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3 Year Old--communication Skills

My daughter turned 3 in Feb. I know I shouldnt compare my daughter with other children, but I cant help it. I hear other 3 year olds talking and their sentence structure and pronunciations are better than my daughters(some of them). She's is improving, but likes to revert to the baby talking stage constantly. I have her play a little game where I say complete sentences..such as..'Mama I would like to have some juice please' or 'Mama, look at the dog over there'. I'll have her repeat after me. She does a good job with that. Every now and them she'll repeat it on her own at the 'right' time and I celebrate when she does. But most of the time she'll just sa, 'JUICE' or 'DOG' or do that baa-baa-bee-bee baby talk and she swears she saying something I can understand. My little girl is smart, I think I'm might be just 'freakin' out a little. Probably need to calm down and work with her a little more...or just let nature take its course. Any suggestions?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I would like to thank everybody for their responses! My first step will be to get her evaluated. To be honest, I really dont think anything is 'seriously' wrong, just me doing the comparing other 3 year old gig. Since this posting her speeh has improved. But, I will get her tested and keep ya'll updated. Thanks again and God Bless!
**A YEAR LATER MAY 2009***
wOW!! My, how time flies!! I didnt have her tested, figured I was freakin out for no reason..didnt want to stress her out.
I enrolled my daughter into school of Dec 08. Within a month, I was hearing the difference in her speech. Her vocab increased, her pronunciation was better. Month by month everything improved. She still flashes back every now and then to the baby talk, but I just tell her..your not a baby anymore..dont talk like one.
So, the moral of the story is.....my daughter is a single child. She doesnt have the older sibling or other sibling to talk to on a regular basis. Most of her time was spent at a daycare with alot of young kids. Since she was surrounded by the 'baby talk' most of the time, that is what she picked up. Now I cant get her to hush...hee-heeee!!!

Featured Answers

I would suggest having her speech evaluated, just in case. It's better to deal with any issues while children are as young as possible & there brains are still in overdrive. And if she's evaluated & doesn't qualify for services, then you needn't worry. You can call the DARS line for Early Childhood Intervention at 1-800-628-5115.

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has her pedi said anything about it. My daughter is 16 months and pedi makes her talk at every appointment to see where she is at verbally! Also, since day one, no baby talk from us! We have talked to her the way we talk to each other and she can now talk in simple sentences. As long as doc does not see a problem, I would not sweat it too much!

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I know this is tough, and haven't really experienced exactly what you are, but if you don't give the juice or whatever to her until she responds the way you want her to, it might help. It will probably take patience, but it will get better if she realizes she has to do it. Somtimes it's a matter of who is the most determined to get her way. I have taught school for 11 years, and it works if you can be consistent.
Good Luck,
G. Biggi

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This is long, but I hope it gives you an idea as to where to start. I am giving as much info as possible to help others who have children UNDER 3, as well as OVER 3.

My son does the same thing. We noticed at about 2 1/2 simply because my stepson (who is now 24) is 87% deaf. So when we started this, we were going in to this with my husband thinking our youngest was also deaf, but I KNEW he wasn't. I could softly say things like ice cream in one room and he'd come running from the other room :) Thankfully my husband insisted on getting him checked. It has made all of the difference in the world.

I just thought he was "average" compared with our daughter who was speaking complete phrases such as "How disgusting. Somebody has really bad gas!" at the age 18 months and EVERYBODY could understand her. No exaggeration - she really said that at a party when an uncle let out an SBD (silent but deadly). It was hilarious! She had a vocabulary that most kids don't develop until 1st or second grade because she hears "big" words in everyday conversation and we will give a definition if the kids ask. She is 8 1/2 but can read on a 12 year old level or higher.

Some people will say "she'll grow out of it", but what if she doesn't? She then won't get help until Kindergarten which will be even more frustrating for her. Because he started speaking late, my son does have a bit of "baby sound" to his speech. He has the vocabulary of a 1st grader, but his voice sounds like a 3 year old compared to other 5 year olds because of his pronunciation. My son is just-turned-five and is just now, over the last few months, getting a grasp on the sounds of the Alphabet because he didn't know how to make his mouth work. Since he couldn't say them, he didn't want to learn them. He LOVES the DVD by LeapFrog called "The Letter Factory". It has helped so much in pronouncing the letters he sees. It teaches more of the SOUNDS of the letters than the NAMES, which for him is more important to me.

