3yo with limited speech, is this normal?

Magda - posted on 03/18/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )




Hi i have a boy who turned 3 in late feb and seems to be having difficulty developing his speech skills. He has his own babble and has a few words that are clear to understand, but mostly he just points at what he wants. He has good eye contact and listens to everything you ask of him and does what we ask but just doesnt seem to express himself verbally. Should i be concerned and calling in the doctor or speech therapist? Does anyone else have this problem?


Christal - posted on 09/07/2012




try to get him into a center based program (preschool which provides all services).. My son was getting at home services from 2 yrs to 3 1/2 with little improvement. Once he started BIRCH (centerbased program) he began speaking so much better b/c of the daily structure he was receiving in school.. AND he was surrounded by other kids...kids learn soooo much from eachother!!


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Christal - posted on 09/07/2012




YES!!! Go to ur dic n get list of speech therapist that take ur insurance...Also ask to see a developmental pediatrican, there they will evaluate n diagnose what is going on and provide u with services!! HURRY!!!!! Everyday ur child isnt getting help, the more they regress and can alter his skills later.

Sophia - posted on 09/06/2012




dont walk ---run and get help . he should have been in a daycare for children with delay already. children do so much better when they are help before they enter school. Are you running yet !

Jennifer - posted on 04/17/2009




As a former early childhood/kindergarten teacher I'd advise you to call your local school district. At three years of age he could qualify for free speech therapy through the school. If you have good insurance you can look for private speech but it can be costly. I only recommend private for kiddos who do not qualify for school but thier parents want to jump on any issues before they do become a problem. I have known many parents who went the private route first, ran out of funds and then thier child did not qualify for the school program because they had made too much progress in private therapy, very frustrateing. By three years a child should have somewhere around 500 wrds and be stringing them together 3 - 4 at a time. They should be begining to insert articles and changeing tenses for some most used words. They should be understandable to people outside of thier immediate family, such as your friends and thier teachers. They should be able to request and answer commen who, what, and where quuestions. If your son is struggling with any of these give your school district a call, they will be able to give you a plan of action for testing and such. And what is there to loose? If he doesn't qualify you will have peace of mind and if he does you will have peace of mind knowing you are providing what he needs.

Katie - posted on 04/11/2009




school systems are required by law to keep IEPs for any child with specal needs ( speech problems, motor skills, health conserns) there is also a IEP that a school system can do that is for children 2yrs-PreK.  Most school systems do this for free and give free help to help prepare them for PreK.  it has been wonderful for my nefew. he is autistic and is not in 2nd grade and requires no help at all and has all A's.

there are lots of options. just thought i would make you aware of free ones :)

Elizabeth - posted on 04/11/2009




your normal family docotor should be able to tell if he's at a normal stage or not.....some kids know how to get what they want and arent very verbal but doesnt mean they are behind, while others learn to be non verbal because its difficult for them, so it would be very hard to say if hes at a point where he needs help without seeing him....but when he points try not to get it for him straight away, see if he will ask you when you don't react... things like that....i wouldnt be too worried even if your doctor says he needs a little help.....speech therapy these days is awesome and he will learn quickly if it is needed....

Jaime - posted on 04/11/2009




My son has been receiving speech and developmental therapy through our state's early intervention program and is really starting to come along. Since he is almost 2 1/2 though and still having difficulty we also started him in a ST/OT play group and had a medical eval done...it turns out that he may have developmental apraxia of speech. Having your little one evaluated by the state if definitely worth it ...our pediatrician referred us so talk to them first.

Vikki - posted on 04/10/2009




my little girl not talking that well but my health visitor says she's fine! she starts pre-school soon so i'm hoping this will help her as i wont be there to translate if ya like. i understand her just from knowing what sounds mean what. my friends little boy was same she said pre school helped loads. dont know where you live but i have local children's centers that are doing speech workshops? may help

Lisa - posted on 04/09/2009




i have th same problem with my son except i know he can say the words but he is lazy however some of his words are not very clear. the halth visitor who did his 2 year development check has advised me to take him to speech therapy. problem is kids are clever and they gt you to speak ther language

Jennifer - posted on 04/08/2009




You should definatly get a speech eval, although they usually start out with a hearing eval first, then speech eval...my son has been in speech for over a year now, they found he has severe apraxia and he has been improving alot but if we never did anything he most likely would never talk clearly..im glad i found out asap because he has a very good chance of being able to speak clearly by the time he is in grade school. Good luck!

Serina - posted on 04/06/2009




I dont have this problem but usually children who have speech development problems is due to there hearing. If your son is responding to you and and not expressing alot of frusturation then thats probably not the case. It might be for other mothers on here tho. I would suggest a speech therapist, these ages are a vital learning period in there life and if its not corrected early, it will be much harder to correct it later! Make sure your encourging him to verbally express himself, by correcting his gestures. If he points at something try and have him repeat back to you what he is wanting before giving it to him. Just a suggestion. I hope everything goes well! good luck.

Diane - posted on 04/03/2009




Hi, my 3yr old son has speech and language delays. I tried speech therapy with him and he was put into a group session, which after 10 weeks of this i found neither useful or helpful to him, although what works for one doesn't always work for others. He is currently in a playgroup and has been recognised of having a delay, so is now in receipt of an IEP ( Individual Education Plan), for which he recieves 1 to 1, they are teaching him Makaton sign language, which we've all found brilliant. he's started to try and say the word he's signing, it also gets rid of alot of the frustration on all parts because of his lack of speech. Makaton is a very easy sign language to learn for all age groups, so i personally would highly recommend giving this a go.

[deleted account]

Both my nephew and my daughter (both born in 2006) have been in speech therapy.  My daughter was using about 25 words at her 2 year check-up and we were referred to a speech therapist.  As both the pediatrician and the therapist noted, it's easier to fix speech difficulties earlier in life because the learning curve is SO much higher at that age.  My daughter is now out of speech (her delay wasn't horrible and she picked everything up with just 3 months of therapy) and my nephew is now in the pre-school therapy offered through the public schools.  He's now three and just barely putting 3 words together, but he IS making noticeable progress.  He was diagnosed with apraxia shortly after he turned 2.  The only way to know is to ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist and get your son tested.

Felicity - posted on 03/31/2009




Hiya, my youngest son is 3 too. I was already aware his speech was very limited and difficult to understand and have had him refered for speech therapy. I have finally got my first appt through so dont really know how it will go but i just felt if it was going to enable him to communicate better with other children and his nursey teachers it can only be a good thing for him and others around. Its worth speaking to your health visitor. best of luck.

Theresa - posted on 03/29/2009




A good friend of mine had the same issue with her son. At 3 years old he seemed to have limited speech as well. She decided to wait until he was in school before getting him to see a speech therapist. Looking back she said she should have done it sooner. He ended up having to repeat grade one because his speaking ability alone. At least if you have him looked at now, if there is anything to be concerned about it will be easier to correct now instead of later. I also have another friend who had her son at 3 in speech therapy. He was in it for about a month and a half and the results were absolutely amazing. Good Luck :)

Danielle - posted on 03/25/2009




hi my son is 2y and 8months he had his 2 year check and the health visitor noticed kieran didnt have much speech so he got referred 2 a speech therapist kieran also used gestures mostly to get wot he wanted. if your really worried about your son then u should take him 2 docs and they will tell u wot 2 do. kieran got referred 2 a speeech therapist and she told us that mostly if he can get wot he wants by gestures he doesn't need to talk. and also to get him interacting more with other children as young children will need to be told wot they want so gestures won't work

hope this helps

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