not meaning to offend, but how does your general interaction tend to go like with him? how much time do you spend interacting with his toys and talking with him about what he is doing? do you read to him? taking the time to play with your child is the start of their oral language development and offers the opportunity for children to be immersed in language in a way that helps them to learn it best. even just naming the things he picks up - eg " that's a block." or naming an action eg "roll" when rolling a ball. It might seem silly but it really is how children learn best. As he begins to say these basic things, gradually make your sentences more complex. eg "that's a blue block." or "roll the ball" etc etc. Give your child opportunities to engage in two-way interaction, eg. games like "where's *child's name*", or giving them opportunities to respond to questions eg naming body parts, what does an animal do (eg what does a dog do? woof woof etc). Also, reading to your child every night will help him to get used to the common patterns of English, and as he hears it more, he may be prompted to try it.
I would still get hearing checked as well just in case, and i'm not assuming you don't do these other things already, but just in case you didn't know about the things I have shared, I hope it helps I have a masters degree in linguistics and have a career as a teacher, and have had plenty of experience even in a school setting with children who arrive at school at age 5 with limited speech or vocabulary, so all of this is from my own professional learning and experience
My 16 month old is very similar to your little boy and I currently have him booked in to see the speech team. Our local team like to see them if they don't have at least 6 words by 18 months. I would look into getting your little boy assessed so that if they do think he needs extra help you can start early.
This one is also really good. I really like the advise about good toys and how to use them to encourage speech
I have just finished a Hanen course http://www.hanen.org/Home.aspx they stress OWLing which means
Observe - look for interest (focus of attention) then play with what the child is interested in. Do not take over, copy their actions/follow their lead. Join in the play but get your own toys.
Wait- for them to make a sound or gesture then give them the word. Stop talking (sounds crazy I know but waiting really works, it is hard though)
Listen- be quite and pay attention
they also stress being face to face when playing and getting down on their level when in an interaction with them.
Hope this helps
I agree with the pp's who advise to get him checked out. As already mentioned the waist list for speech pathologists can be very long so it's best to put your name down asap & if it's no longer needed you can cancel it.
It's been a while since I've had an 18mth old, however my DS1 had his adenoids out at 3yr old and his speaking improved dramatically after that. It was incredible.
(As a consequence I feel he's always been behind other kids.)
I would be telling your LO to "use your words". I always tended to just 'do things' without getting either of my DS's to articulate themselves properly & it was to their detriment, in the end.
I would def get hearing checked though- and even ENT.
Good luck 😊
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Thank you very much for the info WiseOldOwl, Ill be checking that out now
Jussi, Im not offended, happy for the suggestions. We do talk with him whilst playing with him, he knows what his toys are and if you ask him to go get a certain toy, even from another room, he will go and get it. So he definitely knows, just wont say anything. He knows the difference between kicking and throwing his ball when we tell him to do those he does it, and just the other day I had him picking a blue ball out of a bunch of coloured balls. I guess thats why its so frustrating, and confusing, because he is obviously listening and learning but just wont speak anything himself. We dont really read to him too much yet, he wont sit still for longer than 5 secs so its kind of impossible lol. Ive been trying to talk to him about normal everyday stuff too, like I keep telling him what Im doing (changing his nappy, going for a walk, getting in the car etc) and he seems to be learning more and more from that each day too.
So to get him checked out, do I need to see my GP for a referral?
sounds like you are doing good stuff as for the reading, i would look for books that have things like lift the flap, pop up, touch and feel, make a noise etc to generate interest. you might find him sitting longer to listen? the key with the vocab is really using language that promotes verbal response. telling him to go get an item will not necessarily prompt him to say the word, nor will asking him to perform an action, but keep in mind that the whole time, the words you use are expanding his receptive vocabulary (the words he hears and understands). The trick now is to help him transfer his receptive vocabulary to expressive vocabulary (the words he speaks). A proven way to do this is to do things that encourage talking. Keep in mind also that gestures are also a form of language, so if he is gesturing to you, he is expressing a response. apart from modelling turn-taking behaviour during play, i would also try playing games which require noise. even playing around with silly noises might prompt him to start making attempts at words. like i said earlier - try pretending to be animals - even encourage sound effects of toys eg. making car noises or playing games like blowing raspberries and making lizard tongues etc. might seem silly but sometimes getting them to use parts of their mouth to play can help them work out what to do with it to produce words.
with the turn-taking conversation, giving him wait-time is important, but if he can't give you an answer, that's when you provide the answer. consider this conversation:
*you observe your son picking up a blue block*
You: "What's this?" (note the short question, could be more complex depending on the child)
son: *no response/ holds it up to you*
You: *wait - no further response from son* "That's a block. can you say block?" *wait*
if your son makes no attempt to say the word, which is likely, you then continue to play based on your son's lead, offering conversation as prompts for play, commenting on the blocks he is using eg colour etc and what he is doing with them. Keep in mind that even if he can't answer you, it is important to prompt his play with questions that require him to think about what he is doing - at this point, your aim would be mainly getting him to say the word for the item he is using. After giving him some wait time, always provide an answer to your questions if your son doesn't say anything. As he becomes used to the pattern of turn-taking, and the conversation becomes predictable, he may want to attempt an answer or to name the object. This won't happen immediately - might even take a while, but will encourage him to expand his vocabulary. In order to help him the most, the idea is to always use language slightly above what he already knows how to speak, so he will be encouraged to rise to the same standard. Once he reaches the ability to do what you are doing, make your own speech a little more difficult, and so on.
to get him checked, you can either get a referral from a gp or you can go to any child and youth health clinic. They are nurses and can also get referrals to specialists
And you shouldn't need to go on a long waiting list for a speechy- you can pay to see someone privately.
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