24 answers

3 Year Old Not Talking

My niece turned three in July and she still doesn't talk. She can say a very limited number of words but uses pointing, babbling and crying as her main forms of communication. She is more aggressive than allot of children but can be very sweet and seems to understand almost everything you say to her. She will help out and knows how to throw away trash and get items for people so it seems to be primarily a speech problem. Her mom does say she talks to angels, which basically means she looks around and seems to be talking to people when no one is there. strange. I know. So what could be the problem?

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So What Happened?™

It has been over a year since I posted this...please stop replying.
I have been on my sisters case since I went over last week about getting some help and she is working on it now...I think maybe she has been hoping the speech would just come along. I just did not realize how old she was or I would have started bugging her sooner!

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dear J.,
my ten year old son doesn't talk and the docotors told me that he will never talk but he does cry babble and makes noise and he also points and make noise to things that isn't ever there i also wondered if he is talking to angels. and the reason he can't talk is because his brain wasn't develompent all the way he has water on the back of his brain.

Hi,

My son did not talk until he was 3 and I put him in Early Childhood Education. He did everything that you niece does also. I have heard everything from he didn't have to talk because everyone did everything for him to He hasn't been around children enough. You might try taking her to an early intervention evaluation. They evaluate the child then help them learn to speak and communicate in different ways so it is not so frustrating for her and everyone involved. When my son started early childhood education he started talking up a storm. Now he is not any different then all the other children.

Thanks
B.

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I am a speech-language pathologist and from what you have said, you need to get her mom to make an appointment with a licensed speech-language pathologist as soon as possible. At this point, she should be talking in complete 5+ word sentences and be able to carry on a simple conversation. If she is understanding what is said to her, then it sounds like an expressive language disorder. However, I can't diagnose that without completing an eval. Insurance will cover an eval with a doctor's prescription. Also, you can check into school based services since she is 3. Children ages 3 to 5 qualify for public school services, which are free. Good luck. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to email me.

1 mom found this helpful

I am just curious as to what got your attention. I have a 28 month old. He does talk some but not like other kids his age. He sure can jabber though. Since he was born in 04 he has had 4 ear infections every winter. I'm afraid that could have affected his ability to talk more. He seems to hear fine for the most part, and he really understands when you tell him something. I'm just not sure if he needs to be checked or if I'm just being picky. Also, who offers preschool for those ages and what do they charge? I have him in MDO 2 days a week, but I don't know that I'm all that happy with it. I'm a stay at home mom so it's more about the interaction with kids and learning than anything.

Hope to hear back!!!
C.

1. It could be nothing.
2. She could have "Poly X" a disorder from having more than 2 x chromasomes on the 23rd pair. This happens in 1 out of every 2000 females and can cause delayed language development. This can be tested by a simple blood test, examining her chromasomes.

Good luck to you and your sister.

My oldest son didn't talk well, and when he was 3 I put him in speech therapy, it was fun and it helped me learn how to help him in a positve way... All children develop differently, and we shouldn't jump to conclusions and compare them all the time... My son went from not talking to now being the best reader and is a great and creative talker... With the aggression, it is probably frustating to her that she can't get her point across.. Try hanging pictures of the foods she likes on the fridge and in the bathroom, pics of toys, characters, animals.. When she wants food have her point to what she wants and then repeat to her how to say it (Exaggerated faces are fun and keep situation low stress) Have fun, this is a time for you to step out of the box and creativly help your child grow... Good Luck!

I have to completely agree with the other moms who recommended a speech evaluation. When my son was 4 he was barely talking and we went to get him evaluated for speech therapy through the local public ashool system. During the exams he flatlined the tempanic hearing test. He had never had ear infections, but it tured out he had persistant fluid in his ears. He could hear somewhat, enough to understand day to day interaction with familar people and places, but not enough to learn to speak properly. During daily interaction with him you would have no idea he could not hear properly but he only had 40% in one ear and 65% in the other and no high rage sounds at all. Tubes took care of the fluid and now at 8 years old he is still in speech therapy and is finally almost where he should be with his pronunciation. It can't hurt to get her an evaluation, which can be done for free through the public schools. My sister is a speech thera pist and recommended I get that done. I only wish I had done it earlier.

have your child ears checked by and ent specialist. my son was a late talker also we had him checked out and he needed tubes. and within a month he was talkin and it was pretty clear. its been a year now and he is right where he should be for a 4 year old. so i wou.d suggest over stepping your ped and having a hearing test done. my son went from 50-100% in a few short weeks. we had ear infections every 3 months from birth until his tubes and we haven't had one since.

