A slightly freaked-out update at 12:31 am
A Different Kind of Okay


The podcast for the radio show isn't available yet. I don't know why they're dragging their feet and denying the Internet the chance to hear the MOST THRILLING 11 MINUTES OF RADIO EVER (har!) but rest assured I will link to it as soon as I can. God forbid you miss the part where I completely lost track of my point and the words coming out of my mouth and said something about how I'll look back and miss the toddler tantrums someday. What? WHAT?

And this is why I should not talk to people before 9 am. Or really, ever.

Anyway, I'm bummed that I don't have it, simply because I was hoping to take up a whole entry with it and thus not have to fill space this morning with the topic I'm going to fill the space with, because this topic makes me sound so high-strung and neurotic but I can't help it. I am high-strung and neurotic. I mean, I'm a blogger. Gawd.

Noah has a doctor's appointment today. He's getting checked for a speech delay.

I know! Aball! Abeer! And all the other videos I've posted of him chattering away. The problem is that's pretty much all we've got in the speech department. He says about six or seven words clearly (two of which he's said in the past couple days after I already made the appointment, of course), and then another five or six words that aren't really words, but we at least know what he means.

(He also seems to lose words as quickly as he acquires them, with "light" and "fan" and "plane" all getting reduced to "na" and "doggie" turning back into "da." I'm guessing this is a pretty normal thing for toddlers [right? normal?], but it does make it harder to get a real grasp on the sum of his vocabulary.)

He babbled early and noticed books early and was pegged by our pediatrician as "highly verbal." But then he was "slow" to point and clap and wave (can I stop with all the quotes? will you remember that I get how ridiculous it is to be using these words? do you understand that it's not like we have a milestone chart stuck on the fridge with a MENSA magnet?) and all the younger kids in Gymboree started talking and Noah continued to speak only in his own little Swahili alien language.

Personally, I think he is fine. I think he is stubborn. I think he is STUB. BORN. He's never been much of a mimic or interested in performing on cue.  If you ask him what the cow says you will get a withering look that clearly says, "You know what the damn cow says, woman. Stop bugging me."

But at the same time, he doesn't appear to know what the cow says. He won't say milk or juice or string two words together. He doesn't seem to have enough words to string them together. How much do you chalk up to temperament? And for how long?

I'm from a family of late-talking boys (my dad apparently spoke in a language only his big sister could understand until he was three, and then went on to become an English teacher), so I've been going back and forth and forth and back on this for months. Yes, Noah is clearly behind other kids his age. But he's not even two yet, for fuck's sake. He's taking his time. He'll bust out in sentences one of these days, just you wait!  It's not like I'm trying to turn him into the star of his Toddler Mandarin Chinese class or get him into a college-prep preschool. (I've already picked out his preschool. IT'S THE ONE CLOSEST TO MY HOUSE.)

My kid is smart. My kid is a freaking delight. He can identify a good half of the alphabet and loves looking at books and numbers and if I tell him he needs to put his shoes on to go outside, he will go get his shoes. His fine motor skills and attention span are insane for his age. He's all-around totally fine and okay.

They just make it really hard to trust your own instincts these days, you know?

At his 18-month check-up, the doctor (who wasn't even our regular doctor, because I'm an asshole who forgot to make the appointment on time) quizzed me about his vocabulary and admitted that he was lagging a little. She wobbled her head back and forth as she debated whether or not to make A Thing about it. She told me to bring him back in three months if he didn't make any progress.

It's been three months. He's said three more words. He's stopped saying two of the words he was saying three months ago. So we're going back in. 

I really hope he's okay.




Didn't Einstein not speak till he was 3 or something? I possibly made up that tidbit of trivia, but nevertheless, Noah is fine. Your instincts are trustworthy.


I'm first!


No I'm not...


Doctors are way too quick to assume a child has "an issue" if they are not developing EXACTLY according to the "this is how every child should develop" chart. (i know, with the quotations...)

he isn't even TWO. he is gorgeous and smart and....you are his mom. you know him best.

good luck @ the appointment. :)


I was listening to Sirius 114 at 8:39 a.m. as instructed but never heard you....was it earlier? Instead I heard a midly funny jewish american princess comic!

Katherine Gualtieri

I'm right there with you except my son is 6 months older than Noah. He gets speech therapy twice a week in our home and we're hoping to see some progress soon. He also has no desire to mimic so that makes it more difficult.

I was actually surprised to see that Noah had a delay because of the videos you've posted. My son James pretty much says Mama and uh oh and uses his weird alien language. That's it. He's had other words but he'll say them once or twice never to be heard again.

You may want to try teaching him some sign language for now. That's helped us a lot and has made my son less frustrated about no being able to speak.

And about Einstein. I heard he didn't speak until he was 4 :)


you probably have nothing to lose by going to the doctor, and hopefully you can gain some peace of mind. and you probably just ironically sealed noah's fate that he will grow up and become a talk show host, or a DJ, or motivational speaker, or some other job that is 100% reliant on talking :)


Good Luck.

Sometimes I think these doctors worry way too much.


I know you're going to get a lot of these stories - but hopefully they'll ease your mind.

First of all? NikkiZ JUST started saying different words in the last few weeks - before that? It was "SIDE!" and "SIKE!"

BUT - one of my BFFs daughters who I consider like my own - didn't talk forever. She just did her own thing and ignored everyone. Now? At age 12? She's BRILLIANT. One day? She just started talking in complete sentences. It was weird.


I think too many doctors make "issues" when there aren't any. Noah will be FINE!


Oh, please...once you put him in preschool (being closest is totally an important criteria!) he'll start yapping and yapping...and one day you'll be saying, "Can't you just stop talking for five minutes?" It's true!


