25 answers

2 1/2 Year Old Son Not Talking

PLEASE someone help me with advice as to what I can do to get my son to talk! He wasn't premature, he's healthy and really smart understands everything just isn't talking to much. People said it was him learning English and Spanish at the same time. Any ideas?

What can I do next?

More Answers

I would try to contact someone for some speech therapy. Encouraging the child to "use yoru words" helps alot too, or sign language. Using some sign language and saying the word at the same time (that is key) works wonders! There are tons of books out there but check them first. Some use "baby sign language" and others use American Sign Language which your son can use into adulthood. I love "The Complete Idiots Guide To Sign Language" it should be the only book you'll need. Hope everything works out for you, good luck!

My son is 2 1/2 and he doest talk much either. He says Mama, Dada, Kitty, Doggy, Ball, Bowl, More. And thats about it. What I find funny is he knows all his animal sounds. Cows, Sheep, Pig, Bear...He learned them all in an evenings time. But, he doesnt say words. He is very smart and very analytical. He loves building things and playing with his Thomas Trains. He can put the tracks together. Its amazing to watch him and his little mind work, he just doesnt talk.
My pediatrician shows a little concern. But, I dont. Like another mom said, we knows our children the best. And if there was something wrong with them, we would know it in our gut.
I just continue to talk to him, and show him things, and tell him what they are. I know someday he will start talking. I hope its soon.
I hold things up like his juice and ask him what it is. He says DAT. Everything is DAT. When I push him to say JUICE, he gets frustrated with me. So I dont push him. He is just learning things at his own pace.

My friend's son was 2 and 1/2 when he started getting a speech therapist visit once a day.
His family spreaks spanish in the home, as well as english.
Of course so did the baby, but whatever he was indicating was expressed by caveman sounds and jibberish.
I never understood one word! After a few weeks I noticed a huge difference.
He clearly was saying several words. Now he has been in the program for a few months and is talking normal (for a baby) He even says all of our names.
Ask your doctor about a speech therapist. I saw it work magic from a personal experience.

We used to joke about my son, that he was speaking Japanese, because he spoke something that seemed less like English. Does it run in the family? It runs in mine. My son is 6 and he doesn't talk much...but more and more everyday, he's talking.

I would send your little one to school, the headstart, etc.. I would also have his speech and hearing tested.

It could be the bilingual thing. my brother didnt talk until he was 4 and it was all itailin.
But however my son is not bilingual. He talks but not well. his speach isnt wear it should be for a 4 (in march) yearold.
He's a little bacwards he talked better when he was younger.
any how. we do flash cards leepfrog videos Maybe you should try just using th eone language. just for a while. And talk to the pedi about wether he has maybe hearign issues or speach. see what they say before you panic. and get flash cards and constintly work with him. Its hard but you have to enunciate everything when doing this. (its a pain in the but)the good news kinda sorta. is once he's 3 you could call the school system and demand a pt theyll have the speach pathologist check him and then help him with his speach. what town do you live in?

My son Jose who is now 9 yrs old, when he was 2 1/2 yrs old he talked but 2 or 3 words. The reason why my son was born with a genetic disability which caused developmental delay. He is a special needs student. He also has adhd and ocd. he is getting occupational and speech therapy in school. he is doing so much better. He still mumbles a little but he reads and can carry a conversation alot better than when he was younger. With your child it might not be the same case but you should talk to his pediatrician and have them refer you to specialists. First thing they will do an mri or see a geneticist or neurologist. I really don't think it has to do with speaking to him in both languages because my mother and father talked to me in english and spanish when I was younger and I speak well in both languages.

i would contact my local health department and find out if they have an early intervention program for some speech therapy.