First, we have never spoken "baby" to him or our daughter, but he had "baby" words for most of everything. He would say the baby word, I would repeat the real word (if I figured it out), then he would say "yes, that", repeat it as correctly as he could and the next time he would say it his way again. If not, then he grew so frustrated that he would literally hit himself on the head or bang his head on the wall or cabinet or start throwing things - not a typical temper tantrum, but almost grown man sized anger. He was not playing any "games" about this, he was truly having a problem with making the words come out right. That has gone away since he can make himself understood now. Now it's just "go to the corner, 5 year old" tanrums once in a great while.

I could only truly understand about 30% of what he said and the rest I translated out of what I knew he was TRYING to say, my husband could only understand about 15% and I had to translate everything else for him, strangers could not understand him but maybe 10% of the time. My little one would repeat what he was saying over and over and over again until he just flew into a rage totally out of proportion for a 2-3 year old. He has gotten really good at charades because he would act out what he tried to say if he couldn't make us understand. Here's what we did to get help.

We took him to his pediatrician and got a referral to a Pediatriac Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. Our Health Insurance covered the tests, we just paid our usual Specialist co-pays. They set him up for a sedated hearing test. This is done in a hospital so that he has a bed to lie in and all that. They give him a med to make him sleepy and place an earbud that is hooked up to a computer in one ear and do a series of tests (they cover things like sounds to pressure in the ear), then do the other side. Be prepared, my son fought the meds, so they had to give about 3 doses before he would even just lie quietly for a while. They err on the side of caution and don't give "big" doses to begin with, so it's a little at a time. My son had a slight cold that morning, so his right ear showed a little bit of pressure that they were concerned about, but they didn't push about it since I knew he had a stuffy nose that day.

Next they set him up for the hearing test in the ENT's office where he sits in a little room and they activate sounds of different levels around him to see if he looks at the sounds. They let me sit with him in my lap, so long as I just sat there and didn't give ANY hints to him about where the sounds were coming from. This is more helpful at this age because some kids this age don't always understand the "raise your left hand when you hear something in your left ear and your right hand for your right ear" instructions.

After all of the tests, my son was diagnosed with hearing that is as perfect as possible. He is extremely intelligent like your little one. They recommended that I call Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) since he was under the age of 3. He only qualifies until age 3. They receive grants which fund them. My husband was making about $35,000 with a family of 4 at the time and we were covered by the Family Cost Share. They recently REALLY raised how much you can make and still receive free services. They can also help you with what you need to know about contacting your school, since she's three. Through your school district, it is at NO EXTRA charge to you. It is paid for by school taxes. They got me in contact with Brighton Learning and they verified that my son had a speech delay, not a learning diability. After this, I started making lists of which sounds he said correctly, which sounds he substitued for others, how he dropped the beginning, middle AND endings of words and just said the vowel sounds (ih-e instead if Sissy - he still calls his sister E-E and E-on because he can't pronounce the v in Yvie or Yvonne), naming a stuffed animal "gah-gah" instead "dog-dog" because he would switch the beginning and ending sounds, drop the 'd' but keep the middle sounds in place, which words he couldn't wrap his little mind around, which words he added to his "correctly said" list, etc.

http://www.dars.state.tx.us/ecis/FCSFeeScale.pdf This is the page for the fee scale.

http://www.dars.state.tx.us/ecis/index.shtml This is the website about ECI.

Once he turned 3, we had to contact our elementary school. Thankfully it's the one he will attend for Kinder. First we had to fill out the enrollment forms as if he were starting Kinder: shot records, SSN, proof of residency, vision and hearing exams (plenty of those), etc. We took in all of the hearing test results.

First they set up a test for my son with the Speech Pathologist. It asks A LOT of questions. It tests where the child is developmentally, but more importantly it shows the Speech Pathologist how he pronounces words, which sounds he knows and doesn't know, how he mispronounces sounds and words, which sounds he mixes up, etc. The test can take a while and we actually had to let him stop for the morning because it ran into his nap time and he stopped responding to questions that I knew he knew the anwers to, so we set up an appointment to come back and finish the test. I never helped him answer, but sometimes I would help ask a question the way he had heard it before with out telling him what to say. It was good that I didn't "give" him answers because that can give him a better score than he deserved and he wouldn't have qualified for help.