I have some friends at my church whos daughter at almost 3 was still not talking. Just babbling and so on no really difinitive talking. Come to find out her Adnoides were so big it did not allow her to talk properly or hear properly. The Dr's to out her adnoinds and now she talk, talk, talks.... You may want to sugest having that checked out.

Good luck,
C.

I agree that she needs to be seen for an evaluation. I think it's hard for parents to come to the conclusion that something could be wrong with their child. If their pediatrician is not pushing the issue than they are probably blind to it. I think it sounds like your niece has problems talking which is why she is so aggressive. She wants to express herself but she simply cannot. I would suggest this to her parents... Good luck!

Hi,

My son did not talk until he was 3 and I put him in Early Childhood Education. He did everything that you niece does also. I have heard everything from he didn't have to talk because everyone did everything for him to He hasn't been around children enough. You might try taking her to an early intervention evaluation. They evaluate the child then help them learn to speak and communicate in different ways so it is not so frustrating for her and everyone involved. When my son started early childhood education he started talking up a storm. Now he is not any different then all the other children.

Thanks
B.

Hi, I was wondering has anyone tested your niece for autism, or hearing problems? My son didn't talk until he was around 18 months they checked his hearing and it was fine. They found that he has Asperger's which is high functioning autism.Good luck and remember that all kids work and learn at their own pace.

My 3yr old son has the same problem. I took him for a Dial 3 developmental test. They test concepts, motor skills, hearing, sight and speech. If they feel the child needs the speech evaluated further, they will recommend you to a speech therapist. At that point, they test only speech and if they conclude that it is needed, they will recommend speech therapy. This was offered through the school district through their "parents as teachers". Everything is free of charge. We happen to be in Fort Zumwalt, but I believe it is offered throughout the state.

depending on wehere you are, I'd reccommend Eater Seals. Don't be afraid to get ____@____.com

My son is almost three, and he has been seeing a speech therapist through FirstSteps since just before he was two. He didn't speak at all, except "Ryanese" babbling. He was a very frustrated, aggresive child, and it was because he couldn't communicate with us. Therapy has completely changed him! He is using full sentences now, and is much happier and calmer. So your niece's mom should check with her school district about getting her tested. I know FirstSteps covers kids until they turn three, but then there are other programs the child is eligible for, and these are free, too. The sooner the better, believe me!! It's too bad that this has gone unchecked so long, but kids are little sponges, and once she's getting some help, she'll be so talkative, you'll all wonder why you ever wanted her to learn! :P (That's what I'm wondering about my boy, heehee!) Good luck!

J.

I would recommend that you go to an Ear's nose and throat doctor. She may be able to understand but if she has fluid in her ears what she says may be how she hears it. My two sons had tubes and their speech improved dramatically afterwards. There are also programs thru the state and local school districts for kids not in school with speech or learning problems and they can get the help they need for FREE and sometimes to your house even. I would get it checked soon. As far as talking to people not there I wouldn't worry too much it is the age of pretend friends. All of my kids have had them and its a great sign of an active imagination and they usually out grow it. Hope it helps!

My @2 yr old doesnt say much but she understands everything you say. If she knows what you're saying thats the important thing but I've read in my toddler book & my mother in law says by age 3 they should be talking more than 2 word sentences. Maybe ask her dr what she recommends, speech therapy couldnt hurt her.

My daughter is now 6, she would never talk she would mumble, point,& cry too. I thought something was wrong, everyone said she will talk when SHE is ready. Finally she did start now she talks all the time even in her sleep. I am sure when your niece is ready it will be the same!!

My little girl did not talk until she was two. We had her hearing checked and went thru early childhood intervention and got her a wonderful speech therapist.

We learned sign language as a form to communicate, as you sign you say it too.

It was like a light bulb went off, she understood that objects had names and that she could communicate.

It was very frustrating at night, after working all day to listen to her grunt, pull, push, cry, point trying to tell me that she wanted this or that.

After signing for a few weeks she got it. She has talked non stop since.

