My 2 1/2 year old is not talking yet

Natasha - posted on 01/17/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Hi my son is now 2 1/2 years old and hes still not talking, he can say some words clear but the rest he always says and dat or he da for example instead of cat it would be dat or book he would say dork, everyone other kid i know are younger or same age and they are talking really well. We're read, talk, play and tried to get him to use his words but he wont. I feel sorry for him because some adult get angry at him and lose it with him because they dont understand him. I dont know what to do or help him. has anyone got any ideas they can help.

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Karen - posted on 02/16/2010

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I think that the bottom line is that if your gut is telling you that something is not right, you should pursue it. If he does not qualify for services, it's no big deal. The other side of that, however, is that the earlier you intervene, the better. It does not hurt to have an evaluation done. It takes a little bit of time and most jurisdictions have a wait list for services, but the eval has to be done within a certain time frame. (I think it's 30 days from the referral, but could be remembering that incorrectly.) If your child falls into a "borderline" category and your county does not want to provide services, you have the option to take your eval/assessment to a private therapist.

We put off having our son evaluated b/c our pediatrician told us to wait. When he was evaluated, several specialists...(our PT, speech pathologist and physical medicine doctor) ALL told us that this was a mistake.

Again...it does not hurt to have an eval done...Good luck!!!

Jennifer - posted on 02/16/2010

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My son didn't talk at 2 1/2, either! I had him evaluated, and they told me he had to know 50 words, whether he could say them well or not. He used *ba* for bottle, ball, brother, everything starting with that sound. They counted each one as a separate word, and he scored exactly 50 words. They said that because he scored right on the line, he didn't need any speech therapy, even though he wasn't talking much.

I was frustrated, to say the least.

They told me that my son was a very effective non-verbal communicator------he knew some sign language, and he knew how to point and grunt to get things he couldn't reach. They told us that it would upset him, but we had to really make him ask for things. If he pointed, we had to use the word for something over and over. (Like "you want the ball? This ball up here? I can get the ball. Here's the ball!" to get him to know say that it was a ball.)

I felt dumb, but I did it. I talked non-stop to the kid, telling him everything I did during the day. By the time he was 3, he was talking up a storm. It was like one day, someone flipped a switch, and he had a zillion words.

He's a boy. Everyone told me that boys talk later, but I was worried, as I'm sure you are. Hang in there. Tre still doesn't talk as well as some of the other kids in his preschool class, but he does other things better than kids two years older than he is. I'm sure your son probably has things he does better than the other kids too. It's like our sons put language on hold to figure out how to build things, climb on things, figure out how things work, etc. better and faster than the other kids. Tre is good at problem solving and is really physical. He can hit a ball pitched to him, which he shouldn't be able to do at 3.

By the time they get to kindergarten, they'll have put the whole package together. It's just which things they *get* first and last that make us nuts!!! Good luck.

I got some flash cards and pointed to things at lunch every day to try to help him. I don't know if it worked, but it was something.

Karen - posted on 02/16/2010

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My son is also 2 1/2 and has been in speech therapy since last October. When we started, he was only saying one word utterances and now we are getting up to 6 word sentences. 2yo kids are usually expected to be giving you 2 word utterances. Based on my personal experience (I am also a clinical Social Worker, so from a professional perspective as well), I would contact your local Early Intervention office. You are entitled to a free assessment (federal law mandates this). If your child has a 25% delay OR atypical development in some area (speech for example), your child will qualify for services. Services are not free, but can be offered on a sliding scale or by billing your insurance.

I hope this info helps. Speech therapy (and physical therapy for my son's moderate gross motor delay) have made a HUGE difference in our lives. Good luck!

Leann - posted on 02/14/2010

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i have the same problem with my 2 1/2 yr old as well, i have a lady who comes out and works with him 2 - 3 times a month doing a little bit better. He is going to get tested in April to see if he can go to preschool. One thing that i do that helps my son is that when he talks i try to look at him in the eyes and carry on a conversation with him, it is so cute cause he thinks that wow mom understands me and it gives him a little encouragement to talk, cause i thought i had a friend who would make fun of him and call him special i did not stand for that my family comes first and that type of act will just make him fall back. As you go through life you start seeing who your true friends are.