They then set up a meeting with us called an ARD: Admissions, Reviews, & Dismissals. This is a meeting with the Speech Pathologist and a school counselor. It helps in placing children with Special Needs in the correct classes, whether it is for speech or for Down's Syndrome. They do not lump each Need with all of the others, they group them according to the help needed. They went over the results of his test. On his knowledge for his age he got an 86% which just means that he he's right on target for what he is supposed to know (no parent can teach their child 100% of everything). However, on what he could SAY OUT LOUD he received a whopping score of 9%! He was correctly saying 9% of what a 3 year old should be able to say. What my husband and I had noticed and what I had listed from the beginning was pretty much on the nose.

The problem my son has been diagnosed with is that his brain KNOWS the word. He thinks the word, tries to say the word and it gets all mixed up when his mouth tries to form the word. What his teacher is helping him do is think how his mouth needs to move to make each sound in combination with other sounds to make the word.

My son began 30 minute classes twice a week. He did not qualify for Pre-K based on my husband's income or any of the other requirements for Pre-K. I'm a SAHM, so scheduling is not an issue for me. The only other way he could have qualified is if I had pushed for him to be labeled "Special Needs" in other areas. They suggested that I not do that since he doesn't have any mental or physical challenges because this would have stayed on his school record and is difficult to remove later. "Why do you want the Special Needs taken off his record? If he is not Special Needs why did you have him labeled that way? etc." Hard to prove he's not special needs if I had lied to get him in.

He has been going class for the last 2 years. They work on specific sounds at a time. They started with final k, until he could say that without being reminded most of the time, the to another sound, always working with ONE sound at a time until he was usually saying the sound on his own or correcting himself on his own with that sound. He loves class and he loves his teacher, Miss Christa. He has gone from being understood by only me, to being understandable to strangers about 80% of the time, unless he gets excited and starts talking too fast to control his speech... Just mention trains and I have to either start translating or try to make him slow down and think about forming his words. He speaks slower now and with more forethought. If he can't remember how to say a word, he'll stop and ask "Mommy, what's that word I'm thinking 'bout?" or "How do say it again?" I ask him what the word means, he'll define the word and I'll ask "Do you mean /this/?" "Yeah! That's word! /this/!" My son has gotten to the point where he will say a word wrong, stop, and repeat the word correctly or ask for help. I watch him as he speaks so that I can tell if he's having trouble with a particular word. When he says a word incorrectly, we just ask him to repeat it once or twice, then go on. We don't have "class time" at home. We just work on it as it comes up. His teacher says that is really a good way of not making him self-concious but still making him think about forming his sounds. Sometimes he will say it's time to "work on his words" and will work on the words his teacher sends home or reinforce words/sounds he has already gotten pretty good at.

He gets reviewed every year on how he's doing and when they AND we feel he no longer needs help, then he will no longer go to speech class. For now though, he will start Kinder this fall and will only be taken out of his regular classroom twice a week for half an hour, and he will have speech class with other students then. Since he wasn't in a "class" this year he had solo sessions.

My husband was away for a week recently and we noticed that my son spoke clearer on the phone. I asked his teacher and she said it's because he can hear himself and that helps a lot of kids. She said they will assign him a little take-home phone when he starts school next year if I like but that I can pick one up at Lakeshore Learning for $4 to use over the summer and it's THE SAME ONE. Guess what I'm getting after we pay bills!

Well, sorry this took so much space to write, but I'm passionate about speech pathology, now, and there is so much involved in getting the process started to get your child help if she needs it. You know her best, if YOU feel she needs, she probably does, and if she doesn't then you can rest having taken that pressure off.

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I would suggest having her speech evaluated, just in case. It's better to deal with any issues while children are as young as possible & there brains are still in overdrive. And if she's evaluated & doesn't qualify for services, then you needn't worry. You can call the DARS line for Early Childhood Intervention at 1-800-628-5115.

