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Old 07-07-2004, 09:36 PM   #1
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Communication with a toddler

My litttle one is driving me crazy. She is 17 months old and trying very hard to talk. But lately what she has been doing that's driving me nuts is she just points to the kitchen door or somewhere in the general area and starts to whin and cry. I look at her and ask her if she is hungry, wants juice, milk etc... Sometimes she shakes he head and says yes, but most often she just keeps pointing and crys. I am trying so hard to get her to communicate to me but I just don't know what she wants. I try to give her food, juice, milk or a snack but sometimes she doesn't take anything. Can anyone help me? Thank you for any help.

 
Old 07-08-2004, 03:42 AM   #2
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Re: Communication with a toddler

Try and teach her to say juice, snack etc....unfortunitly some kids are late talkers, my 1st daughter was i had many of the same issues. What i do is pick them up and say show mommy what you want, generaly she would pick out what she wanted. Also, if she's pointing to a specific cupboard door than i would pick her up and let her choose what she wanted from the cupboard then tell her what she picked so she's learning the proper words for what she wants. You can also do that when she's not asking for something, when putting groceries away, making supper, etc tell her what the food is and point to it. Every day tasks are good learning tools for toddlers, i constantly talk to my kids (esp at that age) i tell them everything i'm doing, i point and name everything, when washing them i name the body parts i'm washing, the colors of toys, the number of toys, the shapes etc. Also, encourage her to repeat what you are saying and get really excited when she says it or attempts to say it. As she gets older and her vocabulary gets bigger say things like tell mommy what you want and assuming it's not causing her great stress don't give her what she wants untill she tells you...obviously she'll need to learn the words first. Also, a play group with her and older kids may work well too, kids immatate eachother, i found with my duaghter her speech really improved once she was in daycare.
Something i have also heard about but have never tried (only 1 of my 3 kids were slow talkers) is teaching them sign language...not the same as a hearing impared child/person would use but a modified one to teach babies how to communicate without speaking. Aparently it works very well and the language skills come when they are ready. I'm not even sure where you'd look for information on that topic (i saw it on a news programe) but it looks like a good idea.
Good luck, and try not to get too stressed in no time she'll be talking up a storm.

 
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Old 07-08-2004, 10:59 AM   #3
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littleone314 HB User
Re: Communication with a toddler

Oh wow. I'm going through the EXACT same thing. My son is 15 months old and only says two words..."mama" and "nana". He is a late talker. I'm under the impression that it has to do with the cleft lip/palate that he was born with. Of course those two things are fixed but he still isn't talking. We have seen a speak therapist once but he is still a little to young to really start therapy however she did give us some pointers and tips etc.

My son grunts and points at whatever he wants and sometimes it is frustrating because you can see that HE gets frustrated not being able to say what he wants. I think that we have also conditioned him to do this as well because we jump WHENEVER he grunts and we get what he wants. Which of course really doesn't help him any. Our speach therapist advised us to spend a lot of time "in his face" meaning, sounding out words, slowly saying them syllabel by syllabel, naming everything in sight, bascially talking to him 24/7. Also, when he wants something don't get it that very second....tell him what he is pointing at, and try to get him to sound it out, and any attempt is worth praise...ALOT of praise.

As long as there is some type communication there I wouldn't worry just yet. But, if you need to put your mind at ease get in touch with a speach therapist. He/she can give you some good tips on how to stimulate their speach. Good luck...I know how hard it can be sometimes...I'm in the same boat.

 
Old 07-08-2004, 12:52 PM   #4
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Re: Communication with a toddler

I absolutely recommend sign language!!! Children who know what they want but can't communicate the idea can have tremendous meltdowns. It must be a horrible feeling to know what you want but you can't get the words out. Then you have to put up with someone asking you if you want everything BUT!!LOL

My youngest turns 2 today and uses signs for most of his communication. He has Apraxia of Speech so is language is beyond delayed. We started teaching signs by just using the sign every time we said the word. Sign language does NOT get in the way of spoken language because of repitition. You say the word every time you sign it.

There was a huge relief in him when he could sign drink, more, finished, no, yes, and eat. These basic signs are the bulk of their communication anyway. He can now say some of the words as he signs. You can do a search on ASL for children or Sign With Me and get great results

Good luck
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Old 07-08-2004, 05:56 PM   #5
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Sherri-Lynne HB User
Re: Communication with a toddler

See I didn't think (until now that is) that she is a late talker. I work with people that their kids are 1-2 months older than my daughter and they say nothing. I mean she says mama, dada, hi, bye bye, bup (for up), boo, coco (her nick name), door, dora, bapac (means backpack), map, outsi (for outside) shoo (for shoe) and pup (for puppy). She is so smart, if we tell her to do something 90% of the time or more she understands what we say. I talk to her contstantly, and always tell her what I am giving her. I think she wants to communicate to me so badly and I don't understand so she starts to scream and cry. It's just this pointing thing is driving me crazy.

 
Old 07-08-2004, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: Communication with a toddler

With the list of words that you gave, I would not say she is delayed at all. It sounds like she really knows what she wants but simply can't say it. Her receptive language is ahead of her expressive language and as long as the expressive catches up, it's normal

As for sign language... Many people teach their typical babies simple signs. This is just to aid in communication until their mouths cooperate with them. Pointing is right on target for her age and is frustrating because it can mean anything. What does she do when you ask her to show you what she wants? Will she walk up to the object and point at it?

If you aren't comfortable with teaching signs, you can get a basic picture system going. She can show you the picture that she wants and it will help to teach her the names of things.

Good luck
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Old 07-09-2004, 05:24 AM   #7
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Re: Communication with a toddler

When I ask her to show me what she wants she just looks at me. I don't think she understands that at all. It seems to be one of the things she just doesn't understand. She is mostly alright with me but when my husband comes down (he works nights) is when she gets really bad with the pointing thing. As for the sign thing does anyone know where to get this information? Thanks everyone.

 
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