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Hello! I happened to come across your posting and thought I would put in my 2 cents. First of all, I can't imagine any normal adults getting angry or losing it at a 2 year old because they can't understand what he/she is saying. To me, that behavior is frightening.

My 2 1/2 year old (07/08/07) is about on the same page as yours. By age 1, he wasn't saying the words I thought he should be, even though his motor skills were either even or above his age on the chart. I brought up my concern to my pediatrician. He ruled out hearing loss or any other developmental issues such as Down Syndrome. He recommended a free program called Birth to Three. I'm not sure where you're from, but it sounds similar to Carrington Cunnington's Early Intervention. Once a week a teacher from the school district comes to our home to play with him, and once a week on a different day a Speech Therapist visits him as well. I've seen a big improvement with mimicking sounds and words, and has finally started putting a few two-words together like "more... cookie" The other day he even told his father that he needed to "gotta go... get Mommy". It's the biggest sentence he has, but it's better than none! Maybe check with your local public school or ask your child's doctor if you have such a program and that you have a serious concern for your child's speech development.

I still get jealous when I meet someone else's younger child who can say stuff like "I wanna go Home" or "Who is that, Mommy?" when my son just started asking "Why?". Once the ball starts rolling, it's very rewarding!

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2010

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I have 4 kids and 3 are boys. My 1st boy was 3 1/2 before he finally took off talking. When he was 3 our doctor had us take him to have his hearing checked which was fine, then a speech therapist and even though he couldn't really say what he wanted to say he knew things. It just took time for him to articulate what he wanted to say. Then my 2nd son turned 3 and you definitely couldn't understand him. Again our dr wanted him tested. We got his hearing tested and it was fine. Then I thought he was going to be the same as his older brother and held off on having him tested by a speech therapists. He turned 3 June 2008 and by Jan 2009 when he went to Preschool screening he failed it. The people at the screening got us in contact with the county to have him evaluated and he qualified for ECFE preschool. He started preschool that fall and he has excelled tremendously and will be able to attend kindergarten this fall!!! Last summer I had my third son evaluated cause again we can barely understand him. When he turned 2 in July the county evaluated and found that he knew things, just had a hard time articulate his words so that we could understand. He is just going to be a late bloomer with speech. Chan on the other hand had some developmental delay that he has over come now. With our 4th boy that we are expecting next month, if he shows the same signs as his brothers we will have him evaluated by the county. We had no problem with our oldest child who is a girl.

I would talk to your childs dr about your concerns and about having him referred to have his hearing checked to make sure that area is okay. Then you could either have him evaluated by a speech therapist or find out from the elementary school that your son will attend in the future the number for the county that does the evaluations on children and have him evaluated. This way you will know if there are issues that need to be address now or he is heading in the right path. His speech is just taking longer to understand. It is not uncommon for boys to be slow in the area. Average age is around 3 1/2 years old.

I mayself am a daycare provider so I have some experience with observing children and knowing if something might be wrong. I tell parents its always best to have children evaluated than not to. Hopefully my experience with my boys will help you some.

Barbara - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hello, Don't sweat it. He's only two. Each child is different. He may be taking in more than what you think. My husband didn't speak until late in his boyhood, and then he spoke in full sentences. He's a very smart man. You may try a little phonics. Also realize there are certain consonants and sounds that he will NOT be able to say until he is older. Usually those sounds consist of "s", "r" and consonant blends (like th, bl, cr). Encourage him to say the words that he can say, even if imperfect. For awhile, my oldest called a pillow a "podu" and ketchup - catch me. Another idea is to write down the words he says and how he pronounces it for babysitters or others who care for him. That may help iliminate some of the frustration. Continue to read to him. Dr. Suess books are great in this regard. Encourage him to ask for more to eat, or to have juice (they also have a generalizations phase - water could mean: water, juice, milk, pop, anything liquid to drink). Sometimes you may have to ask questions to clarify ... Do want water? Juice? Milk? Again, begin phonics. Short vowel sounds first. Make a game out of it. When ever you see an "A", say, hey you know that, what sound does it make? A says .... I'll never forget when one of my kids were only 3 and recognized the letter J & C on the JC Penny store. It takes patience, but eventually he'll come along. Each child develops at different levels, but by the time they're ready for kindergarten, they're all at the same level, to some degree. I hope this helps.