My youngest son is just over 2 yrs old, only thing he was saying was ot for hot and mom. Had him evaluated for early intervention which come to my house 2 days a week now for 30 min. He now says, I want that, es for yes, no, stop etc etc. He signs for please and help me etc. I thought it ludacris that 30 min of play would get him to talk, but it works! Figured last of 3 children he would hear all the talking and just do it. I also have had his hearing checked twice, he is scheduled for ear,nose,and throat surgery end of Feb. Fluid can flucuate in their middle ears, knowing this and his speech dealy I opted for tubes, if it helps eleviate the fluid flucation which can muffle sounds. I know pacifiers are debated on, all my children had one first two no speech delay, my youngest has one and the difference with him is he sucks it all the time, where the other two just held it in their mouths and talked around it. The speech pathologist said that when the children suck constantly they are not moving their tongues around and exploring. I hope this information has helped!! Good luck, Contacting Early Intervention and getting your childs hearing checked is where I started.

It is true that bilingual children can be speech delayed. But I would talk to my Pedi about it. Maybe he needs to have his hearing checked again. Or find out about what kinds of therapy there are in your area.

Try contacting your local early intervention program. If you don't know the number just google it. They are a huge help trust me. It has nothing to do with learning 2 languages my son was only learning one and he still didn't talk until he was almost 3 now he won't be quiet. lol

they also call the program early intervention. the speech therapist comes right to your home and does wonders. you should look into it they will give you exercises to do with you're son to help him learn

Hi S.,

I know how you feel, my son went throught the same thing. I have written about it a couple times, the latest being here:

how can i encourage my son to talk more?

Carla B

Thu. Dec. 28, 2006

Look up this post and you will see many good ideas and suggestions. I don't know if you have an early intervention program like Birth to Three (in CT) in New Jersey, but if you do you should have him screened. If not you can have the pediatrician do a screening and get him a hearing test; if this doesn't resolve the issue you can have the school system test him once he turns three. I must say from my own son's experience that early intervention is miraculous; he went from saying two words and climbing the walls to saying five words sentences within a span of about eight months. His tutors are always professional and they genuinely care about his well-being. Anyhow I hope this helps, and just remember he will talk eventually--Einstein didn't talk until he was four.

Take care,


I've actually heard that learning both languages so early is great for children. Have you spoken to your doctor? Is he saying anything at all? We had a problem with my step daughter around that age. We took her to have her hearing check and to a speech therapist. Basically all that came out of it was that as long as they are healthy they will speak when they are ready. I personally think it's great to have a child speak bilingually. My 3 year old son has no spanish influence and I still try to allow him to have atleast a mild understanding as best I can. Good Luck with everything!!

I can certainly see that you would be worried about your son not talking yet because statistically most children would be. Dont worry, you said yourself he is smart and understands everything you are saying. Some children just arent chatty. My nephew had no learning disabilities and was very smart and like your son understood everything we said but he didnt start speaking more than a few words until he was 3yrs. old. He is now 9 and we cant get him to be quiet!All kids are different and i wouldnt worry about him yet,unless you feel that there really is something to worry about. Go with your gut,you know your son better than anyone and if you feel that he is healthy then he probably is. If this problem is really nagging at you speak to his doctor and if that doesnt satisfy you, you can look into speach therapy. Good luck to you both and please keep me posted, i'm curious about him being bilingual, my daughter was just born 2 weeks ago and her father really wants her to speak spanish as well as english, however i dont speak spanish at all and am also afraid she will be confused because he isnt fluent in English and only speaks to her in spanish,while i only speak to her in english. I hope i have been a little helpful to you, and perhaps you could be for me also.please let me know how things turn out. ~R. R

well S. all i can say is dont worry too much i know how frustrating it can be, i have a now just turning 4 on sunday, son named zachary he too would not talk at this age, in fact he only really just started talkig last summer, we went on a 2 month trip to london (i am a brit lol) and whilst there he was around alot of older kids (10yrs +) and when he would try to interact with them they couldn't understand his speech (where as i understood most things) well i beleive because of this it forced him to try alot harder with his words, and now is doing alot better still not perfect but other people can understand him now. some people used to say it was my fault for just giving him what he wanted and not making him use words i.e, he would just make sounds if he wanted a drink and i would just know what he wanted and give it to him, where as i should have been making him use his words "juicy" or "milk" therefor he just simply became lazy. but my theory on this is that because my husband is american and so he speaks with an american accent and i am british and have a strong east london accent, and although he had no problems understanding both of us it somehow confused him hearing the same words being pronounced differently. so if you are a bi-lingual family maybe this is where the problem is, i do beleive thats where my son had a problem. anyway hope my story helps you a little and good luck !!!

