Two year old not speaking, just pointing and grunting.

Shannon - posted on 05/19/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My son is turning two tomorrow and he doesn't really speak. He can say mommy and daddy, he loves to say go go go to cheer for some sport, hi and bye, nigh nigh, but other then that he just points and grunts. I am starting to get concerned. He understands me when I speak as he will do what I ask as long as it doesn't interupt his play (typical male characteristic hey, he he). Is this normal for a boy?

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Crystal - posted on 05/23/2009

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You must be the millionth mother that I read about whose baby is 2 and not yet talking as well as other kids might and really stressing about it. I was one of those million mothers and my baby is a girl!!! I'm starting to think the normal age for talking is not 2...really. But don't worry if he can at least point and grunt and understand what you say, and can say a few words. My daughter was the same and she is almost 3 now and it's amazing how far she has come in these last few months. All of a sudden their vocabulary just explodes and you can't get them to stop. I have to be so careful what I say now in case she repeats it. But if you are reall stressing see your GP to refer you to a speech therapist cos this is what I did. I was only there for 1 session because the speech therapist really put my mind at ease and said her understanding is great and just give it time, talk and listen, and put her in day care which I did, and that helped a lot. I so know how you feel Shannon. I guess us Moms worry such a lot and having these milestone charts just put you under a lot of undue pressure!! I was also told by the therapist to listen which words she mispronounces and then just model it for her in a sentence so as not to make her self conscious. Every 2 months just check if the rate of pronunciation is improving because although I thought she was talking gibberish, apparently she was talking words and sentences! By 3 strangers should be able to understand them. I was also told that if I really felt uneasy, maybe one or 2 sessions wouldn't hurt but they didn't feel it was necessary at that point. So, in faith, I believed them and now miss chatterbox is so adorable. Ai, the stress we put ourselves through!

Kim - posted on 05/23/2009

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Besides being a mom of a 2 year old (almost 3) daughter, I am also a Speech Pathologist. I worked about 5 years in Early Intervention and am now in the Elementary School setting. Early Intervention is great and it is absolutely FREE. I have had several friends who came to me for advice about their 2 year old sons who were not talking much. The first thing you want to verify is your son's hearing. If he suffers from frequent ear infections, you might want to consider tubes. A lot of kids I saw had suffered from frequent ear infections (but not all). Another thing you want to verify is whether he truly is understanding everyting you are saying. If he responds to verbal directions without any "gestures" from you, then you can feel good that he is understanding language. Talking constantly to him, naming and describing things around him, and reading lots of books is the best thing you can do at this time. Bombard him with lots of language. If you are doing all these things, then you are doing the right thing. At this age, Early Intervention would evaluate (FREE) his language. How much he understands, how much verbal language he's using, and also they look at his overall physical development (can he build a tower, kick a ball, etc...). If he did qualify for services, he would most likely be in a language group with other children his age. At this age, the class typically consists of play with the teacher focusing on specific language to build vocabulary and hopefully to elicit verbalization. When they are 3 and up, the group is more focused on eliciting sounds and then building to words and sentences. It wouldn't hurt to have an assessment done just for reassurance that everything, but speech, is normal. With my friends that had the 2 year old boys, I had suggested that they wait 2 1/2 - 3years before going to Early Intervention, because their boys were "very active" and I knew they were understanding language well (2 of the 3 boys were enrolled in EI when they turned 3). If your son's language has not blossomed by 2 1/2, request a referral from Early Intervention. They could have a waiting list, which the whole process from referral, to scheduling an appointment, getting the test results, and having the official meeting can take between 2 - 4 months. Once you sign a Permission to Evaluate form, they have 60 week days to complete the whole process. The best time to get an evaluation is in late spring, so your son can start fresh at the beginning of the year, versus coming in mid-year. Some Early Interventions run all year, but the majority run like a school schedule. From my experience, the earlier you can get Early Intervention, the better. By age 4, a child should be able to communicate at the conversation level and be understood by an unfamiliar listerner with 100% accuracy, despite a few articulation errors (R, TH, CH, or J). I hope this email helps.

