hard to do everything "right" to encourage thinking and development and all of my friends and daycare parents proudly talk about how great parents they are because their kids all are talking up a storm...while ds barely says more than "no" most days...
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:05 PM
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I have a 24 mo. dcb who does the same. He just now is saying ball and all his other words are babble. He says UHUHHHH or uhowwww a lot. I was concerned and told mom. When she took him to his 2 year check up, his doctor said it was normal, but if he isn't talking in 6 months, they are going to refer him to a speech therapist. I thought that they should know so many words by 24 months, but I guess I am wrong?.

It will be interesting seeing other responses to your post!
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:26 PM
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My ped has always said they should have five words by 18 months, including mom & dad, animal sounds, anything that is oral language representative of something.
At 21 months now, I'm assuming the Dec is the 2-yr check up, right? I would say only 5 words at that point would be concerning (as it seems your Dr said?) and so you all should check his hearing thoroughly and make early intervention appts for evaluations.
I would try not to worry about it until them - my son was very similar, just a few words at 18 months but by 2 yrs he was exploding with words. They all came all at once
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:44 PM
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My 22 mo girl has a very limited vocabulary. She says momma, no, stop, bye, shoes, and grandpa. Single words only. (Mom says she will say a full sentence, but I've never heard it.)

She does understand when she's told to do something. I can tell her to go get me something, or come here, it's time for lunch and she will comply.

She will not attempt to repeat words when we read a book. For instance, say dog. She will point to the dog if I ask her where the dog is.

She sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and the ABC song, but doesn't use words. We can tell what she's singing by the melody.

Her ped said yesterday that she wants to have her evaluated.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:49 PM
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"Another ear infection" is the red flag for me, more so than the vocabulary (such a range!). I'd wonder if fluid in the ears is affecting hearing. I'd push for a hearing screening.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:02 PM
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I would watch him for a little while yet. Some thoughts.
Sometimes children develop one thing at the detriment of another for a little while. Sometimes their little bodies are putting effort into one area and stop trying in another for a bit.
Secondly, boys will go slower than girls of the same age in many areas, cognitive in particular.
Third, it is not unheard of for a child with NO speech or garble speech to suddenly (in a two to four month period) develop hundreds of words, seemingly overnight.
Fourth, ear infections may very well have been getting in his way. If he is hearing through muddy ears, it will slow down his speech.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:21 PM
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His pediatrician says his ears "look okay" now... She wants to put off checking his ears or hearing until December as well. I know he may just be focused on other things...he has been walking since he was 9 months old. But it is just worrying some days...he never ever has pointed at a familiar object when requested and he rarely follows instructions unless I keep it super simple and repeat over and over (ie "Bath time" or "Lunch time").

I guess I'm just worried that I'm doing something wrong and I just want to make sure I am giving him every opportunity to excel. I have hearing loss due to my severe ear infections as a child as does my mother and aunt. I had speech trouble up until I was 5 years old when the school tested my hearing and found I indeed was having trouble hearing. Up until then I was made fun of severely by the other kids (and adults) because I "talked funny."
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:40 PM
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How is his receptive language? When you call his name does he look at you? I see that he isn't picking out pictures.

In Texas (and I think in the other states), if a parent is concerned about delays, they can call the Early Childhood Intervention people and explain their concerns. My dcb is 21 months and non-verbal. A year ago, he said mama and daddy a few times, then stopped and has had nothing since. The ECI people came here to daycare and did an assessment and started him in therapy. Right now he has occupational, speech, sensory, and physical therapy. No speech yet, but he is improving in other areas.

You do not have to be referred to ECI (in Texas and I think it's the same everywhere), you just have to have some concerns. Give them a call and just tell them what you are seeing. They can suggest next steps or put your mind at ease. Sometimes, doctors are a bit too wait and see. My dcb's doctor was way too casual about it. He should have been in therapy months before.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:44 PM
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I agree that doctors aren't always the best people to go to for developmental delays. There should be some sort of agency in your area that will come do a free assessment. I don't think the smaller vocabulary is a concern, but the fact that he's no longer saying words he used to say might be. Does he point to pictures if you say their name? If you point at something, does he turn his head to follow your hand and look to what you are pointing at?
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher View Post
I agree that doctors aren't always the best people to go to for developmental delays. There should be some sort of agency in your area that will come do a free assessment. I don't think the smaller vocabulary is a concern, but the fact that he's no longer saying words he used to say might be. Does he point to pictures if you say their name? If you point at something, does he turn his head to follow your hand and look to what you are pointing at?
Early On is a free agency who does this. I don't know if it's available in every state.?
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:08 PM
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No, he has never responded to his name....and I never have used a nickname when trying to get his attention...I always chalked it up to him being busy as whenever I told his doctor about it she said it was "normal" but again I see all the other kids respond to theirs at ages even younger than his...so I dunno.