Please don't worry. I have 3 kids (6, 4 and just turned 2). I honestly don't remember my oldest talking until 3 - he had his words at Noah's age but once he turned 3 full on sentences came pouring out. My 2-year old son did the same thing...when he turned 2 it was as if a switch flipped and he started talking although sometimes his brother & sister have to interpret. Trust your instincts.


I wouldn't stress about his speech patterns too much at this age. If he were 5 and about to begin school and was still not on track, yes, I'd say there was an issue. But he's a toddler, a STUBBORN tod... just like everyone elses' stubborn kid.

Tell the doctors and detractors to fuck off and enjoy the ABALLs and ABEERs for as long as you can.

I cried the day Jaalyn stopped with her "capitillars" and "squeels" (squirrels).


I'm sure he's fine. I didn't start talking until really late, so I was tested for all kinds of problems. Turns out I was just shy at first (and the tests ended up facilitating my early entrance into gifted programs). Everyone really wishes I would shut up again, but I don't think it will ever happen.


As a mom of 4 boys (3 of which spoke freakishly early - and 1 that did not and freaked me the hell out) I'm going to say he is fine. Really. The one that did not is stubborn and defiant and a general PITA (he's 8 now). But he is fine. One day he would know all his colors and the next day none. Upon entering kindergarten I was extremely worried because he only knew the letter D. By November he was starting to read. Yes, he's a bit behind picking things up but when he gets it, he gets it. His talking went from almost nothing to non-stop around 2. Give him time. Noah will do it when he wants to. (and if he's at all like my son, not a moment before HE wants to.)


I know it's easier said than done, but please try not to worry. It's almost impossible these days, with the avalanche of "parenting advice" and articles and whatnot on children, but I'm sure Noah's fine. Our son was a bit of a late walker, but his pediatrician wasn't worried. I was half-crazy with worry, picturing him as a college student and having to crawl to class. For real. But then one day, he just stood up and took off like he'd been walking for years. Bizarre. Noah's going to be just fine.


Long time reader, first time poster. Lurve your blog! Here just to say that my son did not start talking until close to 2. Full sentences did not come until after 2.5. But no worries, because he has been making up for it ever since! He talks non-stop from sun-up to sun-down. Some days my head hurts from all the chit-chat. My 13 mo old girl has only said "mamama" so far - and I'm pretty sure she is not referring to me! Trying to calm my own concerns abour her by recalling my son's vocab (or lack there of) at that age. I'm sure - as you are - Noah is just fine.


I went through that with my 3 yr old when he was younger...now I can't get him to STOP talking. ;-) All children develop differently. My kid was walking at 9 months for pete's sake! He didn't have time to talk. *Sigh*...sometimes I miss those days...


My daughter is 22 months and has been getting speech therapy every other week for the past few months. At 18 months, she only said 4 words, and they all sounded the same ("duh!" for dog, doll, door, and duck). Now she's saying way more words, but isn't stringing words together yet. I've been keeping track of her new words at the therapist's request, and some days she's saying 3 or 4 new words (and it totally counts if she only says a word once and never says it again). She isn't much of a mimic either, but loves books and babbles all the time in her own little language. I figure she'll be fine eventually, and the therapy is just to help her catch up. It's not a big deal, really. We've gotten some excellent suggestions from the therapist, like using straw cups instead of sippy cups to increase oral strength. Also, blowing bubbles or blowing through straws at cotton balls is another fun activity to build strength in those muscles. Noah will be fine too - just ignore the other moms whose kids are speaking in sentences already. At this age, the language development varies TREMENDOUSLY. There is a big range of normal.


Delurking to say...my son (also Noah!) was the same way, no 'real' words until he was after two, and even then, not so many. Our MD was of the opinion that as long as he was understanding language and communicating well in his own fashion, even if he wasn't speaking terribly intelligibly, he was ok. When he finally started talking well, at around age 2 and a half, it was in sentences all at once. So I am sure your Noah is fine, too. I think every kid has a different pace. But what do I know- this is just my first one! ;)

Hope your appt goes well.


OMG - What is with that wierd alien language???? My 10.5 m.o., whom I assumed would also be an early talker because he's been babbling forever, just started doing that last week and its weirding me out. Plus, I've been working for months to try to get him to say "mama," which he'll do about once a month, but now he seems more interesting in the weird alien language. I keep hoping we'll hear some real words before his 1st b-day, but now I don't know.


He's fine. Believe me, I know how easy it is to get caught up in what your child should be doing (say hello to my puny runt). That said, my dad didn't really talk until he was 3 either and neither did my oldest son. He didn't walk until 17 months either. He was just the sort that was going to do those things in his own time. Now, months away from his 8th birthday, he's one of the smartest kids in his class and is reading at a 5th grade level. Noah is just fine, you would know if he was really delayed or had problems. He's just doing this all on his own schedule. :) *hugs* to the mama.


Pediatricians are excellant at fuh-reaking us out, aren't they?
I'm a momma of 3- boy 7, girl, 5, and boy,3. Both boys were slow. Well over 2 before they started talking in anything I could understand. The youngest is JUST NOW speaking a language that other people get. My daughter, was talking in sentences at 18 mos. The problem for me was that since she came between the 2 boys, I forgot how slow my oldest was to talk and got all freaked about the youngest not talking again.
Does any of this make any sense? Is there a point? Probably not, but don't freak out too much. Don't compare him to other kids. And, please! One of his words is BEER! He has a really important one already in the bag!


I wouldn't worry. He's going to talk and some day you'll wish he'd shut up.

