My 18 mo/old daughter is still not talking. She uses sign language and knows about 20 signs. (eat, drink, more, please, etc.)
A lot of my friends children who used signs talked by the time they were 18 months. My daughter only says "mama" and makes animal sounds. Such as a barking sound when she sees a dog or the neigh of a horse when she sees a horse, or meows when she sees a cat (on tv, in a book, or real life). She does say "tickle tickle" when tickling someone. She still can't say "poppa" which is what we call her father, or any other simple words... she would rather sign.
Do any of you know children who were delayed speakers and are talking a normal amount now? Or even children who used signs and were very delayed? I was warned about this but seeing my friends children talking early, I continued the signs because my daughter could communicate at a young age that way.
I have seen a few babies/toddlers who were delayed in speaking because of the use of sign language. I understand its usefulness in communicating with a young baby, but it can also cause lazy speech. She probably feels there is no need for her to speak since she can already communicate. My son was speaking in full 3-4 word sentences by the time he was 18 months and while I know all babies are different, I do think it has to do with the fact that we never signed or used baby talk. We always spoke to him in full sentences and when he pointed at something he wanted we would repeat the word over and over again.
I would suggest cutting back on the signing and when you daughter asks for something repeat the thing back to her and have her try and say it to you. She is still very young and most children do not speak a lot at this age anyway. I don't think she is behind at all, but it is a good time to start having her name the things she wants.
Your little girl is doing just fine. So many Moms compare their children to their peers and it's such added worry. Continue working with her, read and talk to her, socialize her with other children...it will happen. Good luckl!
I agree, maybe start cutting back on the sign language a little. You could even make it a silly game and pretend you have no idea what she is signing to encourage her to use more words.
Several of my friends' children didn't talk much until they were 3 or 4...just remember that all kids develop differently and have patience with it.
Thank you all for your helpful comments, I am no longer using any sign language, and so we are just hoping that in cutting back on the signs, and repeating the word to describe the object that she will start speaking soon. Signing is very helpful and I have heard so many good things about it, uch as that it might delay your child's speech a bit but that when they finally start talking it's very complex and advanced. So I thought ok, lets try it. Well, needless to say i will probably not be doing sign language with my next child! Thank you all!
I personally would watch very closely. At 18 months, kids are at all different levels of speech. Really physical kids usually are slower at speech. But in about 6 months----- you should see a HUGE difference. Sentences are usually present by 2 plus years (sometimes just one or two words)---- and children gain like 20 new words a day. It is amazing. If your daughter is not doing that, then I would start to work with her. Make silly faces and freeze them and do some tongue placement exercises. Get those oral motor mucles strong and working and you'll be able to see if she has good control of them. If it seems really hard for her----- a speech evaluation would help. The other areas of speech are expressive and receptive speech. Does she understand what you are saying for example? Can you ask her to point to things and she will? Does she answer you in her sign language? ETc. Does she point for things she wants? Things like that are also part of speech.
Speech is important to stay on top of, however. It can affect lots of things but one thing is social skills. I do think that comparing one child to peers is important because if your child is way outside of the norm of most of the other kids she encounters----- her peer interaction will be hurt. It is a good barometer for where your child is developmentally. I have two kids--- one with a minor developmental delay and one without. In the early days (he's now 6)---- a therapist said for me to spend time with my son and other kids and see what the other kids are doing (including speech). I did . . . and it is very telling. It doesn't tell the whole story but it makes a problem more clear. My son's delay was diagnosed early (speech was the first sign) and we started occupational therapy (he didn't need speech therapy as although he had articulation problems but was still within normal) and he responded really well. You'd never know he had a delay on most days now. Not saying your child does by any means . . . just saying that a parent has proactive with things to have the best outcome if there is an issue. Good luck.
Thank you specialmom!! My daughter understand everything, I can tell her to point to something in a book, and she does. I can ask her where her shoes are and she will run into the other room and get them. We ask her questions and she will answer in words "yes" or "no" and only if it's a yes or no question. She knows almost all her body parts, and she knows over 20 signs. If we ask her what she wants, she tells us in sign language. She will also come to me and tell me what she wants, e.g. "drink please" (she does two signs together) so she is very intelligent. She just knows she doesn't have to speak to get what he wants!
HOWEVER- you mentioned that very active children speak later, she is extremely active. She loves to run around, and play. She's not too good about sitting still for too long unless she's listening to a book at nap time or at bedtime. She'd much rather be climbing stairs, and playing, and exploring new things.
Honestly, I'm not that worried. I am just trying to really encourage her speech now! Instead of giving her what she wants right away, I ask her say the word with her mouth. I am hoping it will help her make some progress.
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