34 answers

2 1/2Yo Not Talking Yet

i have tryed every thing i can think of to get my 2 1/2 almost 3yo to talk but he refuses he will say a few things like no and yah

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I am so glad you asked this question, my 2 yr. old doesn't say much either. These responses are helpful. I am going to call early intervention. Just wanted you to know there are others this age that don't talk but he understands everything, plays well and looks us in the eye. Good luck!

Every child is different. But I would take him to a pediatrician. Is there a hearing problem? Are there other developmental problems. It's best to discover issues early so they can be dealt with. Maybe she just has a quiet personality.

Possibly there is a hearing problem. My niece did not talk until after she was 3 because no one knew there was a problem. She was not sickly at all. After tubes were put in her ears, she was fine.

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The comments by others are definates like having hearing checked and such, but may I offer another alternative. My son was born with club feet. Because he was in casts and a brace for the first two years, he didn't develop a good "cross pattern". I know this sounds weird, but it is true. Crawling is essential to development. My son didn't crawl much. He scooted and then began standing and walking. After him not talking, we talked with someone from "Learning Techniques". They suggested that we get him back on the floor crawling. They also suggested teaching sign language... because it helps get the process going. I kid you not- within a week of practice crawling he began putting words together. This was February last year. He now speaks in full sentences and is doing great. It was a simple fix.

So if your child didn't do a lot of crawling, he may need some practice. It is worth a shot anyway!

1 mom found this helpful

You need to have it checked out- however try signlanguage videos if you haven't. They are wonderful and really help with verbal communication skills also.

I used signing times, but there are others out there. We would check them out from the public library with my first child and then bought 3 of them off line for my second child because we loved them and the public library where we live now didn't carry them.

Hi, T.. It sounds like your little one is a good candidate for speech therapy. My youngest two have needed help with sounds, and basically they play with toys making sound effects to learn sounds in the appropriate developmental order. Perhaps you have a Speech Language Pathologist in your area you can contact directly for screening. Most states have money set aside to pay for early intervention, so your Speech Language Pathologist or doctor would know. Good luck!

My two year old was refusing to talk as well and what i did was when she wanted something i told her use your words and made her ask even if that ment i said each word first and had her copy me it took time but i have her slowly responding. and come to find out people around her was letting her get away with grunting and pointing. once they stopped allowing it she is showing more of a pattern of useing her words

My two boys didn't talk until they were 3. Then they talked in sentences. But if he doesn't talk after his 3rd birthday I would go to the doctor and voice your concerns. That is one of the signs of autism is late speech. But don't be too worried just yet. Give him time to see if it will all come together.

I am so glad you asked this question, my 2 yr. old doesn't say much either. These responses are helpful. I am going to call early intervention. Just wanted you to know there are others this age that don't talk but he understands everything, plays well and looks us in the eye. Good luck!

I would take him into your pediatrician to be evaluated.

Hi T.:
I would definetly get him evaluated my neighbors daughter was doing the same thing she was borderline autism. but, she got her into a speech therapist right away and is doing great now they 1st taught her sign language but early intervention is very important and the state paid for her classes. She also got her the letter factory by leap frog ,and now my daughter who is a couple of months older and spoke very well very early is being surpassed by her. You can get the letter factory at target for only ten dollars and I swear it is a miracle worker. My baby who is only 16 months will sit and watch this and he doesn't sit for anything. And he is saying some of his sounds. Also discovery toys makes a cd It is called sounds like FUN and has a Alphet sounds song that is very catchy and my 16 month old sings it all the time I play it for him every night when he goes to bed it is amazing. Good look to you.

What does your Pediatrician say? Is he or she concerned? Have you had his hearing checked? I would say if he understands fully what you are saying he may just have a speech delay and needs some extra therapy to start the process going. Has he ever said much of anything? Does he look at you when you speak or respond to noise? I would have him evaluated just to rule out anything that could benefit from early intervention.
Call your Dr, set up an appt and ask for a referral on a speech therapist.