My boss, a savvy lady lawyer, is going through this with her two sons. She sits making lists of 3 year old Zach's words. If the list isn't long enough there are consultations with his speech therapist. I'm sad to see her so concerned with something that just doesn't matter, because eventually everyone talks. Unless the kid has a serious psychosis or a physical defect, he is going to talk. You have a normal, healthy (and perfectly adorable) kid here. He'll talk.

I think we spend too much time today trying to conform to parameters. Everyone must be a size 7, everyone must have 25 words by age XX months, etc. We're all different and we need to relish the difference instead of trying to make ourselves conform.

One of the best pieces of baby advice I ever read was from - I think - T. Berry Brazelton, who wrote that we should look at teenagers around us, and if they all seem to do a certain thing, then your child will also learn to do that thing. He will be potty trained. He will learn to eat without wearing half his meal. And he will talk.

I agree that it's sad when they give up the cute baby talk. I know they have to learn to speak correctly, but I so loved it when my grandbaby would say to me "Mommo, I want to sit in your yap."


All things relative: My son was considered verbally lagging behind when the Dr. asked him what a kitty said and he responded with "C'mere, birdy!" at about Noah's age. Trust your gut, if it's telling you to go to the appt, then go. If for no other reason than it'll set your mind at ease.


Best of luck to you guys today.


You know, finding out more is really only so that some day, you can giggle about it and say to yourself, "I can't believe how worried I was!" And so that right now, you can know in your heart of hearts that you are doing everything you can for your baby.

I ditto the once they start, it never ends thing. My son (now 3) talks IN HIS SLEEP. ALL NIGHT! So, yeah, bein' careful what I wish for with #2. Good luck.


Trust yourself. Really. Parents really do know best. You know if Noah is sick or healthy, if he's having trouble or if he's being stubborn. If he's considered delayed and therapy is recommended, then go to the therapy knowing that it's icing on Noah's cake. But please, learn to trust that you know your son better than anyone else except, perhaps, your husband.


Good luck! I'll be thinking about you guys.

michelle/weaker vessel

My younger son, who's now 9, had a profound speech and language delay due to chronic ear infections as an infant/toddler. We're still dealing with the cognitive/academic aftermath.

I'm not going to lie and say I didn't have to go through a period of mourning about it, about coming to terms with the fact that he wasn't "normal," even though his prognosis was much better than that of so many other children with more serious illnesses and disorders. It was hard to cope with, and it still is.

But all I really want to say is this: even if there is a problem, Noah is still fundamentally, inherently okay. Noah is still Noah, no matter what exactly that turns out to mean.


My daughter is 16 days younger than Noah - and its the same deal. She has a VERY select few words that she uses (Mama, Dadada, Awah [Aurora-the dog], ya, no, bye, & yum). Her pediatrician said that there really is nothing to worry about unless she doesn't start putting words together by her 2nd birthday. I am making an appointment, because I don't see it happening. But seriously - she too is STUB. BORN. So they will probably start talking when they are ready [and pay no heed the the doctors pressuring us] and in sentences. Then we won't be able to shut them up!


Thank you for this post. My son is only 16 months but I have been freaking my freak about speech (b/c I NEED something to worry about at all times). My sister-in-law claims her 11 mo old can say bottle (baba) and a variety of other things when Ollie seems to know cow and maybe banana and sort of duck? but i think some is just me trying to make sense of his babble. I swore he said doggie appropriately back several months ago, but hasn't said it in a long time. He knows what everything means, but never says the words. I've tried to dismiss it as "he is also learning spanish" since the woman who cares for him during the day only speaks spanish, and she claims he says agua and gracias but why doesn't he say anything with me. It's nerve-wracking, but I am certain he - and Noah - are FINE FINE FINE. Let us know what you find out. But from what I can tell, he is a brilliant, adorable, loving and perfect little boy.


After having two "highly verbal" girls, my parents had a son and were shocked, worried, etc because he was "slow" to develop his vocabulary. They took him to our pediatrician - old school, blunt - who said "he's not slow, he's male." As if "male" were some sort of disease. However, he was right.

My brother is now 14 and getting better grades than I ever did. While I think it's great that you're taking that little blonde ball of deliciousness to the doctor as a precaution, just know that boys are boys and some of them develop slower.


Trust those mama instincts. I am sure Noah is just fine. At the same time it absolutely doesn't hurt to meet with the doctor again and if they think it is necessary, to meet with a speech therapist. I know so many kids that have had a year of bi-weekly appointments and it really helped them to catch up and in some cases surpass the other kids their age. Not that I like to compare kids, I try so hard not to.

Diana Banana

Delurking ... hi! Just wanted to say that my sister has 3 kiddos. None of them spoke more than 3 or 4 words before the age of 2, and then all of the sudden, they started speaking in complete sentences almost overnight. It was almost as if they didn't want to speak until they were capable of having an actual conversation. Now my sister can't get any of them to shut up! Hugs to you - Noah is just fine, and will no doubt start talking your ear off in no time!


Trust your instincts. Doctors love to make a "deal" of things because that is their job. My uncle didn't speak until he was 4 and once he FINALLY started, he was fine. My oldest son would only say what he wanted to say. He flat out refused to say certain words(chuckling with evil glee).
We've all seen your videos of Noah. He is a bright adorable little boy who will speak when he is damn good and ready - and not a minute sooner.


Think of it this way: Noah is obviously so highly intelligent that he formed his own way of communicating......everyone else in his world has the "speech delay". Or he has developed ESP and he is shouting (in his head) "Hey, can you hear me NOW??".
Soon enough, out of frustration, he will switch to the english language and jabber your poor ear off. Yep, just you wait.

