can't speak fluently at the age of two..is it alarming?

Nicolette - posted on 01/03/2011 ( 39 moms have responded )

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my 2 year old son can't speak out yet whats on his mind.. he just do this "baby talk" sounds and gestures. People around me keep asking, why is your son still doesn't talk?.. his already two and this June his going to be three years of age?

-what should I do then? need your advices!!!

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Crystal - posted on 01/05/2011

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I was really worried about my little boy's speaking. He'll be 3 in May. So I had him checked and they said his hearing and such was fine. Instead, the doc told me he thought my son must be - and I quote!!!! - "Considering his age, refusal to speak, and the fact that his hearing is just fine, he must just be retarded."

Excuse me!? Needless to say I dropped that.

Talked to my grandmother, grandfather, and mom about it. Turns out my mom and all three of my aunts and both uncles talked well around 3 or 4. I didn't even start talking much until I was nearly 3 and then suddenly it was short sentences. My husband was the same way according to his grandma and mom only he was closer to 4.

Well guess what...My boy started chattering away suddenly. Some of it is hard for anyone outside the family to understand, but it's getting clearer every day. He suddenly won't shut up! hahaha He went from the occasional word and mainly gestures and sounds to full sentences. Such as taking off his socks and announcing to his great grandma that he had five toes on each foot and that's a lot of toes or telling his dad all about the fish we made to decorate the wall behind the tank. Some days he doesn't say a word other days he never stops. Mostly he never stops.

I don't catch all of it, but I'm working with him. Just wanted to give you some hope nothing is wrong and an idea that some of them just seem to bloom late.

Maribel - posted on 01/27/2011

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hi! i have a 3 yr old son and he does'nt speak fluently also. i don't worry much because some friends told me that most boys learn to speak later than girls.

Wendy - posted on 01/17/2011

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You better call Regional Center Office in your City before your son is three years old. They will send the team to your home and do some testing, after they find out the problem on your son, they will provide a lot of free service on him. But you better do it before he is 3 because they only provide service for the child which under 3 years old.

Trudi - posted on 01/11/2011

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you have been given lots of good advice! The thing i would think about is whether he is progressing. Since he turned 2 has he learnt any new words or syllables? If he isnt learning new things then I would get him checked out. My son is 3 in March and is didnt really improve from about 1.5yrs. Everything was only one syllable or a grunt. It turned out he was tounge tied so he had a small op on his tounge and with speech therapy he is improving a lot. he now has lots of words and phrases and is getting clearer. There are still letters he cant say " y, s, r sh, f, l" all come later so we are working on those at the moment . He gets a treat when he tries to say them - we started with a chocolate drop to encourage him to talk and now he gets a sticker on a chart when he practises his words and a treat when he gets a row of stickers. maybe try to spend some quiet time naming things in books and reward him for trying even if he doesnt get it quite right yet - and see if he improves over the next little while.

Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2011

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Try taking him to the denist, my son will be 3 in January and not talking much but, it turned out he was toungd tied and had to snip under it. Now he's talking a lot more now

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Marelize - posted on 12/03/2012

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Hi I would like to know my son is 19 months and 3 weeks an he can talk sum words fluently but doesn't speak as fluently as children in his class? And if I warred for nothing from when should they talk fluently and in sentence?

Marelize - posted on 12/03/2012

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Hi I would like to know my son is 19 months and 3 weeks an he can talk sum words fluently but doesn't speak as fluently as children in his class? And if I warred for nothing from when should they talk fluently and in sentence?

Karen - posted on 01/28/2011

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Early intervention is KEY! My little boy (now turning 4 in march) only had a 10-15 word vocabulary at 2. We took him speach tharapist. what's the worst that could happen? He either needs speach or we're told he's fine. Either way at least you KNOW! Turns out he is delayed for his age. The thing that they told us is repeat, repeat, repeat. You feel like an idiot giving this kid a cup and repeating "cup, cup, cup..." . Well, within months he was speaking full sentences.

Long story short, it doesn't hurt to get him checked and if he does need speach (which isn't that big of deal) it's better to get it done early and because like everything early intervention is important!

Julie - posted on 01/18/2011

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Every kid is different!!!! wont people listen!
Claire is 2 1/2 and she talk like she have a hot potato in her mouth. But she's learning 2 language at the same time.
Keep reading to him and talk slow so he can hear everything.
Be a loving mom that's what they all need.

Tine - posted on 01/18/2011

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Just relax and give him a bit of a break, he's still a baby!!

Kids learn at thier own rate. It's really important that he feels relaxed and good about speaking, if he feels pressured or that he is doing it 'wrong' then he simply won't want to learn and try.

