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Baby talk!

(25 Posts)
Speldnan Wed 04-Jun-14 15:38:28

my DGS is nearly 2 and a half and still barely says a word! he understands everything you say to him. He loves books and is read to all the time by all the family plus he looks at them on his own too. We talk to him and encourage him but he communicates in grunts, ooohs and ahhs but not words. He rarely even says 'Mummy'.
I wondered if any other Grans have had any experience of this delayed speech in their grandchildren (or children for that matter)? both my own children were talking pretty early.
My DD did ask the HV and she said not to worry until he's 3. Any feedback/ experiences would be greatly appreciated. I feel it must be frustrating for him not to be able to communicate properly and I must admit I am a little worried about it.

ninathenana Wed 04-Jun-14 15:51:07

If you have a search there are a couple of previous threads on this topic. My own DGS was 2 in March and communicates mostly by Makaton sign language. He says about 5 words but can only pronounce mumma and nana correctly.
I think the general consensus of the previous threads was. All children learn at a different rate and a 2.5 you should try not to worry. But us nannies do don't we smile

Nelliemoser Wed 04-Jun-14 15:52:27

Do not worry too much, some children do wait longer than other's before talking. It is important that he appears to be understanding language. Is he at a nursery as a lot of them use simple Makaton sign language.

Your could probably find a book that shows you some of these.

Ana Wed 04-Jun-14 15:53:18

Didn't you start a thread about this a few months ago, Speldnan? If his parents and GP aren't worried, I'd try not to let it bother you too much. Children progress at their own pace.

HildaW Wed 04-Jun-14 15:55:06

Speldnan, am no expert but I used to run pre-schools and we did have a session for 2 and half year olds and as far as I can remember they could all say something by the time they came to us.
Also my GD (now 2 and a half) seemed a little slower than her brother to chatter but we put that down to her having a big brother who tended to interpret her requests. She is now chattering away (not always fully understandable)but lots of different sounds and many recognisable words in full fact she is becoming a proper little madam in the best way.
I think I'd be pressing for a second opinion, no need to panic but I would not take the 'wait until he is 3' until I was fully satisfied his hearing or other physical aspects such as perhaps being tongue tied were excluded.

Grannyknot Wed 04-Jun-14 15:58:18

There was a programme on telly last night about "the secret life of babies" or something like that, I haven't watched it, but one of the reviews said that babies understand 3 times more words than they verbalise. Maybe try and watch it on catch up!

Speldnan Wed 04-Jun-14 16:04:11

I have that program ready to watch Grannyknot.
I read at least one of the other threads which seemed to divert to other unrelated topics. Plus most of the children mentioned were younger than my GS.
His comprehension is brilliant-you only have to tell him the name of a new object and he knows what it is next time you refer to it. He vocalises all the time but nothing comprehensible. Its almost as if a switch needs to be thrown in his brain for him to realise the connection between making sounds and communication. He points and grunts at things he wants you to do or get for him.
Maybe it is just a developmental thing which will suddenly kick in-he was premature too and a late walker.

whenim64 Wed 04-Jun-14 16:04:24

Yes, my grandaughter is the same age and gabbles away all day but rarely says words or repeats them. Her twin sister talks in articulate sentences now. They both have a nursery place for 15 hours a week to bring on her speech, and now she has a speech therapist who sees her once a week at nursery and home alternately. The consultant paediatrician who has overseen them since their very premature birth says his son didn't say a word till he was 3. The next step is an educational nursery that concentrates on language/speech development as this nursery has not had the desired effect. My daughter is joining a local support group for language delay, and will take her daughter along to find out what might be more helpful for her. She has no problem communicating what she wants, and now we use signs with speech to get her to use a different part of her brain, but we can't make her litte sister do that - she pipes up on behalf of her non-speaking twin much of the time.

If speech alone was the issue, we would have waited longer to seek help but she's a picky eater and doesn't want to exercise her mouth with chewing and generally trying different textures, so the dietician is going to get involved, too.

She has little tantrums but is soon distracted, so appears not to be at all bothered.

whenim64 Wed 04-Jun-14 16:06:28

I should add that she loves books, can pick out words that match pictures, points to the correct colours and counts to ten on cards placed randomly, so we know she understands so much more.

Speldnan Wed 04-Jun-14 16:07:07

ps HildaW wouldn't tongue tie be picked up on earlier? he's still partially Bfed actually and has never had a problem with feeding (this is another topic I could mention too!!)

Purpledaffodil Wed 04-Jun-14 16:11:04

Interesting post Speldnan. My two and a quarter year old GS is very similar, except that he uses no words at all, not even "No" the toddler's favourite word. The family live abroad and have spoken to their paediatrician who tested his hearing and then said the inevitable 'Wait until he's three'. The underlying worry is autism, but again this was not supported by the specialist. His father was slow to talk, but started around 15 months if I remember correctly?
Interesting idea re Makaton. I shall suggest it to DS as a possible route. We have noticed him using non verbal signing on Skype so this may help. Or can it hinder language development? Any views on this ladies?