Type (little) a

He's fine. They said the same thing about my daughter when she was 2, right before she started daycare after being home with me since birth.

Three months later, there was a language EXPLOSION.

But that won;t stop you from worrying. I know. Cause I wouldn't, either.

Good luck. :-)


You are a good mother, to worry, to care, to be pro-active. Keep us posted and we'll keep the positive thoughts flying.


like everyone else - i mimic their "dont worry". i shouldve taken my own advice, because at my older son's 18 month checkup (the younger one is the same age as noah) i began CRYING when our pediatrician asked about his language. we ended up having him in early intervention speech
( = free after insurance, EI is state run) for six months. once a week for six months. and since then? he has.not.shut.up. and hes now 4. both our pediatrician and our therapist felt he was a late talker who just needed a shove in the right direction.
speech therapy? cant hurt you or noah.
you freaking out and stressing about it? not worth the gray hair.
good luck either way.

Big Mama

I think pediatricians get too caught up in all their fancy charts and whatnot. I'll never forget the day my best friend called me after her son's 1 year appointment and started yelling that the pressure was too much and she had lied to the doctor about her son being able to stack blocks. Yes! He can stack! Please don't put him in remedial toddler non-stacking class!

In other words, I think Noah will be just fine. He may just be waiting for something profound to say.

jive turkey

I'm sure he's just fine. It's hard not to freak out when the doctors are making it A Thing, but like Zu up there said, that's their job. And Noah's lucky he's got a mom who cares so much.

I feel you, though, being neurotic & high strung myself. We're just now thinking about having a kid, and I can't imagine my neuroses and high-strung-ed-ness expanding tenfold. Oy.


my brother never really spoke until he was two or three. then he yelled, "blast off!" one morning as he jumped off the sofa...and he never stopped after that. and he really is a friggin' genius.

that being said, it is always good to check. because if there is a problem later on, and you didn't? you'll feel awful. better safe than sorry, y'know? i've got a shortie at my house. 3rd percentile. he's four, and about the size of your average three-year-old. we had tests done a year ago, and now i sleep easier. he's still friggin' shortie mcshortson, though.


Hi. My son didn't really started speaking until after his third birthday and now he never stops talking - he's six. We did go ahead and have a year of speech therapy because we were worried and I think it did help a bit, but I'm convinced he was stubborn and didn't start talking till he was good and ready. Going to speech therapy calmed US down and he saw the whole thing as play - we even attended a delayed speech play group which he loved. If speech therapy will make you less crazy, I don't think it would hurt and it might help. Chances are he'll start talking when he's good and ready. Try not to worry. I've seen him say aball - he looks fine to me!


My cousin did not speak for almost 4 years. She babbled a bit but was just not interested in talking. Then one day she came into the kitchen, looked at my aunt and said, "Mom, may I please have a cookie?" In perfect English. She was just waiting for the right time. I think my aunt gave her an entire package of Oreos for that.


i'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. i think all stubborn kids wait to talk. my husband (close to as stubborn as they get) didn't say a thing until he was almost 3 and then blurted out "be careful, man! you might fall down!" to a guy remodeling their kitchen. he loves to tell that story now to all his fellow lawyers who say he talks way too much and way too fast. hang in there.


My grandparents thought that there was something wrong with my aunt because she didn't talk. At all. Until one day, they caught herself singing "happy birthday" to herself in her crib.

Some kids just don't like to talk until they know that they have something to say. :p


I certainly don't want this to happen to you or anyone else, but it's sort of comforting to me to hear that my son isn't alone with this. He's maybe 7 months younger than Noah, and he has only really said one word so far, and I haven't heard it for a while. I'm really afraid that in a few months we'll be where you are, and I'll be worried senseless. I'm chalking up his speech delay on him not walking yet (he's HUGE, so this doesn't worry me), and hoping that once we finally get that skill down he'll concentrate on the words. I really hope this works out for you both and that you are told that he is normal, which he certainly seems to me.


I am in the same boat as you. I have been stressing over my 20 month old's lack of vocabulary every since I saw how much his 15 month old cousin talks. At his last check up, I brought it up, but thought it would work itself out because he's a smart kid. Now, I'm not so sure. Thanks to you, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and set up an appointment for him (amongst all of his other appointments for asthma related issues.)

Melissa Wiley

Hey, Amy, this is Lissa from Lilting House. When my oldest (now 12) was 21 months old, she only had a few words too. I remember that clearly because she was 21 months old when she was dx'd with leukemia, and after a week stuck in a hospital bed, she was amazing us with a giant new vocabularly. It was like all the energy she had once poured into runningclimbingbeingbusybusybusy was now redirected to language. I kid you not: she went from "bus" and "mama" to "met-o-tec-tate" (methotrexate, one of her chemo drugs) in a week's time.

As you may recall from meeting her last summer, she now chatters pretty much nonstop.

My hunch is that if the whole sudden hospital thing hadn't happened, she'd have continued along her slow-and-gradual trajectory w/ language, and wound up in the same place eventually.

Some toddlers pour more energy into gross/fine motor stuff, and language comes a bit later. Your instincts are probably right on target.

But if some kind of delay is dx'd, I have some good resources I could point you toward. We're in the thick of speech-delay stuff with our 3yo right now, but of course that's due to hearing loss. I've turned up some good tricks along the way...oh, in fact I posted about something really useful over at LH the other day, the Signing Time videos. A lot of times, a kid who is more physical will really catapult forward with speech when you add the kinesthetic element of signing to speaking words.

Give me a holler if I can be of any help!

anne nahm

Thinking a good thought for you. And while I'm doing that? Cherish this worry a tiny little bit in the back of your brain so that you can laugh at yourself when he enters the next phase, which is something like this:



My son is Noah's age and it sounds like he's in exactly the same place. I've been trying to act like it's not worrying me. But, it is. I've been considering having him checked by a speech therapist too.