Just gently help him along by speaking clearly to him about the things he is doing, repeat things he says clearly (for example you might say, 'oh, you are playing with your cars. This one is blue!') This way he will be able to copy you, as well as get the feedback he needs in a low-key, gentle encouraging way. When he gets it right, notice, and say, "yes, that is a small car!" Smile, and make him feel good about it. Let him know you enjoy chatting with him about the things that interest him.

Also please try to avoid comparing him to other children, he is unique, and by doing that you will make yourself feel anxious and make him feel pressured and not good enough. Just let him be him, and encourage him! The more time you can spend one on one with him playing and interacting verbally, the better.

I would really not try to push him too soon, or make him feel that he is not succeeding, or that there is something wrong with him, he is way way too young to worry yet!

Leslie - posted on 01/17/2011

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Don't worry- I do have a question.... is he learning or around another language besides english? This could be causing a delay. I know my daughter is experiencing that because I am primarily speaking to her in Spanish and so I remember learning this when I was in school for bilingual education - that there is a delay but it all speeds up and doubles up once they have a strong foundation in their first language. No worries. just keep an eye on interaction and consistent development- not rush into what others are doing and such... you'll stress yourself out!

April - posted on 01/17/2011

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I agree with the ones who are telling you to get him evaluated before he turns 3. My son had speech problems, and although I knew in my heart there was a problem, everyone around me kept saying "Oh, it's just because he's a boy" or "All kids start speaking at different times". Pretty much the SAME thing I'm reading over and over in these comments. It's almost as if they didn't want me to be upset. That they would rather comfort me and make me believe everything would be fine, when what I WANTED was for someone to support me in the TRUTH. My son had speech problems. There's nothing to be ashamed of if you have to get your son help. I would have been more ashamed if I'd listened to all the naysayers and let him go until the age of 3 without help. I had him evaluated and got the ball rolling immediately. I'm not saying your son needs help, but I certainly wouldn't risk waiting around to see what happens in the next year or two and "hope" that he's just a late bloomer in the speech department. There are FREE programs that he's eligible for until he's 3. Then, things get a little tougher. Not to mention he's THAT much more behind. You owe it your son to have him tested and to get him help should he need it. Don't listen to people who just tell you the same ole' line of "Oh, he'll be fine". Take action and be prepared to get him help should the need arise. His future depends on it.

Shannon - posted on 01/17/2011

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My now 9 year old had the same problem. I, luckily had a friend who was a speech therapist and she told me to wait til he was 3 to worry. If he still wasn't speking by then, we would have him tested. We worked with him and soon realized he was speaking, in baby talk-spanish. His baby sitter was spanish speaking only and He was using both english and spanish words which sounded like jibberish to me. By3 he was talking and hasn't stopped since and is very fluent in both languages too!
I know it is difficult but try not to worry, give him a little more time. You might mention your concern at his next pediatrician appointment and see what the Dr advises.

Lexi - posted on 01/16/2011

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Does your son say no words at all or are the words just still not grown up sounding? Many kids even at age 3 or almost 4 still don't talk nice and clear but they are talking in words. If your son speaks but just not fluent conversations then I don't think I'd be concerned. He technically should have some words by now though, even if they're not clear or exactly correct. Either way, I agree with the others, it's probably a good idea to get him a speech evaluation. My son is getting his eval next month and will be starting speech therapy right away. He's 18 months and has no words. He doesn't even say mama consistently. The doctor would have been content to "wait and see", Torsten communicates his needs very well through signs and gestures, but since he's already showing a delay, I want to be proactive about it. Speech issues run in my family (me, my brother, 2 cousins). My mom wasn't able to get me any help until I was 3.5 and I struggled with my speech up through most of 1st grade, got made fun of a lot. The way I look at it is this; If Torsten does need the speech therapy, then I am getting him what he needs, if he doesn't technically "need" it, it wont hurt him. He'll just be getting a little extra support.

Good luck with your son! I'm sure with a little help, he will be talking so much soon you wont know what to do with yourself! hehe

Breahana - posted on 01/14/2011

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Alot of people say that boys take longer to learn to talk than girls and i do believe this my daughter talks perfectly and just turned to my nephew is three and is still learning to talk

Elvira - posted on 01/14/2011

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I had that problem. My daughter is going to be three and she still doesnt speak fluently, she says words but she gets frustrated and upset and does the same with the gestures and things I have her watching educational shows and she copies them and she also copies my son thats the way shes learning words now. You could try and show him flashcards of objects or pictures of objects and teach him how to say the word and pronounce it out for him slowly, and have him repeat it back to you. You could take pictures of objects he sees and uses everyday and use them as flashcards

Nova - posted on 01/13/2011

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Don't know if this is relevant...but, children who are learning more than one language often start speaking a little bit later than children who are monolingual.