You need to get him tested. There are many places that test for free. Look up your early childhood development center in your town(you can check with the elem school). The good news is that lots of times the earlier that it is caught the faster it can be fixed. If he seems to be hitting all of his other developmental goals than you dont have much to worrie about(the progress will be quick). If not then it is twice as important that the intervention happens sooner then latter. Dont wait. Get him in soon!!

I agree that you should get him tested. If there is a problem, early intervention is most effective. If you find there's not a problem, then you can stop losing sleep over it. Someone mentioned Child Find, which was a Godsend for us. I think it's a statewide program in Colorado. We got the number from our pediatrician. Here's a happy ending story, just so you know that there are some:

When my daughter was 2 1/2, I was panicked that she might be autistic. She had several of the red flags that I kept reading about, the most important one being that she hardly talked. When she did talk, she didn't use many words, and I couldn't understand most of what she said. We got her evaluated, and then a speech therapist started coming to our house. She was wonderful. My daughter immediately started talking more. When she turned three, she started going to a preschool with a speech program, and that has helped tremendously as well. She has turned into a chatterbox, and no one could possibly think she is autistic now.

Good luck figuring it out!

I know there are a lot of opionions in this and yes, some kids do talk later than others. But it can become an issue once in school. I have a 5 yr old boy who was not speaking at 3. He would speak a little, but make lots of noises in his speech too. At 3 1/2 he started in speech therapy, and is still in speech therapy now. He is in kindergarden, and having a hard time with reading and the building blocks to being able to read. It can effect them with school. I think that if you are concerned, then have him evaluated. I know it can seem rediculous to do it so early, but it can help them in the long run. It is just heartbreaking to be told that your son doesn't want to play with the other kids when it invloves a lot of speaking.

C. M

Hi T.,
My name is M. and I'm a single mom with a 20 year old son and 22 year old daughter both in college. But it seems like yesterday that they were little like your son! But I wanted to share my story with you. My daughter talked right away when she was little and from what I learned from other moms, their girls were definitely more talkative than the boys. Also, my daughter has an outgoing personality and wasn't shy about talking. My son is on the shy side and didn't really start talking until 4 years old!! So please don't get discouraged that your son isn't that verbal yet. You might want to get your son's hearing checked out just to make sure he is hearing sounds properly. Also, just keep talking to your son and read a lot of books to him. I had my kids listen to classical music from the time they were babies as that is found to be great for their brain development so I would recommend music by Mozart and Bach. Also, my kids loved to watch Sesame Street and I'm not saying let your son watch tv all day but Sesame Street helped my my kids with language and my kids taught themselves some Spanish from Sesame Street as they used to speak some Spanish on the show. It's very important not to get upset and frustrated with your son that he isn't speaking in complete sentences or even using many words yet. Some kids are late bloomers as I saw that my son was. I know it's so easy to compare our kids to other kids and feel that maybe our kids aren't progressing fast enough. My son also learned to read later than most other kids but he did eventually learn plus when he started piano and drum lessons in 3rd grade, that helped him so much with school and he graduated from high school with honors!! T., just keep reading to him (that's very very important so he can hear words spoken to him) and show your son very simple children's books with pictures and point the picture out to your son and say the word slowly. Make sure your son can see your face when you pronounce the word as a lot of kids are visual learners and actually need to see someone's face and lips as they say the word to understand. Get his hearing checked out and just relax. I was so worried about my son not talking early like his sister and now I can look back and wish I could have not stressed about it! Kids all learn differently! Take care.

Every child is different. But I would take him to a pediatrician. Is there a hearing problem? Are there other developmental problems. It's best to discover issues early so they can be dealt with. Maybe she just has a quiet personality.

Not talking and social withdrawal are signs of autism, which has a tremendous range of severity. My friend's son functions great at school academically, gets good grades, but has a hard time with friends and classmates. He will be able to live on his own with no problems, but when he was little he didn't speak much and avoided high stimulus areas. He also needs things "black and white", which makes it hard to explain emotions such as compassion and empathy. So I would suggest talking with your pediatrician about it to see if he has any other warning signs before he enters school.
R. O.