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has her pedi said anything about it. My daughter is 16 months and pedi makes her talk at every appointment to see where she is at verbally! Also, since day one, no baby talk from us! We have talked to her the way we talk to each other and she can now talk in simple sentences. As long as doc does not see a problem, I would not sweat it too much!

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Keep a journal of anything that happens with her speech. You can have the school district evaluate her. If she qualifies for services the school will provide them. Ages birth to 3 is usually services by Easter Seals or Brighton. It really depends on where you live. Also look at your daughters diet. My 2.5yr old looses processing skills when she has dairy and gluten. My family is on a GF/CF diet. If possible look into supplementing her diet. Maybe have her tested to look for missing nutrients in her diet. My eldest had a hair & urine analyis done. She has been gaining & losing speech of a long time. She has been diagnosed with autism. Well, I can ramble on forever here. My oldest daughter age 5 is still non verbal but can sign complete thoughts. I put her on a special diet. I saw some change but she stiil was having learing issues. I gave her some new vitamin I heard about in Jenny MC Carthy's book. My little girl was changing in a positive way. I found a doctor who evaluated her blood work & we have taken certain foods out of her diet & incresed nutrition support. Tests also revealed huge amount of yeast in her tummy. Most likely that was caused by all the antibotics she took. My daughter is looking at me, she's responding to me verbally. We are seeing improve ment a little at a time.

The doctor I found is called a DAN!(Defeat Autism Now) doctor.

take care

Write if you have any questions. You are awesome mom for noticing and looking for answers.

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This is ok. when she get in to school they will help her just like you are helping her. She is still young and use to just saying small words. with her words "baa-baa-bee-bee" she maybe trying to get the words right and just cant figure them out. If you hear this just ask her to point if you dont know what she is saying then say what it is and have her say it. My son use to use the trird person talking....that was really hard to break, what it took was him going in to pre-k and learning. I hope this helps some. Just keep working with her and keep calm.:)

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Momma knows best. If you are concerned, then you should have it checked into. She may have a hearing difficulty or an auditory processing delay. Since she is 3 years old, you can have the local school district look at her. She may qualify for the PPCD class. It is a special education class for children with different delays. Call one of the elementary schools and ask about Child Find. That is what they call it in Leander. It may be different in AISD. It is the program that works with special needs kids after they are too old for Early Childhood Intervention (birth to 3). Since it is the end of the year, they may not be able to get to her untilt he fall, but you should call now. They have a certain number of days to look into your case. If you start now, they may be able to get her started in the beginning of the year. Also, you should have her hearing tested. Dr. Busse is a very good pediatric audiologist. He is located in north Austin. Also, you might look into speech therapy. Children's Therapeutics of Austin is very good.

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I am totally opposed to ever using baby talk. I think that if she only says juice instead of may I have some juice you should pretend that you don't understand her. It is very important that you break her out of the baby talk. She will have a hard time at school and other kids will make fun. I don't think that you are freaking out. It is good that you recognize there may be a problem. We never used baby talk at home and both of my kids were extremely well spoken. Work with her and make sure that she knows it is unacceptable to use baby talk.

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It is hard not to compare kids, but if you are really concerned you can have her tested through the school district that you are zoned to for free. In the state of Texas once a child turns three they are eligible to receive Speech/Language services through the school district at no cost to you. Just call the Administration building of the district you live in and ask them who to talk to about getting your child tested for Speech/Language Isses. They should be able to help you. I hope all goes well.

Since your daughter is 3 (ECI quits servicing children at 3) your local school district will service them. You can take your child to the local school district and they will evaluate them and give them the support (speech, etc) that they need.

I have used our local school district and did not find them to be a satisfactory choice for us. Your experience could be much different but since school in ending VERY SOON, I'd call soon if this is your choice.

Your other option would be to find a dr. that can give your daughter a full developemental evaluation. This would be paid for by you or your insurance. This is my choice. I also choose to use private therapist. Your pediatrician will be the place to start for her to evaluate your daughter and to recommend someone to evaluate her whether you choose private or school - good luck. Start with your pediatrican for recommendations.