You may be eligible for free speech therapy from your state. It does not matter if he is intelligent or healthy, if there is a significant delay (and they will test him for it), they are obligated to provide him services to get him caught up with his peers. The state is responsible until he is three and the school system thereafter. In the meantime, buy flashcards & verbalize everything you do (in either language). Good luck.


I don't know if this helps, but you mentioned that he was really smart. Sometimes when a child is very intelligent their speech is delayed because its hard for them to express the advanced intelligence in words. It may sound weird but I have seen it several times and it is often misdiagnosed as autism. My brother-in-law was the same way and it turned out he was a genius. sometimes it helps to teach sign language also. Good luck, I hope this helped.

My best friend just went through the same thing with her son. She ended up having to have his adenoids removed and shockingly, his vocabulary shot up. It may be worth checking out... good luck!

i dont think it is learning 2 languages at once...that is not complicated for children...i would try teaching him a little bit of sign language...for some reason this they pick u p quicker than any vocal language...my son first started learnng sign when he was about one & he hasnt stopped talking since...lol he is also learning english & spanish...there are many websites & many companies that do the sign for babies...but my favorite is signingtime.com ...check out the website...good luck

my son definitely took his time talking, too. while i have heard that speech therapy works wonders (a lot of school districts offer it for free, after evaluation), we bought my little guy some of the baby einstein dvd's. they say different words, colors, numbers, letters, animals, etc. out loud and clear. what i did is when ever it was on the tv, no matter what i was doing or where, i would always repeat it whenever they said a word out loud. it got to the point where my son started to do it too. it took about 2 weeks of me just keeping the dvd on all the time, even if we were in another room, and every time they said a word, i repeated it, nice and loud. it worked real good, took a lot of patience, but did work-regardless. now we can't shut him up!!!! he he, good luck!

I would have him evaluated for sure. .But if they don’t find anything wrong I’d suggest doing what we did with my sisters son. He understood things fine just didn't want to talk, with my sisters son we all had the tendency to give him what he wanted when he pointed or whined for it. The key in getting him to talk was talking to him, when he pointed we would ask things like “you want your cup?” and after a short while of saying what it was he wanted we started to ask “what is it you want“ (its going to sound horrible) and if he refused to try to tell us what is he wants he didn‘t get it, but as long as he put the effort in to asking or saying what it is he wants we gave it to him. Eventually, he learned that if he didn’t try he wouldn’t get what he wanted. . . . The end result was him learning to talk.

hi, my son is 2 1/2 & is not talking either. actually he does talk but 90% of it is not understandable. i had early intervention evaluate him 6 months ago & he did not qualify. now it is 6 months later & his speech is not improving. e.i. is coming again on wednesday to evaluate him again. my son understands everything i say also...it is very frusterating for him & me also. i am very concerned & dont know what to do if e.i. does not qualify him again. you can always have an evaluation done for your son to see if he has a speech delay. it cant hurt...only help! i hope everything goes well for the both of us & hope they are just "not ready" to talk yet! please keep me posted, i would love to know how things are going...

The fact that your son is learning 2 languages is a help, not a hindrance. Learning 2 languages is not the problem. You need to create situations where he has to talk. If he doesn't use words to ask for something, don't give it to him. When he uses his words, praise him and compliment him. He needs positive reinforcement so that speaking becomes valuable to him.

It's also possible that he needs some help, so you should call your local preschool/kindergarten programs and ask to have him evaluated. If he qualifies for speech therapy, he'll be entitled to receive it. This is all free. Your town may call the program Birth To Three. It's worth having him evaluated even if all he needs is a little help with motivation.

You may wan't to get him evaluated for early intervention. If you are not sure how to obtain these services ask around in the school districts. I am sure you can get some information there.

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