Speldnan Wed 04-Jun-14 16:11:28

that's very interesting whenim64 (great name btw!) I always wonder what on earth speech therapists can do with a child if it doesn't make the connection with sounds/ words/communication. I like the sound of the sign language though. My GS doesn't go to nursery or daycare yet as I look after him 2 days per week of my DDs 3 day working week and father and G father the other day.

Speldnan Wed 04-Jun-14 16:15:17

My GS doesn't say 'No' either-the only word I've heard him say recently is Mummum but not actually to her! he did say a few odd words when he was very young but seems to have given them all up!
My GS has no obvious signs of autism so can't believe it could be that (although I know very little about it) he's very sociable and rarely has tantrums.

HildaW Wed 04-Jun-14 16:20:07

Speldnan......was just using tongue tied as an example of a specific problem......would not dare to diagnose!

Purpledaffodil Wed 04-Jun-14 16:25:01

Interesting that he did use sounds and then stop, DGS is the same. Until he was 18 months, they lived in quite a remote area with little social contact. Now they are in a more happening place! he is becoming less introverted. His father was very shy at that age too, so I wonder if it could be an inherited trait. I played Boo with him over Skype last week and he did react to that and giggled, but no words at all. So difficult and hard not to worry isn't it?

Nelliemoser Wed 04-Jun-14 16:50:15

Could it be his parents anticipate what he wants so much that he does not "need" to express himself? Which is what might be what Wheni'm describes with her "Grandtwins."

My son was about 2.25 before he said very much more than odd words. DGS at 20mnths is adding new words and sentences all the time.

They are all very different, but do suggest his parents seek further advice.

harrigran Wed 04-Jun-14 16:56:21

I found that DS talked much later than DD, elder sister talked for him and told me when he wanted something. How she knew, goodness only knows but she was invariably right.
I think if GS was at nursery any delay would be picked up but as he is at home it is up to family to voice any concerns.

Speldnan Wed 04-Jun-14 17:31:01

thanks for everyone's input-his babbling does seem to have altered slightly recently and I fully expect him to start coming out with some words soon! I have to leave it to his parents to decide what to do as I try not to give advice unless it is asked for. Hopefully they will take advice if nothing happens in the next month or so.

whenim64 Wed 04-Jun-14 17:52:54

Speldnan he'll have his milestone check ups, presumably, so parents will be asked how he's doing. Premature babies do often have delays in some of their development and catch up eventually. Our little one might not be saying words yet, but her agility is amazing - she can trampoline like nobody's business, do handstands if someone will catch her legs, and bends over backwards into the crab. Her sister can barely jump with both feet off the floor, but we make sure we show appreciation of their different abilities and efforts.

ninathenana Wed 04-Jun-14 18:07:51

DGS is starting speach therapy sessions in a fortnight. I will be taking him as DD will be working. I can't wait to see what they are going to do with a 2 yr old !
DS had speach therapy which worked wonders but he was four and talking fluently. He just couldn't produce 'l' or 'd' sound.

ninathenana Wed 04-Jun-14 18:15:00

This is the book DD and I both have. It was recommend by the course leader.

Humbertbear Thu 05-Jun-14 08:40:07

I have contributed on this topic in other threads but you should gently suggest a hearing test. My 2year old GD understood everything, loved storiesetc but it turned out she was lip reading and her hearing had almost completely gone. Grommets worked wonders and she now goes to speech therapy and they make it into a game eg., learning to blow bubbles or blow out a candle .

JackyB Thu 05-Jun-14 11:48:34

If everything else is OK, especially hearing, as Humbertbear says, then I shouldn't worry.

In my experience, first-borns like to get it right before they start talking. I remember surprising mine once as he practised words to himself in his room whilst playing with his Lego. Second-borns will just chat away and have a stab at new and difficult words, not caring if they get them wrong. (This pattern can be reversed, but it goes to show that there are different ways of learning to speak)

Several stories come to mind of children who didn't speak for ages, but then started straight away well into their third year with complete sentences. These are probably exaggerated, but it's not impossible....

And as to babies and toddlers understanding more than they can actually say - well, we all do that don't we? We read or hear a word which we can understand from the context, but which we would never use ourselves.

This is called "passive" and "active" vocabulary.

It starts to get really interesting when the children are learning two or three different languages in parallel.

kittylester Thu 05-Jun-14 17:31:31

Bertie, the whatsit, who was 2 in January has been to a speech therapy course. He was referred by his nursery because DD3 was concerned about his speech.

He has no trouble making himself understood (we call it Bertie-ton) but lots of his speech is only understood by people who see him regularly. He has been using his words since well before he was 2 but new words are often in 'Bertie' too, though he is getting better. His latest it 'skrillel' for those pesky things that eat the bird food! DH and I have been 'Brrbrr' and 'Dyer' since he first started talking.

DD didn't find the speech therapy course very good as she was told all the basic stuff (repeating words back to him, using the correct words rather than his version, not much TV, lots of books etc etc) which she knew and does. She is now awaiting a hearing test for him.

NanKate Fri 06-Jun-14 10:05:09

kitty my son, almost 40, made up his only language too until he was about 3. It didn't hold him back, as he is now a children's author and presenter.

I bet your Bertie will start using English soon and you will miss the old language.