Randi - posted on 01/13/2011

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Boys are usually slower too. My son is two and he was diagnosed with Autism, thats why he didnt talk. Always good to get him checked for things like that. See if you can get a Speech Therapist for your son. I got one for mine and he is starting to talk a little. Hope this helps :)

Terri - posted on 01/12/2011

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My oldest daughter started speech therapy at close to 4 years old, she wasn't pronouncing the right letters with the word so everyone who wasn't around her daily had a hard time understanding her. Now after almost 18 mos of speech therapy she is doing much better and everyone is having an easier time understanding her. She won't even be considered special ed when she starts Kindergarten so like everyone else on here says never hurts to get the hearing evaluated and speech also might try eye exams that seems to also determine their speech.

Angel - posted on 01/12/2011

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my child wasnt speaking at age 2 either. i was worried but my mum said if she is responsive hen she might be a slow developer. cos she could call everyones name in the house. she is almost four now. and its only last month that she started putting sentences together and being able to communicate. but if its serously affecting you then i suggest you go out and get help. dont leave things till its too late.

Manka - posted on 01/11/2011

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Hi Nicolette, no alarm...but if you would like to get him evaluated, that's ok. My son is 3.4 & he only started putting together four words at age 3. He NEVER said 'mommy' until two months ago!!! But now that seems to be the beggining of all his sentences!! lol! Generally, boys are a little slower in speech than girls(this is just from where I come from. I dont know if its medicaly proven).
Well, like the other sister said, you are your childs best advocate & you will most certainly do what you think is best to help him out. ..

Stephanie - posted on 01/11/2011

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Check his doctor about going to an ear nose and throat specialist. Most of them require a referral. I took my son to 2 different ones. The first was known for working with adults. Then I got referred to a pediactric ent and they gave my son tubes in his ears and helped me get speech classes set up through the local school. We went twice a week after school hours. Now that he's in school he's still going to speech. I live in a very rural town... if you live in a bigger city you may be able to get into speech at a local college or university also.

Deanna - posted on 01/10/2011

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Have his hearing evaluated first. If his hearing is good, then he may just be behind. My daughter wasn't speaking at her 2 year doctors appointment so we did the hearing test. All came out good and 3 months after that appointment with her doctor, she just started speaking. Just out of the blue.
Don't talk to him in baby talk, that confuses him. Also, try to get him into daycare. It would help immensely. If you can't afford that, look for baby and mom groups. Interaction with other children his age would be the best solution. If you are still worried, look for speech therapy in your area.
Good luck!!!

Marie - posted on 01/10/2011

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My daughter did not speak in understandable sentences until she was between 27 and 32 months of age. Before that, she would say one or two words together - but did not use her name and relied mostly on gestures. Also, if you are a bilingual household, the children in the house will pick up both languages at a slower rate but end up for the better with fluency in both languages.



I did do exercises on the computer, in the house, and tried consciously to improve my own speech in front of my daughter. I talked to her about everything - at a level that was 'chatterbox uncomfortable' to me. Sometimes I wondered if she would think her Mom was nuts... But, now she is imaginative, observant and quite descriptive. We still do not understand every word, even sometimes after four tries.. but we are communicating much better and are all happier for it. Just a bit ago I was asked for 'frid-rate-door chicken nu-ah-nunu fork and spoon bowl nu-ah-nunun peeeeeez?' (I want chicken noodle soup, it is in the fridge, please give me a fork AND a spoon). Kids don't always speak with real grammar when they are learning words - I just repeat 'You want chicken noodle soup? You think it is in the fridge? It isn't there - it is in the cupboard, in a can. See? Chicken noodle (point out the letters on the label). (she says: chicken nua--NUDU-NUL Yea, This Yea HUG Open!) OK, let's open it and put it in a bowl and we'll get a fork and a spoon. Should we do that?'

Adriana - posted on 01/10/2011

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Every child develops differently. Just talk to him and show him things and say what it is. Like hold up a ball and say, "ball." You could also talk to your doctor. My son is going to be 2 and he does the same thing. It's hard but you need patience

Sarah - posted on 01/10/2011

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My middle son was 3 before he was talking, and now he is 13 year old chatterbox. Other peoples comments can make you feel anxious though. You could try speaking to your health visitor maybe, to help put your mind at ease or if your son does need a bit of support getting help at this stage will be beneficial. All the best . x

Deanna - posted on 01/10/2011

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He could be fine and start talking like many people in this post have mentioned of other children,.... or he could not. But would you rather wait and see and then realize you could have got him help earlier if there is a problem, or have got him evaluated and gotten the early help? They always say the earlier a child gets help the better their chances of becoming a productive adult when there are developmental problems. If you are worried I would see about having his hearing checked and skills evaluated.