My oldest son, who turned 2 this last Sunday, has the same verbal skills as Noah, and our pedi said that "normal" 2 year old's tend to have less than 10 words in their vocabulary. He thinks my little jabber-box is fine, as he talks all the time, there are just 10-15 words that we truly understand out of the string of babble that flows. He won't mimic me or my husband, when we ask what the cow/dog/etc say, half the time he responds correctly, half the time he gives me the "are you stupid?" look and does the opposite of what I asked for. He's stubborn to the core (both parents are, so I guess we asked for it) and is hell-bent on doing things his way and on his own schedule.

Personally, I think Noah sounds like a perfectly normal almost 2 year old little boy! He's going to be one of those kids that spouts hundreds of words when he hits a certain point, and not before that point. Somedays I think doctors over-analyze our children and make us the neurotic parents as a result. He'll be fine. Now, just breathe!

Margarita Mama

you know, my 3rd child didn't walk until she was 18 months old. and then I talked to some other mother who was taking her child to a specialist and getting her checked because her child wasn't walking and I thought "should I be doing that?" and it hadn't even occured to me to ask my doctor about it. And I realized it was because she's my 3rd, and she seemed to be progressing, just at a slower pace. And if she were my first, I'd probably be at a specialist too! It sounds like Noah is progressing. But, you know, he's not going to be traumatized by visiting a specialist, not needles involved or anything. I did take my 2nd in for some speech-related evaluation when she was about 4. She was pronouncing some letters wrong. And they told me all her mistakes were really age appropriate and she was fine, and my daughter never even knew that she had been evaluated!
Also, he is now old enough to know when you want him to do something and withhold it, just to piss you off. Don't let on that you want him to talk too much.


my oldest, who is now five, was "delayed". i was told when he was two and a half he was delayed. (insert eye roll here.) at three and a half i had him screened with the local school district and they signed him up for a year of free speech therapy. (free! free! free!) yes, it helped a lot and they released him after a year. but he still needs a little extra attention with his pronunciation.

the real kick is, just like noah, he's as smart as a whip. and makes connections that teachers expect 12-years old to make.

so really, my philosophy is everyone can Suck On It and he'll improve on his own damn schedule.


oh, one more thing -- griffin LOVED speech therapy. it was his favorite and his best. and he got really pissed when he "graduated."

so, yeah. there you go.


Don't feel guilty for taking him for a small concern. There is so much to be said for early intervention. And maybe he's still on the edge of 'typically developing' for expresive language, but say in another 3 months he only has another 3 words. Now you have a documented record of concerns which will help your case in getting speech therapy. And if he starts talking up a storm in 3 months, no biggee - you can't get sued for being proactive. All kids have strengths and weakness - one reason you are an awesome Mom is because you can recognize Noah's strengths and build on them, as well as recognize his weaknesses and nurture those too.


Do stories really help? If so, my second oldest brother didn't speak at all (nada, they thought he was deaf... it was the sixties) until he was three. Then, he skipped much of the baby talk and spoke in sentences. He never had to take speech classes or anything. My oldest brother and I were both early talkers, but we were both in speech classes for lisps or something in elementary school. I guess you never know. Good luck to you and your beautiful little boy.


I have two friends with sons who have/had some developmental delays, and they were both greatly tremendously helped by speech and other therapy. The older one, now 8, is doing fabulously and you would never know he had a speech delay at 2 or 3. He looks right at you and speaks clearly (I know kids who won't speak to adults when spoken to, and boy does that drive me nuts!) The other is 2 and is in the middle of his therapy and is doing much much better.

There's nothing wrong in getting help for your child. Nothing.


We're in the same boat. My son is three weeks older than Noah and all he says is 'okay' and 'go-go', with 'go-go' meaning about three trillion different things.

He said 'up' about a dozen times the other day after his friend said it - and if I say 'up', he'll raise his arms. He understands what up means and he has the ability to say it, so OBVIOUSLY he's not talking just to piss me off. I'm convinced of it.


I hope he is ok, too. And, I thought I would mention that my younger brother spoke in a grunt-laden language only I could interpret, until he was nearly five. He turned out to be weird, but I'm pretty sure not because of that.


I'm all about being in the Fine category, too.

But since they are checking him, have a look at his ears/hearing. My middle son, aged 17 now, started out fine, then began losing words and spoke alien. At age 4 they did a speech test, and it turned out that he had so much fluid on his eardrum that he was about 62% deaf. He'd NEVER had an ear infection in his life, and showed no symptoms of pain. They said he could hear, but it was garbled, like being underwater and that affected his speech. We cleared up the fluid, and he progressed to full speech within months.


My Noah (now 6.5) was a slow talker too. He was an expert babbler from very early on, but he spoke in his own bizarre language. I'll never forget a friend's son, who was a year older, listening to Noah babble on about something and saying to his mom, "Mommy! I think Noah's speaking Spanish!".

We went round and round about getting him into speech therapy. We eventually procrastinated so long that he outgrew it.


My daughter came out of the womb babbling, and spoke on gifted mimic cue. So I was freaked when my son didn't even babble. But when he did speak, it was in complete, coherent sentences.

Noah's probably fine.


Best of luck at your appointment. Our daughter didn't walk until she was about 18 months and we ended up taking her to a specialist. Turns out -- she just likes to do things perfectly before she takes off on her own. But everyone was worried and we were too; there was nothing 'wrong' at all.
I think it's good that you are concerned about him, but I think, as parents, we are always comparing and worrying so much that it can cause us to miss out on how cool our kids are--how they are just fine.
Our daughter's desire to be perfect and independent has shown through in each developmental task. She is finally potty training successfully, but she didn't do it until she knew she could. There is a bittersweetness in realizing the movement up and away from me, in knowing it's more and more up to her.