He never has pointed to pictures when I say their names but he does look when I point at something. My husband thinks he's fine because he follows directions when we point and gesture...ds is very good at picking up facial expressions and gestures...

Thank you guys for reminding me about the early intervention program! I will give them a call to relieve my worry at least so I can quit pestering his dr...
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:29 PM
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I highly recommend the Early Intervention program! I have a little DCB who wasn't talking at that age and qualified for several services and if they waited until he was 2 like their Ped recommended he wouldn't have qualified for all. I have a 20 month old DCB here who jabbers up a storm. He can repeat just about anything you ask him to. My 22 month old is talking a lot but not even as much as this 20 month old. But the 2yr old says only a few words. So there is a huge range of "normal" and I also wouldn't compare boys to girls. Their language is sooooo different. It's like comparing apples to oranges at this age. My DCB responds to his name and no/stop but he doesn't follow commands (put this book away, clean up the toys, go get your shoes) at all. He also has some motor skill delays as well so this intervention program really helped him!
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabob View Post
His pediatrician says his ears "look okay" now... She wants to put off checking his ears or hearing until December as well. I know he may just be focused on other things...he has been walking since he was 9 months old. But it is just worrying some days...he never ever has pointed at a familiar object when requested and he rarely follows instructions unless I keep it super simple and repeat over and over (ie "Bath time" or "Lunch time").

I guess I'm just worried that I'm doing something wrong and I just want to make sure I am giving him every opportunity to excel. I have hearing loss due to my severe ear infections as a child as does my mother and aunt. I had speech trouble up until I was 5 years old when the school tested my hearing and found I indeed was having trouble hearing. Up until then I was made fun of severely by the other kids (and adults) because I "talked funny."
That is important and relevant information. With that in mind, I don't think it would hurt to get him evaluated by a developmental program and see what they think. It still might be nothing, but those are definitely red flags (your background)
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:35 AM
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Well the local child development agency called this morning to talk to me about ds. She is going to be stopping by today with paperwork and then will do an assessment Monday. At the very least, I'll get some peace of mind. Thanks for the tips you guys!
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:47 AM
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Here it is called AEA or Early access. It is through the school district and offers free services such as free hearing tests, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy exc. they come to the home except the hearing test.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabob View Post
Well the local child development agency called this morning to talk to me about ds. She is going to be stopping by today with paperwork and then will do an assessment Monday. At the very least, I'll get some peace of mind. Thanks for the tips you guys!
Let us know how it goes!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:54 AM
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Hopefully it's all in my head...I guess I would dearly love for him to at least say mama or call me by some sort of name. :P

This questionnaire is tough...does it count as a word he can say if he uses the same phrase for everything? Like, he'll say "ah-ga" for most wants or "oo oo" for "all done." Also he used to say "apple" but doesn't anymore...do I count it? I can ask the rep Monday I suppose...
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:43 PM
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With my little one, they wanted to know about the words he had but lost. Losses are a significant part of what they need to know.

I'm so glad he is getting checked. I just got involved in all of this in May, and I am their biggest fan now. Two of my 3 dck are in the ECI program, and even after 4 months, I can see huge differences. It's hard work for me, but the rewards are huge. Good luck with your baby!
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:48 PM
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Well the lady from the program came and did the assessment today and he is indeed speech delayed. A speech therapist is being assigned and they also are scheduling a hearing test for him as they suspect this is the problem. This is all through the local school. She was worried that I would be upset with this but I'm just glad we have a plan.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:17 PM
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I'm so glad that you are getting some answers. I've found that it's always easier to know than to wonder. I hope that your therapists are as wonderful as mine have been. Keep us posted.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:17 AM
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thats awesome.
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