Jocelyn - posted on 05/19/2009

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while it is not "normal" it is way more common for boys to speak later than girls. my son is 28 months and still doesn't speak. he grunts and makes noises and points, but he understands everything that we say. i asked him to go find an orange ball, and he went and found an orange ball. i know two other little boys that were/are the same way. the one didn't talk until he was almost 3, and the other 2 yr old isn't talking either. my sons dad didn't talk until he was 2.5, and even then he didn't talk a lot. we took my son to a speech pathologist (to make sure nothing was wrong) and he's fine. she said he was so busy doing everything else (he is sooo active) that he just didn't want to take the time to talk. i agree. when he finally has something to say, he'll say it, i've no doubt of that. if you are still concerned that he's not talking, take him to a specialist (they will make sure that there are no physical problems etc)

and my son doesn't even say mommy yet!!! you are lucky you get even that :) i'm still waiting to be called mommy...

don't fret over it :) chances are he is just taking his time.

Christina - posted on 05/19/2009

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Every child is different, boys tend to take longer. I come from a huge family and there are a 8 children under the age of 3. Two of the little girls so the same thing, for their mothers. If any one else takes them they have to speak because we don't understand their body language. They will try to do the point and grunt, then they get frustrated, but if they want something bad enough they will speak if it is required. Just remember they are very smart, but what they don't know is we are smarter. Just tell him, "mommy doesn't understand, use your words." If he brings you a sippy cup and you know he wants a drink but he doesn't say it then act like you think he's just playing with it and verbalize this to him. We taught all the kids in the family "please" and "more" in sign language, they use them ALL the time. So we know they can learn. If you're still not sure ask your pediatrician. I'm not an expert but I hope this helps.

JanetOrozco - posted on 05/19/2009

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I did daycare for many years and I came acrossed that quite often. It is more typical than not and when he does talk... LOOK OUT! As long as he understands and physically can respond and as long as his motor skills are where they are supposed to be just sit back and enjoy the silence. Ofcourse his two year check up should be upon you and you should discuss it with your pediatrician especially if it is bothersome to you. I can say though that most boys who did that also never really had to speak because things were just easily provided for them. Make him work for things. Don't ask his this, this or this... let him voice it... it is tough at first but it will work with MUCH effort. Good luck

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Terri - posted on 01/08/2011

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You're right to question this and get help. My boy was the same and now he's 4 and still doesn't speak, we're only just begining to investigate it, but if I'd taken it seriously sooner maybe he wouldn't be like this now if we'd been able to get help somehow, I don't know? :(

Shannon - posted on 05/27/2009

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I just want to thank everyone for your advice. I went to my family doctor today and she gave me a number to call to have my son checked out. I know his hearing is fine as he does follow instruction (most of the time anyway). Hopefully I will get in to see someone soon and help my son to communicate. Even if they can give me some advice on what I should do to get him motivated to repeat words or to use more words. Maybe some good books to read to him. He loves Dr. Seuss, he has me read them over and over again. I almost know them by heart!

User - posted on 05/23/2009

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we were concerned about my daughter as well. She wouldnt even point at things she just wouldnt talk at all. We had her tested for autism and had a hearing test done and they said she was perfectly fine that there was nothing wrong with her. I truly believe every child develops differently and at there own pace. My daughter is now 20 months old and is pointing she also does sign launage and says many different words. Hardly ever on comand just when she feels like it. Sometimes we hear her say something and we dont hear it again till a couple months later. She is very at her own pace and when she wants to do things. I say if your very concerened about this, go ahead and talk to your doctor about getting your child tested for certain learning disabilitys. I was scared when we decided to but i worried for nothing and i looked at it as if there was something wrong then i wanted to catch it early enough and get a head start on on situation. I'm sure your child is fine but it might help to put your mind at ease! Hope this helps!

Marlana - posted on 05/23/2009

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it may be time that you talk to a doctor and get a referal to early intervention for speech and language, worst case senario is he needs services and you learn new ways to help your son obtain a more extensive vocabulary and better communication skills. best case senario early intervention decides that there is nothing wrong and he does not need any services and you continue to help give him the word for the things he is pointing to.

Amanda - posted on 05/20/2009

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i have a 4 yr old boy who was diagnosed with dyspraxia at age two your son sound just like mine at that age at age three he still only had few words but now we cant get him to shut up lol i would suggest taking him to a speech therapist there is also a lot of websites on dyspraxia if you want more info on it hope it helps you and i would also suggest a little sign language it eases at lot of stress and confusion on both child and parents part

Bernice - posted on 05/19/2009

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I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and she does the same she also barks, meows and growls. The doctor said its normal children will talk when they have something to say.

