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How many words at 18m , should I ask for a hearing test


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#1 InOmniaParatus

Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:41 AM

We have our 18m appointment next week and I am wondering how many words will they look for at this age?
DD can say 8 words. She is very switched on though and understands language well. She will follow basic commands, is constantly pointing and communicating with us.  I would estimate that she easily understands over 100 words but is only saying 8.

She desperately seems to want to talk. For an example, she will come up to me with a book and point something out asking me what it is and when I say it she gets so close to my mouth and watches how my mouth moves when I say the word. She will then attempt to mouth it but doesn't say it. When I ask her what something is she will point it out from her ball to the chair.

I have attempted to test her with her hearing and she seems to hear well. Obviously I am not a professional. The words she does say, she says them clearly.

#2 Caribou

Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:53 AM

It could be just people say it for her so she doesn’t need to. Her number of words for 18months doesn’t seem to be too low, average is 10-20 words by then.

You could do a hearing test just to rule things out, but your GP will probably see same as you if she’s able to hear well with testing from home. They can do a simple test in office, however if she’s responding to sounds there, chances are it’s ok.

She doesn’t sound behind. It could be she’s just on cusp
Of a language explosion soon.

#3 AdelTwins

Posted 31 March 2019 - 09:52 AM

DS3 is 19mo. Sounds within the range of normal to me.

Also, are you counting words that only you will understand? E.g. DS3 can not say either of his brother’s names, but he makes the first sounds of their names and is clearly talking to them when he says (yells) it.

In the last month he’s started mimicking words that we say. Not many people would be able to understand them though.

#4 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:25 AM

Animal sounds at that age are also counted as words as are any syllables used repeatedly to refer to a particular item.

My sister recently worked out “bu-be” was peanut butter bread. Her DS is 26m.



#5 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:31 AM

In terms of hearing does she respond/get something if you request it and she it not looking at you.

DS2 had hearing loss due to fluid in ears but we only worked that out when ge started talking more and he sounded like he was talking underwater. He had learnt to read lips and anticipate things as adaption to his hearing loss.


#6 appledumpling

Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:31 AM

Is she babbling a lot, and using intonations in her babbling? If she is plus the number of words she has sounds within normal limits. And as long as she keeps adding new words and sounds every so often, you could wait and see.

#7 eigne

Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:45 AM

Mine had two words and was considered normal 🙂. Five months later and she now has 50+!

#8 InOmniaParatus

Posted 31 March 2019 - 11:57 AM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 31 March 2019 - 10:31 AM, said:

In terms of hearing does she respond/get something if you request it and she it not looking at you.

DS2 had hearing loss due to fluid in ears but we only worked that out when ge started talking more and he sounded like he was talking underwater. He had learnt to read lips and anticipate things as adaption to his hearing loss.


In terms of hearing she will be playing and ill say DD should we let the cat in and she will stop playing look up and then run to the door the let her in (ill have to open the door for her obviously)
when she's playing and not looking at me I might say is that daddy coming home and she will run to the hallway.
Or when reading I might ask her to show me a certain object or animal and she will point it out, sometimes she's looking at me sometimes at the book.


View Postappledumpling, on 31 March 2019 - 10:31 AM, said:

Is she babbling a lot, and using intonations in her babbling? If she is plus the number of words she has sounds within normal limits. And as long as she keeps adding new words and sounds every so often, you could wait and see.

Yes, she was babbling from as early as 4 months and using intonations. She has some words that I don't know what they mean and I'm not counting those. Im counting animal sounds that I can identify as animal sounds . I guess with the two she keeps saying that I don't know what they mean, it brings her up to 10+.

Edited by InOmniaParatus, 31 March 2019 - 11:57 AM.


#9 afterlaughter

Posted 31 March 2019 - 12:02 PM

Under 10 words at 18monyhs is a red flag. Doesn’t mean that there is something wrong it may well be coming but at that age I would be jumping on a wait list to have it checked can always cancel if it improves before your name comes up.

#10 Luci

Posted 31 March 2019 - 12:12 PM

It is possible that her hearing is absolutely fine, but that she does have a speech delay.