Does she have a baby sister or brother that get's lots of attention ? If she does , she is acting out because the baby gets more attention than her, ( she thinks ).Or when she was little , was something different in her life ? The amount of time spent with you ? I am a single mom also, who had to work . so I understand. You should , reassure her that is she is important to you and build her self-confidence daily . And when she baby talks remind her that she doesn't need to do that , she is a big girl now . that when she talks like a big girl , she will get the glass of water ot what ever it is she needs .Hope this helps , G.

that definately sounds like your daughter needs some intervention...you can contact the elementary school in your area to request a speech evaluation. Once kids turn 3 they can be enrolled in a free speech classroom where they are with other kids with the same issues. We did it with our first child and it helped him tremendously but it was 8 years ago and I cant remember what its called.
good luck

Just went back and read all the advice. Listen to the Speech patholigist. (SP?) Personally, I would check her ears and then contact the school.

Don't listen to anything that sounds a little judgmental. You are doing a great job. The fact that you are reaching out to make sure and get more advice on what you can do is proof.

Good luck

My DD is also 3 and often does this. With her, I think it is a motivation/laziness issue. When I ignore her, she comes up with the sentence. When she talks baby talk and pretends that you can understand, she gets the look. Then she finds the words. I know that with my DD, this is a game obnoxious as it is. I would say that if you are truly concerned that this is a speech delay, then by all means, consult your local elementary school. If you think this is a game, don't play it. "Hmm, is there a baby in here? I keep hearing baby talk, but I can only see my big girl."
Good luck.

K. ,
did you bsby talk to her?? the truth ,so she may have got it from there ,so you just need to work with her dont give her what she wants ubtil she asks for it .

I would simple not let your daughter get away with talking like a baby. She's old enough to understand when you tell her that not the way we talk anymore that's how babies talk. You need to use your big girl words. And next time he asks for a ba-ba tell her oh you mean your cup or drink or juice or whatever you want to call it. And don't give it to her till she says the right word. Then slowly pregress to juice please, then i want juice then i want juice please. Not all sounds will be perfect of course but if you can understand what word she's saying then it counts. And if after a week or so of that she's not talking more it wouldn't hurt to look into a speech evaluation. Lots of kids have speech issues.


For one, you are doing a good job with reinforcing good communication skills.

I have both of my kids who have had speech issues, with my daughter being the worst...she went through Brighton school (speech pathology at age 1 yr) and we continue to keep her in speech. And my son has some speech issues as well, just in regard to pronounciation.

You may want to look into Brighton School or other speech specialists to get help in correcting your daughter's communication skills. Don't look at it as a negative, but rather just another resource to better your child's communication. In most cases, it will be covered by your health insurance. You can also start by asking for a referral from your pediatrician for speech issues.

Hope this helps.


I had this same issue with my youngest. She almost had her own language. I contacted the local elementary school for language development diagnostic testing...free of charge. The ISD will provide this service even at this young age. They had us take her to a hearing audiologist doctor for a hearing test. She passed. The ISD sent out a diagnostic to our house and later determined that her older sister and I were talking for. She gave us wonderful examples and tools to get her to speak for herself. She improved within a year!! But I would get professional help. They will guide you correctly through the process. And it only cost us the hearing test!!! Good luck.
Oh... and by the way, it is the responsibility of the ISD to provide such services to children younger than kindergarteners. I have heard horror stories of ISD's not working with parents in similar situations. Be persistent and contact the district office of your ISD if necessary. Their state funding demands them to work with kids prior to school age so when they go to school, they are ready to learn.

Glad you are aware of your daughter enough to ask the questions. It may be just speech development issues, in which case working with her, reading to her, watching TV and discussing the programming would all be great ways to help her language development. I have really early talkers and I just talked to them constantly. I would point out things as we were driving and never talked to them in a baby-talk way so they can hear what adult language patterns sound like.

The other thing to consider however, is the possibility of a mild form of autism. Often when kids seem to speak their own language, or when they engage in echolalia (repeating phrases over and over that they have heard before when it is not exactly appropriate timing) there is a mild autism. This is not to say that your child is delayed in any way, they just need to be diagnosed and treated through speech and other therapies so they can catch up or be treated as necessary. Typically there are other indicators for autism...lack of eye contact, toe walking, infant reflux, inability to point things out when asked, "zoning out." This is not an inclusive list, but it is a place to start. Good luck and God Bless you both.