I can't remember when my son started talking, because he's 9 now and dang it my memory sucks. My older sister's son, who is 2 and some months old, JUST started saying a few words. Quite a few people I know are concerned about their son's language skills.
Maybe it's time to revise the milestones, you know? The things that tell us "By X age, a healthy child will have reached Y developmental milestone."


I am so sure he is fine.

I don't know who evaluating his speech, but email me for some info on the county we live in infants and toddlers program. It's a free service, and if they find him 20% speech delayed they will offer, once again, free services. They are a great program and I work with them a lot and have seen great success.

Sometimes the peds think something is a BIG deal when it is not, infants and toddlers know exactly what to look for.

But once again, I am sure he is fine.


my boyfriend's nephew is about 2 and a half. he has only spoken 5 or 6 words (one of which is "bots" which means "stop" which causes me to believe he may be speaking backwards. if the next time i come over, he is wearing a green suit and hanging out with laura palmer i will not be surprised.
anyhow, his parents put him in speech therapy and have been teaching him sign language. the kid is obviously smart because he understands everything and can sign way more words than he can speak. some kids just take longer than others.
i bet when you take him to the dr. he will immediately exclaim, "i must say dr., this office is delightful and you're nurse is quite exquisite." kids seem to do that kind of shit to make us look dumb.


I think you're right to wig out about the wigging out. I mean, I think there's no need to wig out, which is what you seem to be struggling with "should i wig out? i think, 'no'" could be another title for this post. Every kid is different.. my (#1 kid) son was walking at something insane like 10 months, but WOULD NOT say "mommy" until AFTER he was 2. I figured my daughter (#2 kid) would talk earlier and walk later, because she heard the constant stream of talk from her brother, but she did both pretty early, but still has yet to reason things through like I remember her brother doing (she's 3 now). Anyway - hope the appt goes well! Hopefully every can agree that wigging out is not necessary and he just has his own pace.


My son was similar before he turned two - a few words here and there, but mostly alien-speak, and the words he did know could only be understood by me. He's always "lagged" a little in everything. Now, at 28 months, he talks all the time - still hard to understand, but in sentences and mimics all the time. I attribute it partially to not being in day care or around other kids too much (altho, it's not like we keep him holed up in a cage in our basement or anything). Good luck with the appt., but I'd say you have nothing to worry about.


Just another voice in the chorus here to say good luck today, I am wishing the best for you and Noah. xo.


Being a mama is such a emotional roller coaster, no? First you worry, and then you worry that you are worrying too much, and then maybe you worry you aren't worrying enough, and blah-de-freaking-blah, until its 2:00 AM and your partner is suggesting that *maybe* you need a little sleep and perspective. So, my two cents - go see the doctor, see what he says. If he suggests working with a speech therapist, it will NOT do any harm and might even help a little. These people are professionals - they are not judging you or Noah - they are there to help. And if you decide you disagree with how they are helping, walk away.

Oh course, now that I've given you my two cents, can you talk ME down? My 20 month old still isn't walking....


Been there, doing that.

My daughter is 5.5 years old and has been in speech therapy since she was 2.5. Katie's problem is that she had an undiagnosed hearing loss (Who's the Worst Mother in the World? ME.). She's had tubes twice and her adenoids removed and is now just playing catch-up.

Speech delays are horrific to deal with, primarily because no one wants to take them seriously. Katie had a day or two where she could say "puppy," and then would never say it again. After six months, she could say "backpack," but not "milk."

Katie was very advanced in motor skills and seemed to understand everything we said. She just didn't talk. Or sing. Or really make any noises.

It's been a difficult three years for us, but I'm so grateful that I can understand my daughter now and that I know what she's thinking.


I know a brilliant child who didn't speak until he was 3. I think that some kids just don't see the point if they're getting their needs taken care of, which I'm sure Noah is. Why does he need to use the words when (pointing, screeching, grunting, etc...whatever he happens to use) gets him what he wants just as well?

Good to check for your own peace of mind, but he's probably terrifically normal, if not better.

And maybe it's a sign of genius- you never know...


Don't stress, he is fine. Molly just turned two on the 1st and it was like a switch went off, in the past two weeks there has been this explosion of words and even full sentences. We were freaking out because before that she had only a few words and words she knew one day were gone the next but, then she woke up one morning right after her birthday and hasn't shut up since.
She did the same thing walking for months we worried then one day she just got up and went.
Kids do things in their own time. All the charts and crap the Dr.'s compare them to are only for a general idea of when things USUALLY happen, not a map for when they are going to happen. Go to the appointment and listen to what they say and hen trust your gut. Your boy is bright and intelligent and normal and you have nothing to worry about =o)


I have a friend who had the same problem with their young son, only worse. And now it's "Oh. My. God. He will not stop talking."


My middle child didn't talk (much)until she was well past 2 years old. I really never gave it much thought until my psycho cousin made a big deal and asked her Ped. about it. But my son just seemed to always know what she wanted so I would ask him. Then I'd ask her if that was right and she'd nod. Now she is 8 and very chattery.

All of that to say kids aren't like flowers where you plant all the tulips and they all come up in Spring. Some kids are mums -- and they grow in the Fall. But they do all grow in their own time.

Good luck today. I hope any fears creeping in will be put to rest.


How do you have this many responses already -- did I not check you first thing this morning???

