Monday, 9 January 2012

Vocabulary at 19 months

The Little Man has been a little slow in speaking, and has only in the last month expanded his verbal vocabulary by 50%.

  1. Cat – I believe this was his first word ever, but I cannot remember when he said it. He can’t pronounce the ‘C’, though, so it comes out as ‘At’.
  2. Mama – this comes out in various ways – Mum-mum-mum/Mama/Mum-Mum
  3. Dada – A-ga-a-ga
  4. Roar – Not really a word, but he does like to roar like a lion.
  5. Tiong Bahru – three syllables for sure, but he can’t really pronounce the ‘Tiong’ yet. The ‘Bahru’ is pretty good though.
  6. Egg
  7. Hang
  8. Home – First word of 2012
  9. Over – more like ‘ober’, but I’m not complaining.

The interesting thing about his choices of words is that they are generally not words that anyone has tried to teach him to say, other than Mama and Dada. In fact, the words that The Hubby and The Grandparents have tried to teach him, such as ‘ball’, ‘taxi’, ‘bus’, ‘car’ and so on, he has not uttered a single one. The words that he has decided to pick up tend to be very random, uttered after hearing one of us say them in our normal course of conversation.
In addition to his verbal repertoire, The Little One has a vocabulary of signs too.
  1. Round and round – usually to indicate the fan blades going round and round, but also used when he hears the song “The Wheels on the Bus”. Index finger moved in a circular manner
  2. All Done – As per American Sign Language (ASL). Usually to indicate that he is full and does not wish to eat any more. However, he is using this less and less, and generally with one hand, rather than two, recently.
  3. Please – as per American Sign Language (ASL). He picked this sign up extremely quickly – I only had to show him how to sign it once or twice.
  4. Milk – as per ASL, but it took me forever to teach this to him.
  5. No – indicated by twisting his wrist repeatedly. Usually used to indicate no more, not moving or not switched on.
  6. No – indicated by shaking head from side to side. He’s used this sign for a very long time, usually to indicate that he does not wish to do something.
  7. Wave – waving arm from side to side. Used to indicate both ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’.
  8. Flying Kiss – Standard flying kiss motion, but does not always follow through with the ‘flying’ bit.
  9. Apart |
  10. Together |– These two he kind of came up with on his own while playing with me and Floppy, his stuffed rabbit in the car one day. He uses ‘apart’ to get us to help him take some of this toys apart, or to get us to open boxes of his toys.
  11. One – Generally used to ask for ‘one more minute’ of playtime.

I think there are a couple more, but I cannot recall them at the moment.

According to the American Academy of Family Physician’s article on Speech Development, a 19 month old is supposed to have a verbal vocabulary of 20 words.  So The Little Man is a little slow in that regard, but I am honestly not too worried. He understands us perfectly fine, and is generally able to communicate his needs and wants. Besides, he does not display any signs that indicate anything more worrying. According to the article, the most likely cause of his speech delay is “Maturation Delay”, which is apparently a condition more common in boys, and he will most likely outgrow it by the time he enters school.
I am looking forward to his increased vocabulary, so that there is a lot less guessing on my part and less frustration on his part when he tried to communicate. In the meantime, I am enjoying the relative peace and quiet.

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