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011

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i think talking and telling him everything ur doing will help alot . and get him to talk back to u.. dont talk or answer for him hold a conversation w/ him.. maybe even get sign language books or DVD for him and teach those . also have him evaluated.. but a child should be saying 2-3 words phrases by 2.5-3.yrs old unless premature birth,.. good luck..

Becky - posted on 01/09/2011

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dont worry my son just turned three in december annd he still cant talk that well he says basic things like i am hungry but most of the time u cant understand him

Keisha - posted on 01/07/2011

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He's fine. My son was the exact same way and I was very concerned because our oldest boy started talking early. We could understand what he would say but most other people could not. Our pediatrician told us that some kids take a little longer than others and we shouldn't worry. He is now 3 1/2 and he still does not talk completely clearly but you can understand pretty much everything he says. You can give it some time before you actually call someone in to have him evaluated. If he's not speaking clearly, at least to a point where most people can understand most of what he says by the time he's 3 1/2, then i would consider having him evaluated. Now if he's not saying any words at all...not even words you can understand, then I would call the pediatrician and get the information for the local children and infants type program in your area to have him evaluated.

Sandy - posted on 01/07/2011

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My daughter didn't speak as much as other children her age. We had a speech therapist help her articulate. She understood and complied but didn't actually speak even babble. Now she doesn't shut up. Most of the time I have to translate for others, but I know what she's talking about 70% of the time. ☺ The speech therapist taught us that repetition and short sentences were best in helping to start regular speech.

Mallory - posted on 01/06/2011

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My son started talking earily. But then my husband joined the Army and he stopped talking. This was just over a year old. He didn't start talking really well again until he was older then 2. I tought him a little sign language to help him communicate better. It helped alot.

Julie - posted on 01/05/2011

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my daughter and my neice didnt talk untill they were almkost 3. kids develop at different ages and times dont let anyone judge you or your child. i found that repeating words back to her like if she wanted juice i would ask do you want juice and if she nodded i would say yes please mummy i would like some juice. repertition is the key to learning she will talk when she wants to not when you want it. if you are worried ask your doctor to refer you to a speach therapist.

[deleted account]

Alarming? No, but I would also get his hearing and speech evaluated. In fact, that's what I did/am doing. My son will be 3 at the end of March. He actually talks ALL the time.... in paragraphs, but can't pronounce quite a few letters and is extremely difficult for most people to understand. I had his hearing tested 2 weeks ago and he is getting his speech evaluation today. I think he is well w/in the normal range, but I would rather get things checked out and not need it than take a wait and see approach and find out in a couple of years that he actually needed the help.



Not to mention... where I live there is a BIG gap in speech services available for 3-5 year olds, so if he doesn't have more than a 9 month delay (I highly doubt he does) he will no longer qualify for services once he turns 3. By getting it done now... at least I can learn the tools to be able to help him better myself.



Good luck!

Kristen - posted on 01/04/2011

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My son did not start talking a whole lot until he was 2.5-3. I think it is perfectly normal. Especially for boys.

Michelle - posted on 01/04/2011

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I have three children, two of which are talking age. My first daughter did not start speaking well until she was three years old, pretty much just basic words. My other daugher was speaking VERY well/"fluently" by the time she turned two. Really each child is very different. If you are concerned, it never hurts to have them evaluated. You would also probably be surprised at how many words your child actually speaks on occasion, I mean, do we really count!? :) Also, when you get things for him, if you don't already, tell him what you are doing and what it is you are getting for him on a regular basis. Sing silly made up songs with words you want him to learn, he'll probably think it's fun. I mean, the song can simply be the words "juice, juice, juice"... and if it's funny, he'll probably want to try to sing along.

Katherine - posted on 01/04/2011

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I will tell you this: my nephew did not talk until almost 3. He is totally normal.
Now when he gestures do you make him SAY it? Try to work with him on that. If you are concerned enough I would do what Sarah said. EI is very important especially in language delays.

Sarah - posted on 01/03/2011

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I would have him evaluated for hearing and for speech. Call your local AEA (Area Education Agency)...or your local school and they can connect you with the AEA in your area. They will do a free evaluation and if they determine that your child needs help they will do that also. One word of advise though is to push for answers and help. Since your child is close to turning 3 yrs old he will be soon aging out of some of the help and I have found that sometimes they will wait until kids age out before getting them started with help. At age 2 yrs he can get individual therapy, but at age 3 that may not be a possiblity. Depending on what might be wrong he may need that individual therapy. Also talk with your doctor. Usually by the time they are 24 months they should be saying at least 50 words and then by 2 1/2 yrs putting phrases together. You are your child's best advocate...no other person is going to want your child to succeed more then you.

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