Word Learning Plateau

Good news and bad news.

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First the good news: Amos said his first “sentence”! In developmental science, a two-word utterance is considered a “sentence” so it’s a low bar… there is considerable variability in when children say their first sentence (between 18-30 months, average 2 years) but hey, Amos is pretty early (16.5 mo)!

Now the bad news: His earliness is sort of a cheat. The reason: Amos has now learned the word “please” (which he always says in a particularly desperate sort of way, “peese, peese!!!”) and realizes that this word is POWERFUL. It gets him almost anything he desires! So he’s trying it out as a booster to the words he already knows! It’s not so much a “sentence” as he is turbo-charging his words. He wants me to open a bottle of water… perhaps if he says please as well, he will be ASSURED of this bottle being opened and this results in a desperate version of “open please.” Instead of just asking for fruit, he is adding please to that command (to make “fruit please”). He uses please for the same reason he says words multiple times (e.g., “go go go go go”) — more for emphasis and assurance of function than actually putting together multiple concepts. But I guess it’s gotta start somewhere!

Now for even more bad news: Amos has very little motivation to learn any more words. Now that he has “please” — what more does he need!?!?!

Complete Amos productive vocabulary: more*, all done*, milk* (uses to mean drink), up (“bup”), go, mama, dada, shoe (“sh”), fruit (“fr”), please (“p–zz”), bye, ball, open (“bobo”), amen (“mama”), down (“doh”), boro (round Japanese cookie, Japanese way of saying “ball”), mung-mung (what dogs say in Korean).
*baby sign words

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One thought on “Word Learning Plateau

  1. treevalley says:

    hahah!! yay!!! i can learn a little from Amos and use less words.

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