Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Language Acquisition

Esther is a little over 18 months old and doesn't talk yet. As of right now, I'm not concerned because she understands so much and is able to communicate in other ways. But I find myself thinking about it a lot because this is so different from my experiences with Autumn & Heidi.

Autumn started talking at about 10 or 11 months and would walk around our apartment pointing at things saying, "What's that?". What's that came after mommy and daddy and then she quickly moved on to colors and animals. She was so interested in everything around and wanted to say the names of everything she saw. Heidi was much the same, although not as early.

Since I've been thinking about her speech (or lack of) so much, I've been paying more attention to the noises she does make and it seems like there are words there. But it's so random! Where Autumn & Heidi started with Mama, Daddy, please, thankyou, hi, and basic things like that - there are no words that Esther uses on a day-to-day basis. She says Da-da every once in awhile. She used to say Ma-ma-ma-ma but doesn't anymore (now she just makes loud noises to get my attention....).

But a couple of days ago she was chasing Heidi and wanted Jessie-Bear and said "Bear" as she was running. And yesterday she said, "I go" in conjunction with a song we were listening to.

Have any of your children done that? Any ideas?

She didn't walk until she was 15 months, so I wonder if she's just a late-bloomer, a perfectionist of sorts, not wanting to do something until she can do it all the way.


  1. Crystal said...
    Interesting how one kid can be so different than her sisters, eh? I've heard that the first born learns to speak soonest, with the second, third, etc born speaking later because they have older siblings to speak FOR them. It sounds like she's just figuring out the words she needs/wants to say. If she can get your attention another way, she may not feel like she needs to say Mama.

    Ok, I seriously have no idea what I'm talking about. :)
    Lisa said...
    Why does it not surprise me that Autumn started speaking so early? :)
    The Hodges said...
    Samantha did not talk for a while either but she did show that she understood what I and others were saying and she also knew sign language. Your little lady is still young and has two older sisters who understand what she needs and so she does not have to try as much. That is just my take. I hope all it well.
    Heidi said...
    (Belated response) - I've had three kids in speech therapy (two still) and my youngest is my earliest talker. Christopher we started at 2 years when he had just a couple words, Mo we started at 9 months (she has much more complex issues) and Bennett we started... I can't remember when, we knew he would qualify because he was so premature. I think with him we waited until he was almost 2 because they said prior to that the kids don't have much attention span to do therapy anyway.

    If Esther's receptive speech is great, then I wouldn't worry about the expressive until she's at least 2 years old. It sounds like your older two were very earlier talkers. Unless it's causing her and/or you a lot of frustration. Our therapists encouraged ASL as well.

    Somewhere I have the developmental screening forms they use with ECI and if you want me to look up speech for her age let me know! It gives you the various skills and a range for when they are expected to pick them up.
    Abby Hanson said...
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this!

    Heidi, that'd be great! I'd love to take a look at the forms they use with ECI. We've tried a bit of ASL but she's not really interested. This past week she's started nodding her head "yes", shaking her head "no", and shrugging her shoulders to indicate "I don't know". She's done "yes" and "no" here and there but this week it's been very consistent and with the addition of "I don't know", it's very helpful. (Not to mention very cute!)

    I am AMAZED at how much she understands. I'm glad to know it's okay to wait still before we do any type of therapy. We'll see how things are looking when she turns two.
    Heidi said...
    I have forms from three places, I'll give you two here and the more extensive one in email. Baylor's program has window from 12 to 18 months and 18 to 24 months, so here are the things Esther should be able to do by two years:

    - point to common objects
    - understand 50 words
    - ask for 'more'
    - ask 'what's that?'
    - imitate words readily
    - use 5 to 10 words spontaneously

    And again, that is for 18 to 24 months, so she has time still.

    The Denver II screening says at 18 months they should be getting close to 6 words (and our therapist said signs count as words) and pointing to 2 pictures.

    The other screening (HELP charts) is actually several pages covering all developmental areas so I'll find the speech stuff and email you a list. Each of these screenings has different guidelines so I read them all & try to find a middle ground. I hope that helps!
    J & C said...
    Okay, so I'm a little late on the response :-) Louisa's just a little older (She'll be 2 in Feb.) Someone expressed a little concern about the size of her vocabulary based on the words that I knew she could say. After that, I made a point to write down the words she could say, and found more than I expected. I've also found that her vocabulary expanded a LOT in the last couple of months. She seems to enjoy the recognition that comes with using her words lately.

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