Is it ok if my 1 year 8 month old daughter still doesn't speak?
September 8, 2011 1:45am CST
My one year eight month old daughter still doesn't speak words. But sometimes she mumbles to herself and speaks baby talk, like words she only understands. When do you thins i the time I should consult a speech therapist or a doctor?
• Cambridge, England
8 Sep 11
Many children don't begin to speak until quite late. I think that you should not be unduly worried. Keep talking to her as you would to anyone. It's best to talk normally to her in a normal tone of voice, not to use 'baby talk'. Assume that she understands what you say (as she probably does much more than you may think!). Read stories with her in books she enjoys (just don't expect her to be able to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time!) Give her plenty of opportunity to respond to you by asking questions and expecting her to make simple choices. Many children don't talk for a long time but, when they do, they begin to talk in complete sentences. Others are fascinated by sounds and will repeat words long before they really know what they mean. Language develops differently, depending on the child and how they are exposed to it.
8 Sep 11
thanks for the response. I think she can hear well, since she can respond when I give her instructions. Her motor skills are even quite advanced. But I'm worried with her speech. I guess maybe it's just me being a first time mom. And also because sometimes she is being compared to me by mom. Because my mom says I was already talking and walking at before I was one. this also makes me worried.
• Cambridge, England
8 Sep 11
I have two grandchildren (well, three in total, but I am speaking of the youngest two). The eldest is now three and a half and she has always been rather the thoughtful one. She really didn't speak much until she was two. She had a few words but, I think that, because she was the only child many of her wishes were anticipated before she needed to say anything and life was perfectly adequate and satisfactory for her without needing to say anything complicated! Her brother, on the other hand, is a year younger and so needed to communicate much earlier to make his wishes known. He was talking (intelligibly) a great deal well before his second birthday. He still goes off into long, rambling 'conversations' (with absolutely the right tones of voice but nonsense words) and his sister still doesn't say very much, though she CAN when she needs to! Perhaps the first child is naturally less quick to speak than subsequent ones, though I don't know how true that is generally. I think it also depends on the child. Maybe your mom is making unfair comparisons - were you the eldest in your family? And maybe you were just a naturally talkative kid anyway!
• United States
10 Sep 11
I would bring it up to her doctor at her next visit, but I wouldn't bring her to the doctor specifically for this. All children are different and start to do things at different ages. Talk to her often, in a regular voice, not baby talk. Name objects, read books, and talk to her about whatever you are doing. If she tries to communicate with you by pointing or mumbling, repeat back to her what you think she is trying to say. These things will help her to associate the words you are saying with the things she is trying to communicate to you, such as if she wants you to pick her up, say to her 'you want me to pick you up? ok, come on up.' when you bring her to the doctor, have her hearing checked, so you can rule that out as a reason, and the doctor will probably also check for other obvious causes. But really, don't stress over it, because all children are different. But if her doctor thinks she will benefit from speech therapy, go ahead and get started because the earlier the better.