All public schools offer free speech screening and screening for developmental delays for children beginning at age 3. Call the school and schedule a screening. Should she need therapy, it is free also.
Good luck.


Now that your daughter is 3, whatever school district your in can do a "Speech" evaluation and determine if maybe she needs some speech therapy. If it is needed, the therapist can either go to her daycare, home or she can be taken to the school.

Good luck,

I'm going to share with you my experience, but I'm in no way saying that your daughter has what my daughter has, but you should seek prefessional help if your gut feeling is telling you something is wrong. I wish I would have gone with my gut feeling earlier, I would have started sooner with alll the treatments my child gets now.
Have you tried going to a neuropsychologist? I had the same problem and I wish I would have had someone to suggest this to me when my daughter was three, but I found out when she was five and already in school. My daughter would not always speak in full sentences and I asked her pediatrician if this was normal twice, but she said she would outgrow it each time I asked. The problem with that is that a pediatrician is not fully trained to make that diagnosis. My daughter would point to things rather than ask for them and she seemed to not be interested in playing with other kids. My daughter has autism. Little did I know that some kids with Autism struggle to communicate and although they may have a strong desire to be invloved in play activities with other kids or parents, they simply can not express themselves the way that they would like too. Now again, I'm not saying that's what your daughter has. I only suggest that if you are that concerned maybe you should seek the help of a professional neuropsychologist. I now have my daughter on the Gluten Free Casein Free diet and I must say it has helped her tremendously. She also gets speech therapy at her school once a week. Even though my childs Gastroenterologist was reluctant that I tried the diet because she said it would have little or no effect, she agreed for me to try it and It's working. My daughter communicates with us a whole lot more now than before she was on this diet that eliminates all gluten containing products like wheat, barely, oats,etc.. and eliminates casein like milk derived products. A good website is www.Autismspeaks.org Now that I've had a second child, now four, I saw the differences while he was growing up, but it's hard to make that distinction between other kids when you're a first time parent. I hope this helps. Thanks and God Bless you.

I believe the current phrase is "Chill". You are over-reacting. I had a threee year old who couldn/wouldn't make complete sentences. Give her a few months with the baby talk, then don't respond when she uses it. Other children will make fun of her on the baby talk issue, and that may be all it takes...but don't worry so much about complete/proper sentences...that'll come in time.


I, too, am the single mother of an almost 3 y.o. girl - Sounds as if you would benefit from contacting Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) or, since your daughter is 3, the next step is PPCD - forget what it stands for but it's for ECI-type help if child is 3 or over - they have speech specialist to work with you and your child - the main thing they do is teach us, as parents, how to effectively teach our children to speak, etc. There is a bit of paperwork but it is well worth it. Some of hte issues may be within your child but they can help you to bring out the best in her development. I was doing things that I didn't even know were encouraging her not to speak well or at all.

Sort of surprised if your pediatrician didn't direct you this way already - mine started noting her delays at age 1.

Good luck!

hey K., I just read your request, and I suggest you get your daughter evaluated by your local school district. They will perform a vision and hearing test, and speech test, upon results you will either be in speech therapy or not. Now that it is the end of the year, I am not sure if they will test during the summer or not, you may have to pay to get her tested elsewhere, ask your pedi. for a source. Now that she is three, she is of age to be tested at your local school district. Just so you know, and not to worry, I had my daughter tested , and she did need speech therapy, she actually just finished last week 7 weeks of therapy at our local school. She did not need summer classes, but I have hired a private teacher, who will actually be her teacher next year, to help during the summer. I have noticed a HUGE difference just in the 7 weeks she attended classes. We will begin 2x a week starting the school year. I just wanted to share our story with you. My daughters speech teacher gave us great homework, and great CD's to help with her speech . I would be glad to share. My daughter loves the music, and my 2 yr. old even enjoys repeating. If you have crossed out hearing, vision and any other medical problem, she just may need more social interaction. Good luck, and don't worry, you sound like a good mom. My email address is ____@____.com if you would like some info.