Anyways, L is going through the same thing and I feel your pain. I kept thinking, why call early intervention because you damn well know the instant I pick up that phone, L would turn into a chatterbug. But alas, I made the call and I am really very happy about it. My sister delayed and now my niece is barely passing from grade to grade. Anyways, needless to say, I made the call and he did in fact come up with new works(duck, heck even CHICKEN), but the stinker won't use them with any regularity, so off we are the EI Program.

Stubborn -- my kid wrote the book on that, and sounds so much like Noah in that way.

Best of luck to you. I am sure I will be posting about L and his progress if you feel the need to relate to someone else going through this too.


Wow, Noah sounds exactly like my son when he was that age. He had exactly two words - ball and bye-bye. Then one day when he was around two, he just started talking in sentences. He was very stubborn too, and would look at us like we were nuts if we tried to coax him into saying anything. Some kids are just like that, I think - don't want to waste their time with baby talk when they can save it all up and start talking like little adults later on. By the way, my son is almost 5 now and never shuts up.

Good luck, I'm sure everything will be just fine.

Mrs. Chicky

Repeat after me: He's fine, he's fine, he's fine. Really. Because I didn't do that nearly enough and then my kid started talking in full sentences about a week after I made the appointment with the Early Intervention people. I wrote about it... um... not long ago. I forget because I was too busy banging my head against a wall over my embarrassment that my kid was, in fact, verbal but I made them come to my home anyway. Yeah.

Oh, and those people who all insist on saying that Einstein was three when he spoke? Probably the most annoying piece of assvice I ever received.


I think that you're doing the right thing. There are so many resources available - free even - now for dealing with speech delays. I have two friends who have both used county resources (one lives in Annapolis and one in Fairfax) to help their kids who had delayed speech, and the therapists were a great help, came to the house for the sessions, and when both kids were discharged they had vocabularies that were above age-level. I think only good things can come from you pursuing (sp?) this for Noah.


Oh, sweetie, I'm sure everything will be fine.

My story is that when I was very young, in my two's, I went through something like this, but to a far worse extent. I didn't speak at ALL, was nervous, hyper, didn't get along with anyone, "slow". They tried to put me in special ed. People didn't know what to make of it. I have letters that my mom wrote to my grandma saying that she wouldn't give up on me, that she knew I was just a little slow...she knew.

Sure enough, I just sort of "snapped" out of it and caught up. I became a straight "A" student, took advanced classes, I sort of just came to life all of a sudden....what I'm trying to say is that I turned out more than OK. I love my mom so much, and reading this made me think of her. She knew and she wouldn't give up and she just knew. People REALLY do develope at different paces and the mothers that spend EVERY WAKING MOMENT with them know all of the little nuiances and can tell that the light is definately on. Yeah, we have benchmarks, but still, we don't all follow them to a "T" - everything will be fine.



Just delurking to chime in with the chorus... my little guy (who is 2 today!) said nothing but "uh-oh," "no" and "all-done" until he was about 21 months. He absolutely refused to mimic, and wouldn't say "moo" if you paid him. We had a developmental assessment, a hearing test (which resulted in him getting tubes), and now have a weekly session. I honestly don't think the sessions themselves accomplish all that much except to record his progress, and remind me to keep on him. That said, he looooooooves the speech lady who comes to the house (she brings many toys), and 3 months later his vocabulary is much bigger & he's starting to string words together. He will also reliably report that the cow says “moo.” Last but not least, it helps with my neurotic tendencies to have somebody tell me how great he's doing once a week. :)


Noah, we love you! Now give Mama a Gettysburg Address so she can stop worrying.

Maybe he and Archer of Girl's Gone Child should team up and be Secret Language Superheroes.


I'm not a mom, so I have nothing to go on here. Except being an Aunt to 2 nephews and a niece. And my nephews? The same. I think boys tend to lag behind girls.

My mom will tell anyone that will listen that I was a late talker. And once I started? I didn't stop, for the love of Pete! 29 years later and I still haven't shut up!

And also? My second word was beer.

You're not neurotic. You CARE! And you know what? That means he's going to be just fine. And that he is SO lucky to have such wonderful parents who want only the very best for him.



My son Max (half of a set of twins) is nearly the same age as Noah. He turns two next week and by god if he doesn't have but two or three words in his vocabulary. I, too called to have him evaluated, and our appointment should be coming up soon. I'm terrified there's something wrong as well, despite everyone telling me the contrary.

Keep us posted about his progress and drop me an email if you'd like to chat.

Good luck!!!!


Ultimately, you are doing what you are doing because you are a mom and it's what you are supposed to do. If there is a problem, you want to know soon so you can get him the help he needs as early as possible, so that is absolutely why you should be on top of this.

Having said that... my brother did not speak until he was four. Did. Not. Speak. A. Word. Not even "Aball". He was diagnosed with everything from mental retardation (they still called it that back then) to deafness... and we spent a couple of years driving back and forth to the Children's Hospital for therapy sessions three times a week which never showed any progress. Then, one day just shy of his fourth birthday he simply started speaking in sentences. As an adult, he is the least verbose person I have ever met in my life. Some kids just are men of few words.

The thing to remember about the milestone charts is that they aren't meant to be reached in a specific order. Some kids really concentrate on learning other stuff before talking becomes important to them and some talk first before doing other things. So don't freak out, you are doing just what you should be doing. And remember that if by some small chance there is a problem, well, you are a mom and you will solve that too when the time comes just like every other mom out there.


my son is 2 years and 3 months, and is only now starting to say words that are distinguishable (to his adoring parents, they're intelligible anyway). i really highly suggest getting Noah checked if only to put your mind at ease, but more to the point, many "delays" and "disorders" can be treated quite effectively if caught early enough. we just had tubes put in our lil darlin's ears, and that's at least when his new words (including "beeah") took off. he'll still be going to speech therapy though, which i hear is totally fun and full of things i'd like to do. google developmental speech disorders to see the range and how much progress can be made with early treatment. of course, Noah is perfectly fine and the doctors will tell you so!


