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Old 10-16-2018, 10:52 AM
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Default Getting a 20-Month-Old to Ask for Things... Too Early?

I watch a 20 month old and not sure if I'm expecting too much in the communication department.

When he wants or needs something he will not initiate by saying a word, pointing, gesturing, anything. He will just stare at me longingly until he starts to cry. In fact he really doesn't initiate any sort of communication with me. He will sometimes grunt or nod or shake his head if I initiate the interaction first, but he never comes to me to indicate that he wants to ask something or anything.

Example at lunch today. I have been putting only the main course on his plate at meal times and then I put his milk and fruit and veggies just out of reach so he has to somehow indicate that he wants them. He loves all foods. Today he was staring at his milk and started pouting so I knew he wanted his milk. I waited to see if he would get my attention. Nothing. Just pouting at his milk. After 10 minutes, I said "what do you want?" nothing. Wouldn't even look at me. I said "I think you want your milk. Say milk!" (I know he able to sign milk). Again, nothing.

Is he to young to expect him to do this? I'm comparing him to the other infants I had who've all been early talkers so perhaps I'm being too hard on him. Thoughts? Advice?
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:15 AM
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He may not have to ask at home...everything might be just handed to him.

I model what I want them to say, and eventually they get it. If a toddler is pointing at his water cup, I say, “Drink, please.” I do give them the cup, but I encourage them to ask.

Personally, I wouldn’t withhold his food at meals—I would find other opportunities to teach him. Toys, books, joining in on activities, etc.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:24 AM
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We have the exact same 20 month old! I asked a similar question and most people said it is not a big deal that they cannot ask for what they want. I disagree to some extent.

I honestly think that any behavior that sticks out to where you make a post is abnormal behaviour. Having worked with hundreds of kids I cannot remember a child behaving like this except for one I suspected to be on the autism spectrum. Most kids by this time ask for more and can nod yes and no. My current 14 month old can nod yes annd no and whines and points. Getting their needs met is extremely important and although it could be a case of the parents just doing everything I can’t fathom a child never ever having to ask for their needs to be met.

Long story short, are there other things that seem off about him? The kid I had with ASD never once asked for anything ever in the year or so he was with me. I suspected ASD from the first day but waited until he was 2.5 before saying something because everyone said wait and see. If everything else seems fine then maybe he just needs some extra work in coommunicating. The 20 month old I have communicates mostly through Echolallia so just repeats what I have said.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockgirl View Post
He may not have to ask at home...everything might be just handed to him.

I model what I want them to say, and eventually they get it. If a toddler is pointing at his water cup, I say, “Drink, please.” I do give them the cup, but I encourage them to ask.

Personally, I wouldn’t withhold his food at meals—I would find other opportunities to teach him. Toys, books, joining in on activities, etc.
Oh I do agree about withholding food. I should clarify that I do give him the food I've just been holding it back for a bit to see if it would inspire him to communicate with me because food seems to be his biggest motivator but it's obviously not working and I could see how that would look bad. Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
Oh I do agree about withholding food. I should clarify that I do give him the food I've just been holding it back for a bit to see if it would inspire him to communicate with me because food seems to be his biggest motivator but it's obviously not working and I could see how that would look bad. Thanks!
I felt sure you’d give him the food after attempting to have him ask. It’s hard to know what to do. We just want them to do what they’re capable of, and so many times, they’re capable of more than their parents expect. Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
We have the exact same 20 month old! I asked a similar question and most people said it is not a big deal that they cannot ask for what they want. I disagree to some extent.

I honestly think that any behavior that sticks out to where you make a post is abnormal behaviour. Having worked with hundreds of kids I cannot remember a child behaving like this except for one I suspected to be on the autism spectrum. Most kids by this time ask for more and can nod yes and no. My current 14 month old can nod yes annd no and whines and points. Getting their needs met is extremely important and although it could be a case of the parents just doing everything I can’t fathom a child never ever having to ask for their needs to be met.