This was the case with my DS. He was a late talker and at the age of just turned 2 was diagnosed with a moderate speech delay.  He did not a have a problem with hearing loss at all and his speech issues were resolved with speech therapy.

#11 Daffy2016

Posted 31 March 2019 - 12:59 PM

DD is same age. We count words that are more consistent sounds for something - for example, ‘sha’ for outside (sounds nonsense but she definitely means she wants to go outside!). I think those sorts of things are counted at this age?

#12 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 31 March 2019 - 01:07 PM

At 18 months my son only had 5 words at a time. They would change, but he'd only use around 5 at a time. At his 18mo checkup they advised for me to book a 2yo checkup if it didn't improve. Like your DD, he understood a lot!

Even now at 2 1/2 his language isn't as advanced as some of his peers, but he surprises me and comes out with 5 syllable words and 5 or 6 word sentences. He also never shuts up now lol

I think in our case, he was lazy and he found grunting and pointing quite successful hahaha

I think often at the appointment they ask if you are concerned and they might say to revisit them in 6 months if you don't see improvement to X point.

Edited by FeralRebelWClaws, 31 March 2019 - 01:27 PM.


#13 Fourteenyears

Posted 31 March 2019 - 01:45 PM

This is Speech Pathology Australia’s communication milestone checklist for 18 months.

https://www.speechpa...00-aaebdd4451fd

ETA:  don’t know why the link doesn’t take you straight there, but scroll down and select the 18 month PDF from the menu.

If you do decide to see a speech pathologist for peace of mind, definitely get a hearing assessment first as it needs to be eliminated as a potential factor to make the assessment process worthwhile.

Edited by Fourteenyears, 31 March 2019 - 01:50 PM.


#14 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:04 PM

My youngest is almost 18mo, and  says maybe 5 words clearly. But he will put words together to make sentences
‘More booby’ ‘stop, yucky’ and mummy (which is both DH and I)
He signs those words too, as well as ‘finished’ ‘up’ ‘thankyou’ ‘eat’ ‘drink’.
Personally I’m not too worried, my second was nonlimited verbal until 4.5yo but is fine at 6.5yo

#15 Fizgig

Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:05 PM

My understanding was that 7-50 words were within the normal at 18 months, and animal sounds count for words at that age. Have you considered using some baby sign if she seems to be eager to communicate but doesn’t have the words. Signed words also count as words at that age. I used the signs in this book: https://books.google...stralia&f=false

It doesn’t sound from what you have said that she needs her hearing checked as she is within normal limits for her age. When I want to check my kid hearing (or for ear infections) I stand behind them and say a word quietly. I pick a word that would make them turn around, usually “chocolate” but not their name as kids won’t always respond. That said, there is no harm in checking it out if you are concerned.



#16 *Super*Mombie3

Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:13 PM

Our blue book says under 10 you should mention it at the 18 month development check. Ds2 had 5 words at 18 months, 3rd baby, I mentioned it but wasn't really worried, just keeping an eye on it.  

The 2 year milestone is 50 words. His speech started to explode at maybe 20 months.  He had 50 words well before 2 years and is now speaking in 4 word sentences which is pretty good at just over 2 years 2 months.  

If you're worried their is never any harm in talking to your gp or child health nurse about it.  Mine just suggested what I was planning, which was to keep a close eye on him and revisit at 2 and if he was still lagging then to get hearing checked and go to the speech pathology clinic.  It's amazing what difference a couple of months can make, but if it's bothering you bring it up with your gp or nurse and see what they think.

#17 JomoMum

Posted 31 March 2019 - 05:21 PM

If it’s bothering you, it’s worth mentioning. It’s taken me a long time, and sometimes I still struggle, to realise that you gut is so often right. No one knows your child better than you, and any decent medical professional will respond to that even if they see no evidence themselves during consult, for example.

The fact that she responds to you, follows instructions, initiates interaction with you etc is all positive in terms of possibly ruling out anything more broad.

Speech therapy can be so amazing, and hugely productive in a short period of time. And it’s so so common these days for a variety of different reasons.

Worth mentioning either way :)




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