Carrington - posted on 02/10/2010

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I would definitely suggest contacting the Early Intervention program in your state. You can get the information by googling it or contacting your pediatrician's office. I have three kids who have benefited from extensive speech therapy. They started at 19 months and now, a year later, they are totally caught up with where they should be. Therapy was free because it was paid for through the state. Your son would have to go through an evaluation to make sure he qualifies, but out experience with Early Intervention has been very positive. Early Intervention only works with kids until they turn 3, but I think most states have programs for kids 3 and older, if you son will need continued help.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi Natasha,
My son was the same way. He wasn't saying ANYTHING at two years old not even mama. I was very concerned because he had been born prematurely. I had him testing through his pediatrician and he ended up needing speech therapy. He has been in therapy now for about 5 months and is has made a world of difference. I, like you, was reading with him, singing, and trying to encourage him to talk but it just wasn't working. You may want to speak with his pediatrician. I also highly recommend the baby bumblebee dvds. You can go to www.babybumblebee.com and see for yourself. My son LOVES to watch them and they have helped in addition to his weekly therapy.

Caroline - posted on 02/10/2010

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I had the same issue with my first DS( now 6). I had referred him to speach and lanuage therapy as he only had about 20 words. As there is a waiting list by the time he got called for the appointment ( nearly 3) he was well able to speak so he didn't actually need the appointment. We had look at some infomration on how to help improve the speach. I am sure there is some infomration on line regarding this but i got the info from my public health nurse. He was just slower to talk. I would suggest that you refer him to speach and lanuage therapy just in case and in the meantime he too might just start talking more. My second DS is now 2 1/2 and it amazes me how much he can talk ( too much in fact!!) , it makes me realise so much more how kids all develop at differnt levels and it is not necessarily anying that we do. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the dummy issue. All my nieces and nephews had the dummys up to 3 and older and they were alll speaking way before my DS who had no dummy.

Lydia - posted on 02/09/2010

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We got the same problem my friend my son is like that too and i want to hear him talk

MANDY - posted on 02/07/2010

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My 2 1/2 yr old son has been exactly the same but over the past couple of days he has been starting to say more and more and he never had a dummy or sucked his thumb. Talking to him slowly and clearly and repeating words has helped a lot. My 7 year old son was completeley different and was talking full sentences by the time he was 2 so this is new for me. All kids are different and sometimes it takes a little longer for some to get the hang of things. If it really concerns you then take him for a check up.

Joanne - posted on 02/03/2010

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my daughter 2 1/2 doesnt speak she only started babblin few mths back she says mummy nd her sisters name nice an clear other words i will understand but no-ne else can she not had dummy since she was 12mths old i think every child is different cos my eldestwascomplete opposite early to do everythin but my youngest is alot slower so stick with readin an playin an your son will do it when he is ready

Julia - posted on 01/17/2010

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my lil boy is exactly the same. the words he can say r - car, dog, book, spoon, door, hot n box but thats pretty much it. he hasnt had a dummy since he was 2 months old. thankfully he goes to an amazing nursery which have got in a speech therapist 4 him. it is working but slowly. My lil 1 was 5 weeks prem so i have always thought that that was y he was a lil slower pecking things up.
at 2 1/2 u should get an invite from ur health visitor for a review where u can talk to them about ur worries and they should hopefully refer u onto some1 xxxx

Laura - posted on 01/17/2010

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if he still has his dummy, thats his problem, it makes there teeth wonky and pushes there tounge bk wen there tryin 2 talk, my son is 2 1/2 aswell on his 2nd birthday he was only allowed his dummy 4 nite time, it has really helped with his speech now he has no dummy at all, hope this helps, some kids take longer than others xx

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