Tigerboy is 2 next month. According to developmental guidelines on the NHS site:
Puts at least two words together
Your child will know a range of single words and talk in short sentences.
By the age of two a child will be able to say a range of single words and many children will be talking in short sentences. If your child is trying to say a word but gets it wrong, say the word properly. For example, if your baby points to a cat and says ‘Ca!’ say ‘Yes, it’s a cat’. Don’t criticise or tell them off for getting the word wrong. Your child may also be able to point to parts of their body.
He can say Mam, meow, no (nooooo, NOOOOOO) rah (roar), and yesterday for the first time he said Dada out loud in Tim’s hearing. He has signs for biscuit, drink, food, please, milk and toast and nods or says mm MMM for yes.
I suppose that’s a range of single words.
It’s certainly not short sentences though.
This is not my first silent child. Small didn’t speak until he was nearly 3. We had speech therapy that I don’t think made any difference at all, but at least we’d ticked all the boxes.
Tigerboy is different though. He makes a range of noises quietly often on a morning when it’s just me and him together waking up slowly. We get dadadada and ttttt, mmmm, ssss. I have the impression that he’s practising sounds, and that he doesn’t want to use any of them in public until he has them absolutely right. He said Dada to Tim when I said how much Daddy would like it, so I’m sure that there’s a social pressure he’s feeling.
I don’t really know why though. We do a lot of talking, laughing, playing. We read books, play with sounds, tickle, sing. He hasn’t picked up any more signs – I think he thinks he has enough. And he’s rarely frustrated by my lack of understanding, although four children down the line, I’m pretty practised at working out what a small child might want. Is that part of the problem? Do we understand him too easily?
Is it a problem? That’s the other thing. I know he understands me. He’s massively interactive. We can play games – heads shoulders knees and toes, he knows all sorts of parts of his body, can identify different colours, brings me books and looks through them himself, identifies things in pictures, sits for ages doing jigsaws and puzzles. It’s very like Small in that way – he was either spot on or ahead (according to the health visitor) developmentally in every area except speech. So do I go for another speech therapy referral – just in case?
I really don’t know. I think I might see if I can find out when the health visitor session at the local children’s centre is, and go up and have a chat. And if anyone has any hints or tips I’d love to hear them.