help with talking

I'm really trying to help the boys learn to talk. According to I don't know, every source I can find as well as the pediatrician the past TWO visits, the boys are behind on speech. They've been telling me the boys would benefit from speech therapy, and I have no doubt that they would. However, I feel like they've been going at their own pace so far I know they'll reach the point where they're ready. 

I've been reading to them non-stop at home and talking to them a lot throughout the day. They understand just about everything I say to them. Most of the time they follow simple directions like, put the toys away, time for bed, walk this way, no-no, etc. I feel like most of the time they know exactly what I'm talking about. If I'm talking about the trees outside, they'll look out the window. If I'm talking about eating dinner, they look toward the kitchen. So I know they understand. 

When we read books they are very animated. Everything they point to, I say the word for. They know the signs for milk, bye-bye, hi, more, monkey, butterfly (sort of), Julian knows both up and down, touchdown, and we're working on thank-you right now. I know that sign language is a good tool toward speaking, much like crawling is to walking, so I've been working a lot on the signs lately. 

I KNOW there are a lot of other moms out there going through similar things. How have you encouraged (or are you teaching) your kids to talk? I'm not really too concerned at this point because I waited FOREVER for them to walk (16 months!) and now they're great at it. I feel like if I keep putting in the work they'll eventually talk when they're ready. 

Any tips or words of advice for this Mama?? 

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