You are an awesome mom! You are doing the right thing by checking in with the doctor. It never hurts to get an evaluation! Early intervention is a wonderful thing! I've never really understood why parents are so scared to take advantage of it. (Not saying you are, just in general.) Especially since it is FREE, and in many cases they come to your home!

Most likely your gut feeling is correct, but wouldn't it be awful to find yourself a year or two down the road kicking yourself because you didn't get Noah help?

Unfortunately I've seen too many doctors push aside parents concern when it comes to developmental delays, especially speach. Kudos to your doctor for showing some cautious concern.


My daughter (8/2005) had maybe 7 words at her 18 month check-up, and I was starting to get worried. I would go to play groups and hear other kids, exactly my daughter's age, with seemingly limitless vocabularies, parroting back every last word their parent said. What finally happened for us was that I started showing her sign language videos. I didn't know if it would work or not, but I didn't care. I wanted to try something that would be fun and if we got some communication out of it, great! If not, it was a DVD to amuse her with - no harm done. I was shocked when she IMMEDIATELY THAT DAY started signing. Within a couple of weeks, during which her signing vocabulary had grown to about 10 signs (since it had taken 18 months to get to 7 words, this seemed lightening fast to me), she then started to do the signs AND say the word while she did the sign. And that was it, she was off and running, and now she's completely caught up to her peer group and is actually a little ahead of the curve.

If you are at all interested in exposing him to signing videos, I highly recommend the Signing Time! series. First of all, they are fun to watch with songs that don't make you want to kill yourself because they are so irritating. Secondly, there's 13 volumes in the series, and that means you get A LOT of signs/words. "My Day" (Vol 10) is a good place to start, I think. "My Neighborhood" (Vol 11) is also great and has all of the playground stuff in it.

One thing to say about baby signing is that often their signs don't perfectly match the "correct" sign (much like their spoken words aren't perfect at first either), so it's best if you watch the DVDs with him, do the signs yourself, and then pay close attention to how your child is doing the signs so that you can recognize it when he does it spontaneously.

Okay, that's quite enough advice. Feel free to ignore all of that. It's just made a HUGE difference in our life, and I credit baby-signing with catching up my daughter's language capabilities, so I thought it might be helpful.


Wow, lots of comments. Maybe you won't make it down this far.

My son didn't speak English until he was 2.5. Up until then, it was a curious mix of his own word/syllables which he insisted on using, plus signs that he had made up. None of that even really much started until he was Noah's age. They say boys talk later and I believe it.

Go with your instincts.


I'm in the 'Noah's just fine' camp.

As our ped told me with our first (who didn't start saying real words until about 20 months), who also had her own language, "She's talking. We just don't know what she's saying."


oh, and...i've done a heckuva lot of research on teh internets about speech disorders, so i'm probably projecting all that in my previous comment. but if you do want to learn more about any specific ones, i can send you to some great sites i have bookmarked. toodles. and you make me snort my coffee and force my husband to read you. you so funny.


I hate posting when there are lots o comments because I doubt anyone has time to read 86 comments but my 27 month old took what seemed like FOREVER to speak. He finally started speaking one day and literally it was like he had never missed a beat. That was the way he was from day one of course. That was when he was around 22 months maybe? He was early to walk and was very physical but was passed by many kids in the language dept. He was just really focused on the other side of things - I could tell he knew what we were saying but just did not want to join. Now he won't stop!



My son is exactly 6 days older than Noah. And he's on the same speech track. I wouldn't worry. Our dr said that many boys are late talkers (explains their silence later in life I think, that and the hand down their pants) but she said she would start to look more closely at him when he turned 2.

Personally, I think my son just knows that if he babbles and points, WE will do EVERYTHING for him. And he's right. If I had known this at his age, I would have never spoke either!!


My son is going to be two in August and sometimes I worry about him, but most of the time not. When he was 14 months old he said "Chicken Nugget" and never said it again. In the best few weeks though, he's been picking up more and more words and he even said his first sentence. He walked past his baby brother, two months, and said "I love the baby." and just kept on truckin. Talk about an awesome story for when people ask what his first sentence was. Anyways, my point is. They all develop at different paces, so just follow your gut. That's the most important thing.


I meant "in the last few weeks" not the best few weeks.

And by the way, my son's two favorite words are ones he shouldn't say in front of grandma. f**k and b****es. So just because they are quiet, doesn't mean they aren't absorbing every damn thing you say. I learned the hard way. My kid is too smart for his own good.


blah blah, advice, blah. But the real question should be, is Jason wearing 'manprees' in that picture? Really?


I haven't read through all the comments so someone may have said this already, but you are obviously freaking out about this so I wanted to chime in.

He's probably fine. However, even if he is fine, early intervention can only help. And if he is truly delayed, you got him in for early intervention, which is important.

I hope the appointment goes well.

Fraulein N

I'm sure it's absolutely nothing. My nephew didn't say a peep (I mean we're talking no sounds or anything) until he was like three. He would cry and laugh -- and that's it. Of course they tested his hearing, which was fine. Then later they wanted to hold him back a grade in school because he wasn't as "verbal" as his classmates. And my sister let them. Not everybody is a damn chatterbox.

Anyway, the point is that he's now a perfectly normal, well-adjusted kid who just graduated from high school. And he still doesn't say much. That's just how he rolls.

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