I can see your concern my brother has three children, 7,5,and 4and they are gowingup be treatedd baby like so they have show that they are deleoping slower thanmost their age On the other hand a friend of mine is teaching her children as thought they are much older almost communicates as those they are teens they are 4 and6. they shown to pick things up much quicker. Life has taught me it that it may be genentics or it maybe just on how the child is raised. in either case. work with yours and in time she will suprising you with all that she knows. Life passes to quickley and she won't be little for long. She is showing you that she wants to try but don't forceher to much because she may notbe ready. work at her pace and be patience. if you are that worried discuss it with her doctor.

I have a 4 year old that is still really hard to understand, so I know what you are going through. He can understand everything I am saying and can do anything I ask. I took him to have his speech evaluated when he was 3 and they said just repeat what he says after he says it so he can hear the right way to say it. You might try that. They said that kids learn from hearing it, not by saying it. As early as the age of 3 the school district will evaluate your childs speech for free if you are concerned. Hope that helps.

Have her hearing checked, this will help to see if that could be the problem. In Texas they will send someone out to your house at no cost to do an eval. I bet your state has similar program set up. These are suggestions that I did to help my duaghter with a similar situation. There probally is nothing wrong, but better safe then sorry.

Your child may have a Speech delay. You can take her to any school district for an evaluation of her Speech. This is a free service. The programs are under Early Childhood intervention or PPCD (Pre-school program for children with disabilities.) She can get early help with her Speech and you can get ideas of ways to help her at home. J. K ( I have taught PPCD for ten years and now teach an inclusion pre-k in DVISD.)

I think that you should not make a big deal of it and just go and talk to her as usual and I believe it will stop. If you are making an issue of this and she knows it she is going to continue to do it. So just blow it off and act normal. Be blessed!!!

I think a lot of times we do compare our children to others as far as milestones and while it is a good measuring tool, they are not the end all be all.

Children seem to imulate those that they are around consistently. I would suggest you keep doing what you are doing, teach her with every response and talk to her as if she were capable of understanding, even if you think you are going over her head.

I don't know if I did the right thing or not, but as my son got older I spoke to him as if he were a grown up and could understand everything I was saying. I am a single mom of a four year old boy. I bet you will be surprised soon, it is like one day they go to bed little ones and wake up the next day saying things to you that you had no idea they knew.

As long as she knows mommy loves her regardless of anything, you and she will be fine.

At least one other person here has mentioned getting her ears checked out and from my experience, this is worth doing. Blockages or hearing loss can affect children's communication development, especially due to being unable to hear conversations between others clearly. Observing others' conversations is part of how children learn to speak as well. She might hear you fine up close to her, but further away it may diminish. If she's not really experiencing conversations all around her, it could play a role. Kids also learn to converse through other kids, so perhaps there's another avenue to look into.

Either way, I think you have enough evidence to get her checked out further and you'll feel much better and more empowered with the information you receive as a result. If you catch her now, before school, it'll make a big difference if she does need help.

I'm always an advocate for a 2nd and 3rd opinion from any professional, whether it be medical, psychological or the plumber giving you a quote on repairs. If you're not satisfied with previous doctor's assumptions, talk to someone else. Wisdom lies in the center of a multitude of views. If more people made a point of this, it would really improve medicine and general quality of life.

When my son was having problems it was because of a hearing loss issue. He still reverts back to baby talk now that he is in pre-k as an attention getter. Both my husband and I will tell him we need to use our good words so we can understand him. I have also used the "ignore the bad behavior" technique. This was successful for us as well. Made a big deal over the proper use of word usage and ignored the baby talk until he came to us and was in our face per say. Then we would say oh I didn't know you were talking to me, or see mommy/daddy don't understand that kind of talk so thought you were playing with your toys.

I wouldn't fret... Is she in a pre school program? As long as she does know how to speak. Once she gets into school, you shuld express your concern to the teachers so they can have the ok to work with her. If by kindergarten she seems to still be doing that, they may suggest to put her in speech therapy. Hey, I have a 3 year old who is just just beginning to talk and the little that he does say, we understand about 30 percent of it... It is hard not compare to the other kids, but try not to.

Hi K.,

I am a Speech Pathologist in Midland. Yes, you are doing a good job and from what your note says, it would not hurt to seek professional opinion/help. You can contact the school district and see if they have a "child find" for their preschool program. If she has a speech and language delay, she could qualify for their program. If you have insurance that pays for speech therapy, you might seek a private SLP.

