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19 months and not talking.

(39 Posts)
jessie1608 Wed 29-Feb-12 23:30:32

We have my husbands grandchildren aged almost four, and nineteen months, to stay for the weekend once a month.
The younger child appears bright but does not say a single word. Nor does she babble. In fact, she makes very little sound at all. She does smile but her laughter is silent.
Husband has had a word with the daughter in law and she says the health visitor is due soon and she will mention it.
I think that a bit more pro-active action is called for, and if there is a problem, we can start tackling it.
Has anyone else got experience of a child of this age who is almost silent?

Jams Wed 29-Feb-12 23:47:27

I wouldn't worry too much just yet jessie1608. I'm sure if the health visitor has any concerns, she would say something.
If it helps at all - our grandson didn't utter a word until he turned 2 (a very odd experience for us as all four of our children had a pretty good nattering skills by that age. Then the first words he said to us were "chicken curry" - or rather 'ticken cuwwy'. I used to babble incessently to him in the hope that he would start to speak. I'd asked what he would like for lunch - but I had my back to him and he replied. Had I been facing him, he would have just pointed to whatever he wanted. I looked at him, thinking I'd been hearing things and asked "Chicken Curry?" - he grinned, nodded and said Yes. Turned out he could speak, but couldn't actually be bothered as he could get whatever he needed by pointing to things. Mind you, he's not shut up since - even chatters away in his sleep lol.
Having worked with women's groups, I do know that not speaking at 19 months old is quite 'common'.

Greatnan Thu 01-Mar-12 00:06:55

Jessie, it makes me a little nervous when you say 'We can start tackling it'. Would your step DIL welcome your involvement? If she is not worried (and I think she is right not to be worried yet) she might feel you are interfering.

Notsogrand Thu 01-Mar-12 13:03:59

Does the older sib talk 'for' her jessie?

My first 2 girls were born 18 months apart and the younger one didn't say a word until she was almost 2, because her older sister interpreted every grunt and squeak and pointed finger. There was no reason for her to talk, because all her needs were met by her sister fetching & carrying and 'talking' for her. (She didn't walk until 20 months either. No need to.)

Once we'd convinced DD1 to stop 'helping' her sister, DD2 went from saying nothing to talking in sentences, virtually overnight.

Assuming that there are no hearing issues, I agree with other comments that there is nothing to worry about.

Joan Thu 01-Mar-12 13:09:51

I was told that I was 2 before I talked. It never stopped me being gabby later. I also liked art, but would draw everything upside down - chickens, lamp posts, people - everything. Oh, and the people I drew were all starkers. Mum wanted to see a child psychiatrist, Dad said I'd come right in the end. Dad was right - ish.

My advice - leave well enough along for a while.

JessM Thu 01-Mar-12 13:40:33

There is a story that Thomas Carlyle spoke not a word until he was 2. Then on seeing his brother crying asked "What ails thee Jock?"
In my observation later talkers still make noises. They are trying to communicate but not getting the sounds right. Sometimes a very attentive person can pick out "words" e.g. a hissing sound means water, "oy" means an animal etc.
But silence is unusual. What kind of playing and interpersonal interaction does the child do? Is she responsive to music?

Pennysue Thu 01-Mar-12 16:00:48

My daughter did not talk until she was about 2 - when she did it was with complete sentences. Almost as if she had decided not to talk until she could talk properly. Or she could not get a word in because her "big" brother could talk and make enough noise just on his own!

GoldenGran Thu 01-Mar-12 16:06:11

I understand your concerns jessie1608, but I think you have to leave it to your DIL, I presume they have had tests for deafness, and if that is ok, the problem will sort itself out.

jessie1608 Thu 01-Mar-12 20:45:35

Thank you for all your comments.
I think I would be less worried if it was a case of her babbling away but not forming any recognizable words. But there is no babbling whatsoever.
Her brother doesn't talk for her. She just seems to inhabit this silent world where she looks on but doesn't join in.
At our house, we talk and play games and listen to nursery rhymes on a CD with me singing along, as well as reading to both children. Her attention span is short though and she will often just wander off, not because she sees something more interesting but often just to stand and watch.
I'm afraid at home, the TV is on nearly all day, and she is put to bed at night with the television on in her room. The parenting leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, the grandson (four next month) still drinks all his drinks from a bottle and has no idea how to use cutlery. He is allowed to play certificate 18 games on the X box. This is a mother who sent her first born sixty miles to stay with me for the weekend when he was thirteen days old, when she had met me only once. (Prior to me marrying my husband).
So I don't have much faith that any problem will be sorted out, hence my wish to 'tackle it' sooner rather than later.

Annobel Thu 01-Mar-12 20:48:57

Does she understand what is being said to her? For example, if you said, 'Go and get a biscuit', would she make a beeline for the biscuit tin?

jessie1608 Thu 01-Mar-12 21:01:20

No, she doesn't seem to understand. She was pointing at a banana on Sunday and opening and closing her hand. I tried to get her to fetch the banana but she wouldn't, and when I tried to get her to say the word banana she didn't even attempt it. She just kept on opening and closing her hand. (She soon ate it though when I offered it to her).

Annobel Thu 01-Mar-12 21:17:07

That might suggest a hearing problem, jessie, but I'm no expert. GP and/or HV needs to know what's going on - or not going on.

jeni Thu 01-Mar-12 21:20:56

They are supposed to be tested as neonates? confused

Carol Thu 01-Mar-12 21:36:54

My baby grandaughters have had two hearing tests, but that was because they were premature. They are having a 4/5 month routine top-to-toe check-up with the GP tomorrow, including hearing. The 19 month old may have some hearing needs that warrant checking out, if she isn't babbling either. I had a neighbour whose child had 'sticky' ears and his speech was delayed, but soon took off after he had grommits inserted in both ears.

Annobel Thu 01-Mar-12 22:35:58

They can get things wrong. At first my GS was thought to be partially deaf, then they decided he had glue ear and put in grommets. Finally it was established that he was deaf in one ear and since he got a hearing aid he has got on much better at school.

nanapug Thu 01-Mar-12 22:58:41

Try going up behind her quietly and clap your hands loudly and see if she reacts. If she doesn't you really need to have her assessed. If she does react, try making quieter noises behind her just to check she is not partially deaf. If she is responding to noise you need to perhaps consider other reasons for her failure to communicate. It could be lack of stimulation. Is there any chance you could have her more frequently for a while so you can work with her and see if she makes any progress? I would suggest that she needs to be seen by a HV anyway. You could always ring her Drs surgery and tell them of your concerns, and ask them to send one out as if it were just a routine check. They will keep this confidential if you ask. It must be a worry for you but it sounds to me as if she needs to be seen by a professional.

JessM Fri 02-Mar-12 07:05:32

jessie1608 I think you have valid concerns. It must be difficult for you seeing such poor parenting. I agree with nanapug

granbunny Mon 02-Apr-12 06:38:07

cousin didn't speak until three. her family were discussing, once again, getting help for her (it was over fifty years ago...) when she walked into the room, picked up a book, read a bit to them and walked out again.

nightowl Mon 02-Apr-12 18:45:59

granbunny you are so funny WHO ARE YOU????

Carol Mon 02-Apr-12 18:57:02


Butternut Mon 02-Apr-12 19:46:04

I've just got back carol - why is this a reported post? What's been going on?

Carol Mon 02-Apr-12 19:50:54

pm'ing you Butternut

Butternut Mon 02-Apr-12 19:51:27


numberplease Mon 02-Apr-12 21:41:56


Carol Mon 02-Apr-12 21:48:09

Offensive postings on several threads number. Reported to GNHQ