Long story short, are there other things that seem off about him? The kid I had with ASD never once asked for anything ever in the year or so he was with me. I suspected ASD from the first day but waited until he was 2.5 before saying something because everyone said wait and see. If everything else seems fine then maybe he just needs some extra work in coommunicating. The 20 month old I have communicates mostly through Echolallia so just repeats what I have said.
Thanks for weighing in. He does seem off to me but I also watched his older sister since she was a baby and she is now in school. She also seemed off as a toddler but is a pretty typical kid now with maybe just some weird quirks here and there so I was chalking up his "offness" to their parenting style. But his lack of communication is become more apparent as he is getting older. He doesn't play with toys, but rather sits and fiddles with them or plays with his fingers. When he is done playing in an area, I have to move him because he won't move himself despite his ability to walk or he will cry in frustration. It takes him a long time to respond to directions. He doesn't get excited about things that most toddlers get excited about like doing movement songs and refuses to dance or copy my movements. I'm friends with his mom and have seen how he interacts at his house. He does initiate there with sometimes pointing, but mostly just yelling or these gibberish sentences he puts together that has the sound of a sentence but no actual words. I have brought it up to mom and she says he's just being shy with me but I have watched him since he was a little baby. I asked for a list of words he says spontaneously at home and she gave me 4. Mama, ball, milk, done. I have worked specifically on those words with him here except mama. Mom is not worried. I honestly can't tell if it's a mix of parenting style/stubborness/and having some weird quirks, or if it's a more serious problem, or he's just not developmentally there yet.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:29 PM
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My own guy now 2.5 was not ready to communicate that way at 20 months. Like the little one you described only had a fee words. (Though we heard him say other ones but would say them once or twice and not agin) as for indicating he wanted anything he would not do it. I think part of the problem was my other son (age 5) would get him stuff to make him happy. Finally at summer this year as he hit 2.5, he finally started talking more and it's only been in the last 2 months or so where I've gotten him to start to use words for stuff. But now asks with 4 or 5 word sentences so he has made a leap and caught up a bit.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
Thanks for weighing in. He does seem off to me but I also watched his older sister since she was a baby and she is now in school. She also seemed off as a toddler but is a pretty typical kid now with maybe just some weird quirks here and there so I was chalking up his "offness" to their parenting style. But his lack of communication is become more apparent as he is getting older. He doesn't play with toys, but rather sits and fiddles with them or plays with his fingers. When he is done playing in an area, I have to move him because he won't move himself despite his ability to walk or he will cry in frustration. It takes him a long time to respond to directions. He doesn't get excited about things that most toddlers get excited about like doing movement songs and refuses to dance or copy my movements. I'm friends with his mom and have seen how he interacts at his house. He does initiate there with sometimes pointing, but mostly just yelling or these gibberish sentences he puts together that has the sound of a sentence but no actual words. I have brought it up to mom and she says he's just being shy with me but I have watched him since he was a little baby. I asked for a list of words he says spontaneously at home and she gave me 4. Mama, ball, milk, done. I have worked specifically on those words with him here except mama. Mom is not worried. I honestly can't tell if it's a mix of parenting style/stubborness/and having some weird quirks, or if it's a more serious problem, or he's just not developmentally there yet.
Sounds a lot like the little ASD boy I had for sure and my current DCG. She is current,h meeting her milestones so I am not going to say anything just yet. Keep an eye one it and eventually you can suggest an SLP and they can refer or not. With this kid I had mom was saying he was doing all kinds of stuff at home but he didn’t do anything here. He gained language finally at 2 but used the language only to name objects over and over, never to communicate ideas or needs. He also did not get excited about stuff like bubbles or water table play. He would stand or sit in one spot for hours.

The sister may also have something but girls tend to get diagnosed a lot later and show different symptoms because they learn how to mimic social behavior. Not saying she is or isn’t and it might very well be a quirk but something to think about,
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:30 PM
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Do you implement baby signing ? It does help.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Silly Songs View Post
Do you implement baby signing ? It does help.
Yes I use signs for milk, eat, drink, play, all done, more, change diaper, and please, every time I need to use those words. He is able to use the signs AND say some of them when prompted, but again, won't just use them spontaneously. I have to say "say milk" or "say all done" before he will use them. He always waits for me to guess what he is wanting. I'm not sure how to teach him that he can come to me and indicate that he would like something or needs something. His go to is staring at me until I ask him what's wrong. If I pretend like I don't understand or ignore, his needs would not get met. Typically the infants I have had before can at least point or somehow indicate to me that they want something around 12 months and at least by 18 months.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jupadia View Post
My own guy now 2.5 was not ready to communicate that way at 20 months. Like the little one you described only had a fee words. (Though we heard him say other ones but would say them once or twice and not agin) as for indicating he wanted anything he would not do it. I think part of the problem was my other son (age 5) would get him stuff to make him happy. Finally at summer this year as he hit 2.5, he finally started talking more and it's only been in the last 2 months or so where I've gotten him to start to use words for stuff. But now asks with 4 or 5 word sentences so he has made a leap and caught up a bit.
Thanks for your input! I'm glad to hear your little guy is catching up and it's giving me hope. My dcb's sister is in my care before and after school and I have been trying to keep them busy with separate activities when she's here because will do everything for him and talk for him so that very well could be much of the problem. He's just used to not having to communicate and everything being done for him without his effort.
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