My 20 month old doesn't respond to commands. He doesn't talk yet. He is not responding to his name.

Hearing problem? But, he responds and looks at me when I sing any of his rhymes. Wherever he is he will run towards kitchen for some specific sounds like Microwave sound.

Does he point at things he wants? No, but he brings to me or try to bring whatever he wants. For ex. He brings his empty tumbler when he is thirsty. He brings his toy to me when it is OFF(he wants me to turn it On) etc

If the things are out of his reach, he will try to climb or just look at it and groans.

He doesn't want to make eye contact except when I'm singing his rhymes.

He pronounced some words when playing. He used to follow commands at 12months, like he moved his body when I asked him to dance or waved when said bye, but now he is not showing interest or he doesn't understand. Not sure what went wrong. Can someone please help?

  • 1
    Does he generally react if you speak to him? (Not commands, but speak about his toy, the birds in the park, whatever?)
    – skymningen
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 11:27
  • how is ur kid doing now? Because I too see this behavior in my 20 month old kid.
    – Muba
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 12:57
  • Can you please update me of your then 20 month old? Almost a year after you posted has there been any change? I would really appreciate it!
    – Titi
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 20:53

3 Answers 3


Your questions are somewhat concerning. While any one of them alone might not indicate anything other than maturity, the sum of the problems, especially the regression from his behavior at 12 months is indicative of a need for testing by the child's pediatrician.

Though you've given examples of your concerns, no one on the internet can see the child in their totality, which is necessary to determine if there is a problem of any kind.

The best advice I can give you is to take up your concerns with the child's pediatrician and insist on a hearing evaluation to begin with.

Hearing Loss in Children


This is my understanding from parenting & reading. If a child reaches 18 months and does not connect two words at all, ever (such as "what's that") then the doctor should do a little assessment screening. You should also look for a child to be able to attempt to look a direction that you are pointing. They should notice if other people are turning their heads to see something & also turn. If the child can hear the microwave, that doesn't mean hearing is okay. I am not saying there is a hearing issue, but hearing issues are generally not in a range of perfect hearing or total deafness, you get a lot in between & if a child has something like fluid collected, they get a muffled version of sound, but they hear. It still can impact speech considerably though.

So for me, I just see the doctor. The reason being, that if there is something wrong (and there very well may be nothing) you want something addressed on the sooner end of things. A lot of what you are saying does not sound concerning, but it's impossible to say without a full picture & that is something you can only do in person.

If you live in the states & do not have insurance or cannot afford an appointment, contact your local "Early intervention" program. You should qualify for a free assessment on speech & development. Many times, if a doctor is concerned, that is where they refer you to for your next step anyway & in the area I live, you do not need a doctor's referral to go straight there if you wish to. If I knew where you were I could give a link, but you can google it pretty quickly & find your local offices, again in the USA. I am not sure what services are done in this case in other states. I can also tell you that for me, a hearing test yearly is paid for on my insurance as long as a child is either not speaking at age level or has been referred by failing a hearing screen. I have had 2 late talkers & I did get their hearing checked several times just to ensure there were no physical barriers to speech.

All of my kids were seen at 18 months for a regular check up, as per the typical schedule. Were you seen then? Did you bring these things up? If not, then again, that would be my first stop. Like I said, none of it sounds terribly worrisome to me. Even for him to not do as asked (like dance), even though he did before. Many times a child can go through phases where they care more to do something & then tire of it, and won't respond. But again, it can be a normal thing or it can indicate something that needs work. A professional is absolutely able to determine if it's normal. I had a child that walked for a week & then stopped & went to crawling only, wouldn't even stand. I took him in. It was fine, but it helped ease my mind considerably to have him checked out & find out that it's okay. I am so glad I did too because it was still 2 more months before he walked again & I would have been worrying over nothing.


Nothing is wrong, your child is just developing. At this point, he is learning that he has a mind of his and is capable of doing things on his own. The first use of that newfound power is usually to say no to everything, listen to nothing, and try everything for himself, just to try it out.

It generally passes after a few months, as the child develops further.

This period is often referred to as the "Terrible twos", if you want to read up more on what's happening in your child's mind.

  • 2
    But how do you put not responding to his name and nor happy with eye contact into the terrible twos?
    – skymningen
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 11:26

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