My first child didn't talk until she was past 2 years old too. I realized it was because I could tell what she needed before she even made a noise. I started to wait to give her things until she attempted to ask or answer me. I also started to teach her baby ASL (American Sign Language) there are lots of products out there to help, videos posters books.... Once you learn the basics you can sign it and say it to them and help them sign it and eventually they will do it to. My phrase that I would say to her is "you have to sign it or say it" It takes a while, but that encouragement along with any therapy that they see fit, will help immensely.
Gook luck

Go see a specialist. He might have a speech delay or a disorder. Good luck.

Possibly there is a hearing problem. My niece did not talk until after she was 3 because no one knew there was a problem. She was not sickly at all. After tubes were put in her ears, she was fine.

My son began with mama, dada, etc around one year but after a few months only grunted. Our doctor said he didnt need to speak because others were doing it for him. He had also ruptured his ear drums 4 times over winter. Still the doctor said he was fine. After being very persistant with the doctor we got his hearing checked. The results he was deaf in one ear and tone deaf in the other. He got tubes and within less than a week began to speak. He went through 3 years of speach therapy. He is now a thriving 11 year old, very articulate & intelligent, but I still feel he struggles sometimes. I wonder if it would have been caught sooner if he wouldnt be struggling now. I would say don't worry, but do not delay in getting his hearing checked (esp. if he has had ear infections). If nothing is wrong at least you have peace of mind and you can just keep encouraging him. A mothers intuition is usually right.

T., dear, check out Einstein's bio: he didn't speak, if I remember right, 'till he was about 5. There are more genuine minds who do not speak early.
I was a quiet kid, and did not WANT to speak, I saw no reason for it. I was THINKING.
NOW, go from the positive side, do not get frustrated at all,
but if you feel you want to know something from doctors, ask them also.
Now, if he does not speak it does not mean he does not understand, right?!
So, I'd suggest you talk to him about everything, read him tales, sing to him (this is a great device, btw), think aloud, what do you want to buy in the store: see, if he listens to you attentively. If he does, he most probably understands all what you say. Talking can come either out of a suddent all at once and clear, or gradually, slowly getting accustomed to this 'device'.
DO NOT PANICK, T. !!!!!! This is extremely important, as your mood and emotions create either friendly or unfriendly atmosphoere: you are like that Fairy who creates the environment. THink what is beneficial for you both, and do it; tears and fear and panick and frustration do not help A BIT but take away your energy,t hat's all.SO please do not waste energy, and take it all calmly, enjoy the time together, and do what good you can do, every moment.
Again, if you really worry in your heart, go to the doctor and talk, ask for advice, but NO PANICK, okay?! :)

I'm also a mom of a 2-1/2 yr old. Something worth trying if you haven't already... When reading or doing anything, even long before my son was talking, I would point to pictures or objects (spoon, plate, etc.)and ask 'What's that?' I'd say & repeat the words to him before he could talk. He eventually starting saying/mumbling the words. Don't let it bother you too much. We all have something like this going on...my son has no interest in the potty and I know younger kids who are potty trained. Best Wishes.

If you're in the Boulder/Broomfield area check out Child Find. They do a great exam of all areas of development. If you can't find a number, call the school district or Parenting Place in Boulder. Getting info is what counts and good luck.



My now three-year-old son wasn't saying more than a couple of words at 2 1/2 so I called The Resource Exchange, (I got their number by calling HeadStart) they specialize in early invention from birth to age 3. They came out and did a full assessment of my son and agreed that he could benefit from speech therapy. They sent a Speech Therapist to my house once a week for an hour for FREE. They will also go to your child's Daycare/Preschool to do onsite therapy if you are working for FREE. Plus when he turns three he could qualify for FREE preschool in the school district. This service is available regardless of your income, they never even asked about our income.

Good Luck!

Hi T., my son is 3 1/2 and he just started to talk. When he was 2 1/2 he only said a handfull of words. The one thing that I am doing now that I think has helped him alot is when I talk to my son I talk to him not as if he has a delay in speech but as if he knows all the words in the dictionary and I always repeat myself so he is exposed to more words. We still have along way to go but I do see an improvement with him in the last 3 months. I would say talk to his doctor and give him time.