The first sign "More", eating chips, she kept pointing, uh uh, I asked do you want more?, she nodded yes, pointing and uh uh, I showed her the sign, More, and she tried it and said MOOOOR, incorrectly but she tried and from there she took off with signing, "Lets put on your socks and shoes, thirsty, yummy, donuts, read a book, jammies, bath, it was wonderful.

The best was when she said "I love You."

Good Luck.

First, let me refer you to her public school (even if the family is choosing private schools). They are required, by law, to test and possibly treat kids beginning at age 3, even if the child attends private school. When her parents call, skip the screening and ask specifically for an evaluation. They will test all developmental areas even though the problem appears to be only with speech/language (who knows, maybe she has a hearing problem?).

The next things you should do at home. The parents need training. They need to require a verbalization (more than a grunt or cry) to get something. It may seem cruel but if they stay consistent it will teach her that you have to do something to get something. Start simple. If she wants milk tell her, 'say milk' BEFORE she gets it. If she refuses or crys or throws a tantrum then she doesn't get the milk. If she makes even the smallest 'm' sound (or trys to say a word) then she gets the milk and tons of praise from the parents.

Buy a Signing English book. Learn simple signs for the most common objects and actions in her daily life. It may be helpful to start with the words she is already saying so she learns the relation between words and signs. Model the sign as you say the word and then give her (or do) what it is you are signing/saying. She can also use signs to request (as in the milk example above). DON'T WORRY!!!! Learning signs will NOT keep her from speaking. They will only help her express herself and most likely reduce the aggression.

Keep in mind that it may get worse before it gets better. She may throw herself onto the floor and kick and scream but know that she is only testing her parents. If they stay consistent she will learn. It may help to start at meal times when she is hungry to request for food items.

Please feel free to contact me again if you need additional information or to ask questions.

R.

You have a very spiritual child on your hands. She cries and such because she feels no need to talk or is upset at your inability to understand her as well as she understands you. Sit her down and explain thast you need her to use her words when she speaks to you and that screaming, pointing, and crying will not work anymore as forms of communication.

She does not talk because she does not have to. The adults in her life enable her to not speak by responding to her nonverbal communications. There is nothing wriong with her and she doesn't need speech therapy or any other such intervention, just a steady bit of firm guidance to help her break the bad habit of not talking.

I have a friend whos daughter is the same way.Her daycare taught her sign language when she was like 6 months old, they said it gives the children who can not communicate a way to tell the daycare workers what they need and want. Now she is three and I can not understand what little she does say. I was curious if maybe your neice was ever taught sign language?

u described my little girl when she was that age i got in contact with the early intervintion program the women i tlaked to was mellissa murphy i belive she helped me out so much. she got my daughter into the spice program and went to bat for my daughter when it came to getting her into our schools ece program, i found that the group therpy classes worjed better for my little one. also just taking one word a week and relly conctrating on that one word seemed to help. she is now almost four and she went from a 18 month old vocabulary to i belive her techer scorder her last at a 36 month speech level-- we to wandered about our little one because a two she could put pop corn in the microwave and make it her self but she coudn;t say the word pop corn so i think she made up for her speech delay by teaching her slef to do the things she wanted done her self so she woudn't have to do it.

Have you thought about the possibility of Autism? I'd check into that. Some Autistic children NEVER talk. There are other signs and there are different kinds of Autism. But, don't be too quick to assume that this is what it is.

Have you had her hearing tested? Could be that she has hearing problems and cannot pick up the syllables and constanant sounds. Worth checking out. 2nd. I have a 2 1/2 year old and she talks to "no one" on a regular basis. It is true that the innocense of a child they can see what no one else can so it maybe that she has an "imaginary" friend. That's ok too. But I would first concentrate on the hearing issue to make sure it's not physical. My 2 year old is a VERY happy well adjusted child and is VERY secure due to the fact there is NO arguing of any kind around her. She does have the occasional tamtrum but they are dealt with with love and us trying to understand what she is so frustrated about...that said, that doesnt mean she gets her way, it just means we understand what she wants and eliviate her frustrations, acknowlege her wants and then move her attentions onto something else.

I wish you luck.

C.

dear J.,
my ten year old son doesn't talk and the docotors told me that he will never talk but he does cry babble and makes noise and he also points and make noise to things that isn't ever there i also wondered if he is talking to angels. and the reason he can't talk is because his brain wasn't develompent all the way he has water on the back of his brain.

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