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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 16:35 PM   1
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Nearly 18 months and only 4 consonant sounds

DS is going to be 18 months old in 2 weeks, and while he is very physically able I am getting increasingly worried about his speech. I assumed he was just hitting all of this physical milestones first, but now it is very clear he can only say 4 consonants - M, B, P, F. He tries to say words, and is clearly delighted, thinking he has said the word (smiles, gives himself a round of applause), but he isn't actually making the word at all. Has anyone ever encountered anything similar? I'm starting to worry it is an issue with his hearing - i.e. he thinks he is saying it correctly because that is what he hears:

So words like:
Star (points at star) - he says bar
Cat (points at cats all the time) - say aaaaaaaaa
Fish, flower - just say fffffffffffffffff

He says Mama, and newest word is Papa - if you asked him to say dada, he'd respond with Mama, so DH has changed his name to papa for him, which he now uses to refer to DH.
His other words are bor (ball) and boo (balloon). He says baaa for sheep, and if you ask him what noise a dinosaur makes he says aaaaa (rather than rah).

Just wondering if anyone has encountered similar issues and what the result was?

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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 19:04 PM   2
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Sophie had only said her first work at 16 months, which was poo, and Thomas had no words at all. Both talk just fine. I don't think I would stress too much at 18 months.

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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 20:20 PM   3
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My ds2 could only say three words up until just before his third birthday. He was also thinking that he was talking but was making random noises rather than real words. We did get his hearing checked but only because I pushed for it as his tantrums were becoming impossible, my hv was only concerned in his level of comprehension which has also been ok. I know it's impossible not to worry but every child is so different

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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 02:57 AM   4
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I was given a leaflet by my HV which showed that some consonants aren't pronounced correctly till 8years old! Everyone focuses on pronunciation when thinking of speech but there are so many more skills and levels of brain development prior to this when learning language that pronunciation is actually about the LAST thing to be mastered (and probably the easiest to correct).

At 18months my HV kept an eye on my LO because her vocab was small and she wasn't trying to say much - so the worry at that age is that they have a developmental issue that is stopping their comprehension. Over the next 6months she started saying loads more and we didn't need to do anything.

Did your LO have a hearing test at birth which they passed? There are conditions, like glue ear, which can cause intermittent hearing loss which you may want to investigate but 18months is a bit early to tell whether its affecting language as its normal for them to still be developing their very foundation skills in this area.

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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 06:07 AM   5
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I was told 5 words by 18 months is the norm, including mama, papa.
Word approximations are fine as long as they mean that particular thing always ( ball is always bor and so on). I wont worry.

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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 08:14 AM   6
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sorry posted in wrong one x

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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 08:29 AM   7
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My ds doesn't have a huge range of consonants either. He has t, d, m, b, n & s. He doesn't use all of them all the time.

I'm not too worried - we do makaton (signing) so he communicates well & gets his message across. I think the consonants will come with time.

However - if you genuinely have any concerns about hearing, talk to a dr & get referred for a hearing test just in case. Does he respond to environmental sounds e.g. Bath running, crisp packet rustling etc?

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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 11:02 AM   8
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Just because he celebrates his "saying" it, doesn't mean he doesn't hear it correctly when YOU say it. He's learning to speak and it's exciting that he's saying words, so naturally, he's excited. Try saying words that sound similar to what he's trying to say and see if he continues trying to get his point across or is satisfied with your "guess." Leo's speech isn't very clear either and if you guess wrong, he keeps trying to communicate, whereas he'll affirm correct "guesses." Also, pay attention to his listening comprehension as well as awareness of environmental noises. It's perfectly developmentally appropriate to have limited consonants as well as to mix them up and say them wrong at this age. SLP's don't even worry about it at all until after 2 and a half. I was told that if Leo is still really difficult to understand at 2 years, 9 months, to then bring him in. At 18 months, he probably only had about 3 words. Now at 2, the language part has really clicked for him although he is just barely starting to put two words together. I wonder if the speech part is what's limiting him in that at this point.

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Old Apr 5th, 2017, 18:32 PM   9
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I would suggest that you get his hearing checked. My dd only had 1 word at 15 months, "hi" I wasn't worried but my doc insisted on a hearing test, and I'm glad he did. Both ears were "blocked" and the wait to get into the ear, nose and throat specialist is 3 months! so now at almost 18 months we still haven't seen the specialist and she's getting increasingly frustrated. The hearing test doc said that it's like she's underwater, so she hears the loud noises, and I find syllables but cannot understand the articulation of the words.. hence she can't repeat them.

It could likely be normal, but it's worth ruling out hearing... my 2 cents

good luck!

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Old Apr 6th, 2017, 07:12 AM   10
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Gracie is a week older than your wee one, she has had a huge developmental leap in the last month or so. She went from no speech at 15 months to Maybe 20 words, including joining two words together (daddy, door! She wanted to leave the dieticians appointment) but she has always had good comprehension (for example, she can point to her head, hair, eyes, ears, nose, tummy, hands, fingers, feet, legs and toes if you ask her to, she understands the difference between a question and a statement and will attempt to answer appropriately with a nod or a head shake, and she can differentiate between different items and follow relat d instructions, for example, "go get your ball and give it to daddy" or "go put the tub in the drawer"

I haven't even thought to check which consonants she can say. Certainly not them all, however I don't think that just because she doesn't say them doesn't mean she can't say them. For example, she calls a "banana" a "nahna" and misses the first B in bubbles, but she can say B as she calls bubbles "uhbuls" - if that makes sense?

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18 , consonant , months , sounds

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