Melinda - posted on 05/19/2009

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My daughter is 2 years old and she has the same problem. She is seeing a speech therpist and she is doing really good. Some of it depends on their willingness to learn. Out doctor was concerned so she has my little one go in for an evaluation to make sure everything was alright. They checked her hearing and to see if she will do what you ask just to make sure there is no underlining cause. Turnes out she just has a hard time getting those words out. But I am not too concerned. She is making progress and I know soon she will just be rattling off words and never stop talking just like her big sister.

Bonnie - posted on 05/19/2009

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My daughter was over two years old when she started to actually put words together. She had the nick name "mouse" for that reason. It is not that she didn't understand but just never felt the need too as usually her older sister would speak for her or I would by putting words into her mouth so all she had to do was nod her understanding. At about 2 1/2 I just stopped speaking for her, guessing what she wanted, or allowing her sister to speak for her. Next thing you know not only could she speak but fluently. Another friend of mine went through the same thing with her son whom appeared to have a speech development issue as he was saying very little at all until the age of 4. Then oneday while travelling in the car he saw something that excited him and spoke fluent sentences alarming his mother so much she almost ran off the road. Don't lose heart, if the child is showing a knowing understanding of what is said to her she may just not see the need in verbalising and until that need or something else prompts her she wont.

[deleted account]

Is he a younger child? Frequently younger siblings are delayed talking as their older brothers or sisters speak for them.



If not I would seriously consider get him checked out by an early intervention service.



My own son's speech was fairly delayed at this age and used to point or drag me to whatever he wanted. He was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder a few years laters. Don't be scared, there are some very mild forms of PDD that can present with delayed speech and a bit of early years support with speech and language therapy can help most children overcome it. An early intervention service could evaluate your son for this,may find nothing wrong, but it may ease your mind just to rule it out.

Shannon - posted on 05/19/2009

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I do make him try and say juice if that is what he is pointing at. And depending on his mood I will wait until he tries to say it until I give him what he wants. I suppose I might give in a little to quick sometimes, just to avoid a tantrum. Thanks for the advice please keep it coming.

Jacinda - posted on 05/19/2009

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My son does that too. He seems to understand everything you say. He's just not saying a lot. At his last checkup the doctor said as long as he could say at least 10 words she wasn't concerned about it. Does your son have a big brother or sister? My son has a big sister. I have heard they don't talk much because their sibling does most of the talking for them. I'm just trying to keep working with him on it. Hopefully he will be talkative soon.

[deleted account]

Sometimes, kids will continue with grunting and pointing as long as it "works" for them. If you are getting what he needs for him based on his current actions, then he has no need to progress in to using his words. It may be a hard thing to work through, but you may have start giving in less and making him use his words more when he wants something.

Also, it may not hurt to have him evaluated by Early Intervention and see if they can recommend speech therapy for him. My daughter has Down Syndrome, and getting her set up with therapy through Early Intervention has been wonderful. As well, I have girlfriend that just got her 15 month old daughter set up on Speech Therapy through EI b/c she is mostly grunting and babbling still.

Good Luck!

[deleted account]

Sometimes, kids will continue with grunting and pointing as long as it "works" for them. If you are getting what he needs for him based on his current actions, then he has no need to progress in to using his words. It may be a hard thing to work through, but you may have start giving in less and making him use his words more when he wants something.

Also, it may not hurt to have him evaluated by Early Intervention and see if they can recommend speech therapy for him. My daughter has Down Syndrome, and getting her set up with therapy through Early Intervention has been wonderful. As well, I have girlfriend that just got her 15 month old daughter set up on Speech Therapy through EI b/c she is mostly grunting and babbling still.

Good Luck!

Jenny - posted on 05/19/2009

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Boys are usually a little bit slower than girls. The fact he points and communicates with you is great - he definitely wants to make conversation in his own way and isn't withdrawn. The average 2 year old will have more words, but the rule of thumb is usually single words at 1, 2 words together at 2 and sentences at 3.



In the UK, if it was me, I would speak to my doctor and ask for a referral to a speech and language therapist - not because it sounds like there's a big problem, but because they could reassure you and maybe suggest some fun games to play to bring on his speech a little.



Sing songs with him, talk about EVERYTHING you do together (even if you feel a bit silly!) and if you know what he's saying, let him know and say a bit more



Like: he says "daddy" when he sees his dad

You say: "Yes there's daddy, hello, daddy! Daddy is wearing a blue t shirt, can you see daddy' blue t shirt etc etc" Fill your days with words and he'll copy you.



Don't panic too much at this stage though - they all catch up in the end - he might suddenly surprise you!

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