15 month old-speech therapy? — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

15 month old-speech therapy?

Has anyone been advised to seek speech therapy for a child this young? My son is 15 months old and apparently his speech is delayed.  He says "mama" and "dada" but not always directed at my husband or myself.  He will say "ball" and "baby" but it is only if he's repeating one of us.  He usually just grunts and gets frustrated. His understands a lot and follows simple commands like "where is your cup?" and he goes to the bathroom if I tell him it's time for a bath. I guess I'm just curious if it's something that needs to be addressed at such a young age.  I don't want to wait too long either...ugh! 

Re: 15 month old-speech therapy?

  • At the 12 month checkup, my pediatrician said that between 12 and 18 months, receptive language is more important (understanding and following simple commands). By 18 months he wanted daughter to have a handful of words she said consistently, but not more than that (although more is obviously fine!) Then, by 2 he wants her to have a more full expressive vocabulary.

    I have friends whose children were in speech therapy starting around 18 months, but those children had previously known issues. (Different Tongue formation, brain issues, etc.)

    I'd just ask your pediatrician what his/her expectations are. If it's being recommended to you, go for it. It's never too early to start interventions if needed. The earlier the intervention, the better rate of success for the child!

    If you're just freaking yourself out looking at other peoples children, stop! There will always be a kid who's doing more, and sooner, than your kid!
  • That seems awfully young to me for speech therapy. 18 months? Maybe, but not 15 months. I'd get a second opinion.

     

  • DS is 16 months and doesn't say anything that makes sense consistently. He has been known to say hi and bye, but stopped saying them. Our doctor says he should have a couple words by 18 months, but honestly, I'm not sure he will get there. With that said, his receptive language skills seem to be fine; some kids just take longer than others. Boys also usually take longer with language. I would take your doctor's advice, but I probably wouldn't start speech therapy until 2. 


  • Our pedi sent DD in for a speech eval at 9 months. She was on track in every other way but speech. I was very surprised, but they wanted to start seeing her then. At 18 months she qualified for EI. She's now 26 months. She's finally saying words and 2 word phrases, but still not an explosive vocabulary. I might be in the minority, but at 15 months I don't think it would hurt to have him evaluated. EI evaluations are typically free. Best case you will find out you have nothing to worry about, otherwise it is good to start early. GL!

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  • If the evaluation is free go for it.  We got the referral at 15 months as it was a 3-6 month waiting list.  We just got the call for an assessment. My son is now just over 18 months.  I am really not worried.  He only says mama and dada but understands everything. He babbles like he is having a conversation with you or when he is pretending to read a book.  He points to things and and makes noise...he just doesn't have the word yet.  I am going to go for the assessment because it is available to me and it can't hurt.  If we don't need it, we won't go.  Agreed boys are apparently slower than girls and genetics play a part as well.  My husband didn't say anything until he was 2 and he started with 2 or 3 word phrases. Everyone is different but at 15 months absolutely nothing to be worried about
  • I had my son evaluated when he was 14 months old by First Steps (a program in Missouri). They said he was interacting at the 9 month level. The only words my son says is "all done." He grunts, and he will wave "bye bye" if I say it. I can tell he understands when I say simple things. He doesn't go to the bathroom when I say bath, and when I ask where his cup is, he just looks at me. But like I said, there are a lot of things I say that I can tell he understands. When I ask if he wants milk, he will walk to the kitchen. If he throws something down, I'll tell him to pick it up and he does. Anyway, they said for him to be deficient enough to need any kind of services, he would have to be interacting at a level that is half his age. So even though his was 14 months and they saw him interacting on the 9 month level, he did not qualify. He would have to be interacting at 7 months. They told me that as long as he is showing signs of understanding things, grunting when he wants something, etc. not to be too worried. Of course being a first time mama with my little angel I AM WORRIED! But it helps to know that some kids just don't talk. They don't feel like they need to because we can understand them. I was told that he could just start talking in sentences one day! I will have him re-evaluated in a few months, he is 17 months now and I have to wait 6 months to be re-evaluated. If he needs therapy, then I say GREAT! Let's do this! I will do anything to make sure his is developing. Some things the told me to try were: holding a ball or truck or whatever he is playing with next to my mouth so he is looking at my lips while I say, "ball" or truck or whatever. They also said to narrate everything. "Braeden wants mommy to hold him? Say, hold me!" It's frustrating sometimes, but he will be fine! Hope that helps!
  • My daughter was evaluated at 16 months. She only said ma and da. She tested at a 0-3 month speech level.  Shortly after the evaluation, she had tubes put in (several infections and fluid problems). She's been in speech for 5 months now and is doing so well! It's worth it.  I have had 4 kids with speech issues and the earlier you start therapy, the better off they are.  
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  • Yes, definitely start early if they see an issue. It ends up being frustrating for them and you when you can't understand what they're saying.

    Do you have Parents As Teachers? We get speech therapy for free through the school district and have a state program. You can get LO evaluated and take it from there.
  • smushismushi
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    edited September 2015
    Mine is similar, and we're not concerned.  I'd wait and see where he's at around or right before age 2.  There's a typical language boom around 18 months, and he may surprise you :)  We're at 17 months almost and he's starting to verbalize a lot more (nonsensical but getting there).  Boys do typically talk later than girls do (motor skills seem to appeal more to boys than girls that age - who knew).  

    ETA we had tubes placed at 11 months because he had frequent ear infections, and he was no longer making as many sounds as he had been.  Our dr. recommended we should see at least 5-8 words (sign included) by 18 months.


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