I have the same kid at my house. I started speech therapy about 3 months ago. I'm not convinced they are helping that much though. She seems to focus more on sign language and less on making sounds. My son does do whatever she says though. If she tells him to make a sound he does it, but we really haven't added many words to his vocab. He probably has less than 20 words right now. I'm going to keep up the therapy because the Dr.s recommend it and i want to feel like I'm doing everything possible for him, but my gut tells me he will talk when he's ready and can figure it out. Good Luck!

Have a speech therapist come to the house for an evaluation.

I would try to get him to speak by picking up some of his toys and saying what it is to him. Keeping repeating until he tries to answer. If working with him like this has already failed, then I would call his pediatrician. My son had some problems forming words and he is now doing speech therapy. Get a referral from your doctor first so your insurance will pay for the test. Just let the doctor know that you are really concerned and want to make sure your son has the best start possible so he is not behind other children his age.

Hi T., My grandson is 2.3 years old, and only says a few words too. The pediatrician says it is normal, that some kids don't get chatting until they are almost three. It is frustrating to say the least. His big brother is almost 5 and was talking at 22 months. So it just depends I guess on the child.

Have a great week!

Well, first I would talk with your dr and see if you can get him involved in a speech program. My daughter was also 2 1/2 almost 3 and wasn't talking and that is where I started. It didn't seem to be making much of a difference at first, though. I had bought those DVD's by LeapFrog for both my daughters to learn their letters. I think the first one was the LETTER FACTORY. In it they sing a song that goes.. the "A say Ah", the "B says Ba".. well, it's hard to type, but I'm sure you know what I mean. Anyway, within a week of buying these videos, my daughter was saying more sounds than she ever had before. She wasn't talking yet, obviously, but she was forming more kinds of sounds for sure. Her therapist was amazed at the change in her. Maybe it was coincidence, who knows, but it worked for us! I hope this helps!

I would get him evaluated. I'm not sure about NE, but you might try Child Find or Early Childhood Connections and see if they are in your area. All the care is free. We are signed up with ECC for our 20 mo old and he is getting great help! He's learned a new word everytime he's been seen and we haven't even started therapy yet. The people are great. Our son is not outgowing and they give him time and he has loved them and played very well. The papers they gave us today said a child should have at least 450 words they use by the time they are 2 1/2. I didn't get a sheet for 3, but it sounds like your son could benefit, not to mention you, as life would be less frustrating for both. :) I know here, they can have therapy any time of day that works for you, and it's all done at home, so it wouldn't conflict with your work hours. The evals might be a problem as they'll start with a hearing test if he hasn't had one recently.

Hi T.,

I would contact the school district that you live in and get your son accessed. I just took my daugther to the Granite School District yesterday and they are wonderful. I have listed the info I found when I was looking.
If he needs help then like the others said, it should be free. I was not asked anything about my finances at all.

I moved from wyoming a couple years ago and there was tons of encouragement to have your children's development screened once before that age of 2, which can identify problems sooner and start the resolution sooner. There is not the same encouragement here, but it is a really good idea and it seems that the resources are available just the same.
Jordan Child Development Center.
7501 S. 1000 E. Midvale, UT 84047 ###-###-####
Granite School District
2500 S. State St.

Kind Regards,

Hi T.,
Look up information on Selective Mutism...my son wasn't talking to anyone but me, my husband and my daughter at 3 years old and we found out about this from a relative who saw a 20/20 show about SM. Turns out he had so much anxiety about putting himself out there that he couldn't speak. He is 12 now and still has more anxiety than the average boy, still a target for bullies, but he is speaking, talking to teachers when addressed, and able to communicate. If you would like more info from me I would be happy to share with you - just email and request me at ____@____.com. I look forward to hearing how this turns out for you. If your child has SM, it is pretty rare, but there are solutions.

Don't worry too much if you can help it. Some children just talk later. My middle son didn't talk until he was 3 but then he started out with perfect sentences. He now has straight A's in school and is a fantastic reader. Have you spoken with your pediatrician about this?

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