You can look up the American Speech and Language Association web, www.asha.org and look for developmental charts. You dtr should be using complete sentences for sure! Good luck, L.

I know this is tough, and haven't really experienced exactly what you are, but if you don't give the juice or whatever to her until she responds the way you want her to, it might help. It will probably take patience, but it will get better if she realizes she has to do it. Somtimes it's a matter of who is the most determined to get her way. I have taught school for 11 years, and it works if you can be consistent.
Good Luck,
G. Biggi

I would have her see a speach pathologist. My mom is one and gets 2 year old that won't say a thing. She see them for about 6 weeks and then the mom's complain that they won't stop talking. LOL! Speach Pathologist work miracles. I would talk to your pediatrician and talk about your concerns and have him reccomend one for you. Also, call the elementry school speach pathologist to see where they reccomend. I would call several schools to get different reccomendations. Remember some babies just go at there own pace.

Since your daughter is 3 you can take her to your local elem school and have them do a speech evaluation on her. I did this with my daughter and it really helped because I knew that either she would get some really good (and free) help with her speech or they would say that what she was doing was age appropriate. I taught kinder for 5 years and I know that speech evaluations are one of the most common things kids are tested for in school. My friends daughter has been in speech classes now for 6 months (she is 3) and they have seen a world of difference in her speech. If you are worried, why not?

I think it is normal for her to talk the way she is. She will start talking better when she is around other kids in school & social settings. When my son was 3 - my daughter & I were the only ones that could understand him. You are doing the right thing by making her repeat things that she says in "baby talk" because we did not do that & I regretted it. Although on the "complete sentence structure" I wouldn't worry about that too much. She will get it in time. Good luck!!

Have you had her hearing checked? Sometimes kids have hearing problems and you can't tell til they try to talk. Don't panic though, alot of ear problems come from simple things like drinking a bottle or liquides fully reclined or maybe she just has alot of sinus allergies or drainage issues that leave her ears plugged. Just a thought.

Oh P.S., If she is exposed to more than one language at a time it will also take a child about a year longer to develope speech because they are trying to distinguish between the different sounds.

When she just says "juice" make her ask for it correctly before giving it to her. You might say something like " juice, where is juice? I dont see any juice" intecing her to say "no momma I want some juice" You might say something like big girls dont talk baby talk ( in a kind voice). When she says "dog" ask her what is that dog doing? Personally I dont like when kids miss speak when you know they know what to say. A little girl keept asking me if she was an artical and i keept telling her no she was an artist and i explained what an artical was. Every time she made the slip up i told her. She truly wants to speak the correct words you can see she gets embarrassed a bit when she says the wrong word and her parents think its cute and wont tell her the correct way of saying it. Best of luck.


While I understand your concern, please try to remember that children develop at different rates. You are doing the right thing by speaking to her in complete sentences. When she says "juice" or "dog" just calmly ask her to clarify what she'd like. "Would you like juice or do you see juice?" This will help encourage her to use her words. Another fun idea would be to sing nursery rhymes/songs with her.

Have faith, she'll speak more fluently when she's ready.
A. W.

Check with your local Early Childhood Intervention center. They will evaluate your child. I think this is a free service. They will also give you suggestions on how to help your child.

Have you checked with your child's peditrician to see if he noticed the late language development.
Also check with your local school ditrict/school to see if you can schedule a speech evaluation. If your child qualifies, she may start speech therapy now.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I can't understand what you're saying you unless you use big-girl sentences." Just don't respond to one-word sentences by giving her what she wants; wait until she asks using the appropriate words you've given her. If I can get what I want in one word, I'm likely to use that shortcut too! :-)

And you gotta love yourself so that you're able to love your daughter.

Each child is unique. With all the books and materials out there to inform us what we should expect... no 2 kids are alike. I wouldn't stress over it. When my son was 18months I kept being harassed by my step mom that something might be wrong with him and that I should go see a specialist. A couple month's later he shocked me by full sentences... and he hasn't stop talking since... lol

My twin girls are now turning 3 and they are doing the exact same thing as your little girl. I even had ECI over but they told me its normal and I should expect them to start talking in complete sentences sometime this year... Just keep up the good work and don't worry - she will figure it out!

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