Slow Talker...is he normal?

Jami - posted on 07/07/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son is 21 months old & we can't understand hardly anything he says. He talks all the time he just doesn't make it into words we can understand. He has a sister that is 1 year older & she knows what he is saying most of the time. Someone told me that 2nd children often are like this b/c their sibling talks for them so don't have to talk for themselves! Is this normal?

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my 18 month old doesn't say many words and I definately believe that is because my 3yo does plenty of talking for her. My 3yo is very articulate and has a huge vocabulary, so we have been really worried, until we got involved in classes w/ other almost 3yos and realized not many words or not beign clear is very normal even at 3.

Brandi - posted on 07/07/2009

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Well, if he is at least trying to vocalize I wouldnt worry too much. My son who is 7 now is speech impaired and he never vocalized at all until he was about 3. If you feel that it may be a serious issue then I would take him to be tested. The earlier you catch an impairment the better.

Liz - posted on 07/07/2009

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I have a 4 yr old and a 27 month old. From observation, and b/c I'm home with them I can tell you that it isnt really the words his older sister understands but the body language. Dont worry so much about the words getting out, just pay attention to whether he can understand everything or mostly everything you tell him and if he can follow directions. Sometimes they have so much vocabulary that they cant put it together verbally b/c its almost like their head is running much faster than their mouth can at this age, A month ago my 2 year old was stuttering so much I was gonna get him evaluated and now he's over it and finally getting longer and longer sentences out. The best advice I can give you is read to him a lot, and sing to him giving him a chance to hum along the melody, this helps them gain confidence in talking, and no baby talk. Read his body language when he talks and try to understand him, if his sister translateswhat he wants, restate what he is trying to say clearly encouraging him to repeat even if he doesnt correctly, eventually he'll get it. MAke sure you dont stress him out about it and that he cant feel you stressing. You'll be amazed at how much their verbal skills can develop in a couple of weeks. Also, girls tend to talk much faster then boys and its girls nature to help communication happen. Dont worry , this is totally normal!

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Jami - posted on 07/08/2009

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I did not mean to make it sound as if my son was "slow" as far as intelect. He is very smart for his age, he just cant enunciate very well. He knows the tune to most all kids song like "the Itsy-Bitsy Spider" & the ABC's but he just doesn't or cant form the words to where you can understand him. Thanks for all of your help & stories. I feel better now!

User - posted on 07/07/2009

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I'm sorry, I meant that my son had just turned three this past month. My other son is four and a half.

Sarah - posted on 07/07/2009

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My son was like that for awhile, some words actually still sound weird. I would say its normal, every kid is different. Lately hes been talking better. Im starting to believe the younger ones actually talk quicker. Our 2 year old son has learned so many new things to say lately because he hears our 3 year old daughter. So every situation is different. I wouldn't worry, he may babble for quite awhile. I'm sure if it got to the point that the dr says he should talking, then theyll look into it. You never know, he may start talking very soon! I can't believe how many new things my son has said this past week. Sometimes it all comes at once!

User - posted on 07/07/2009

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I have a son that just turned Sunday. He is the second of mine, the fourth for our home. Everyone told me to wait, "he's a boy", "he's the baby", and that he'd eventually get it. He only has articulation problems, he understands just fine. I heard from a friend that in Indiana (where I live) you get free speech until they are three. I had a specialist come out and he qualified for twice weekly therapy sessions, in our home. The therapist has since become a wonderful friend and her advice is why wait? Slowed speech can cause tantrums and lower self esteem (at least for a while until he gets it). My son is starting preschool in two more months, and now hopefully he will be able to better communicate to his peers, his teachers, and now even strangers. He doesn't talk completely better, it is still hard to understand some things, and yes, the therapist says he will pick it up on his own eventually, but I didn't want to have to take time away for others things later (such as school) to get him help. He is very smart for his age, he just has mouth formation problems. So in short, he will most likely get it, that's true, it's probably just a personal preference if he's not slow in other areas, but why wait?

Monique - posted on 07/07/2009

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I can tell you that Im not sure its normal or not but what Ive been told. My son is going to be 4 in july and my daughter just turned 3. Last year i had my son tested because I was dealing with the same thing that he spoke very little and when we did get him to do conversation you couldnt understand a word. His commincation score was low on the eval and threw that i got him put into a half-day pre-k. Now my daughter is the same way but i can tell she is doing a lot better because she talks to her brother who is greaterly improved over the school year.

My suggestion would be to look into a early-steps program in your area. They have to get into the program before they are 36mths though so I would start now cause it takes them about a month to set up the appointments and what not. Once in that when he turns 3 they would transfer him into the school system then.

I was told that a lot of the commication has to do with who they are around. Like my kids were at home with me most of the time and not around other kids. Makes a huge difference when they get with bunch of kids that are talking together then just one person trying to get them to talk back to them.

I hope it helps. Dont freak out either when early steps start talking about needing theraphy for speech and everything else. They told me that my son needed that and basically what i did is through the half-day program they provide a weekly session with the school speech theaphist and thats all i did. And Im sure that after he goes this year for pre-k all day that by next year he will be where he needs to be for the rest of school without the extra help.

It also helps when you ask him over what he said. I do that with my son and daughter. If they ask me something or for something that i can understand I play dumb like I dont know what they mean until they get it close.

Natasha - posted on 07/07/2009

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I wouldnt worry to much about it yet. He is still young and if his sister understands him than its alright. He will talk at his own speed. having an older sibling will help him along.

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