18 answers

My 2 1/2 Year Old Is Tongue Tied

My name is liz, and I am a single mom fo a 2 1/2 year old child, who is tongue tied. My best friend, made the opinion, that my son can still stick is tongue out far over is lips, that he should still be able to talk. She believes that he is refusing to talk. I want to know, if a child who is tongue tied can still be able to stick there tongue out, even though they are tongue tied?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi Liz,
I am also a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the birth-3 population and we get this question a lot re: tongue tie. The following is a very informational article on ankyloglossia (tongue tie). Typically, contrary to popular belief, tongue tie does NOT affect speech. Here is the website :) Just copy and paste it to get to the article.
http://www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/arch...
G.

my son is tongue tied, he is 19 now and talks fine even talked and read early. My grandma was also tongue tied and she could not even get her tongue very far past her teeth. they used to snip them maybe they still do but it is not required.talk to his dr. about his speach, but it is not related to being tongue tied.

More Answers

My some is almost 3 and I just got his tongue tied corrected by a lazer treatment in Buffalo Grove IL. The process was so quick and simple I highly recommend it to anyone. Here is the website:
www.fredmargolis.com

Good luck!

E.,

I was born tongue tied as well. I could not stick my tongue out over my lips and spoke with a bit of a lisp. I got teased a lot in school, and whenever I meet other moms with tongue tied kids I urge them to get it clipped as soon as possible (medically, of course.)

I did have mine clipped in high school when I had my wisdom teeth removed. It hurt like the dickens and the stretching exercises I had to do to overcome my lisp were unpleasant. It is better to do it when they are little (ideally as newborns) but definately before their speech is fully developed. Occasionally people still notice my lisp when I use certain words, but not very often.

Good luck,
S.

Hi Liz,
I am also a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the birth-3 population and we get this question a lot re: tongue tie. The following is a very informational article on ankyloglossia (tongue tie). Typically, contrary to popular belief, tongue tie does NOT affect speech. Here is the website :) Just copy and paste it to get to the article.
http://www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/arch...
G.

my 3 1/2 year old is tongue tied too & has NO problem with his speech. he didn't REALLY start talking until he was a little over 2 & i don't think it had anything to do with his tongue. he has no speech probs either. can say "r's, l's, s's, t's" etc..... my son can roll his tongue out over his bottom lip but never fully "stick" it out. take him to an pediatric oral surgeon for an evaluation to see if anything is needed to be done if you are really worried. we did that when our son was just under 2 & on a scale of 1-10 (1 being NO surgery needed whatsoever, 10- immediate surgery needed otherwise speech/feeding issues could result) he was a 5 & the doc wouldn't perform surgery on something that moderate. good luck!

E.: I myself am tongue tied along with 2 of my 4 children . All three of us have no problem speaking. However , our Ear nose and throat specialist said had he known our 3 year was tongue tied at the time of her adnoid surgery he would have clipped her tongue, I worked as a dental assistant for 17 yrs. and my bosses take on it was if they eat fine and speak fine leave well enough alone. Does your 2 1/2 yr. old speak at all to you? also have you had his hearing checked. and what does your MD say about any of this?
Mom of 4 . 9,7,3,2

My son’s frenum was to his very tip of his tongue. My son did have problems breastfeeding, but overcame them.
When he got older we talked to his dentist about getting it snipped (his father was really pushing it). He actually never had a speech problem, which surprised the dentist because out of his 30 years of dentistry he never saw another patient whose frenum was positioned like my sons. When we talked to the dentist early on- he mentioned that sometimes the scarring cases more problems then actually being tongue-tied. (So that is why I hesitated)
Our dentist referred us to a different dentist, and he had it done, (years later-end of middle school -5th grade). He was only able to snip a little due to not wanting to hinder muscle control.
It has been some years now and my son can stick out his tongue, a little. He also says that the snipped area is sensitive to hot/ cold, and also there is a little (very little tissue where they snipped, that rubs on his lower teeth.)
My son could talk just fine early on, so I would say that there is no correlation to his being tongue-tied and not talking. (My son could not stick out his tongue, but there are some people whom can,-depending on where the frenum is located.)
There is great informational websites out there, just type in tongue tied

~Have a nice day

I highly doubt that your friend is right. I am a speech and language pathologist who specializes in working with 2,3 and 4 year olds. "Tongue tied" is really an old-fashioned term that refers to a short ligament that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It has no significance to delayed speech. Children are delayed in talking due to expressive and receptive lanuguage delays/disorders. It is more related to the brian, rather than the tongue. Is your son talking at all? What can he say? Does he understand you? Can he follow simple directions? I would highly recommend being evaluated by a speech and language pathologist. His doctor can make the referral if needed. Let me know what you decided. I wouldn't delay.

Our oldest son was tongue tied. Our neighbor, who was a nurse, pointed it out to us. Our doctor clipped the little piece under the tongue; of course this was done when he was just few weeks old. It will affect their speech; we were told.

Check with your pediatrician and hear what they have to say about it.

Hey, E.! My daughter was tongue-tied at birth and we had her frenulum cut the day after due to the severity of the tongue-tie. She's almost sixteen months now and we've noticed a few issues with her. If your son does have speech problems, he'd most likely have some of the other problems associated with tongue-tied (difficulty eating). If you're really concerned about it, bring it up with his pediatrician. He/She may want to have him evaluated by a specialist. Chances are though that if you haven't noticed any other problems with his tongue, there's probably nothing wrong.

Hi E.-

Yes- a child can have a shortened frenulum and still extend their tongue past their lips. I wouldn't assume that your son is refusing to speak just because he's able to extend his tongue. If he isn't speaking at all, though, I would check with the pediatrician.

For anyone else reading, in case they don't know, "tongue tied" just means that the frenulum (the skin connecting your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) is shortened, so how severe the condition is would depend upon how short the frenulum is, case by case.

My son has a shortened frenulum and the only impact the condition has had was to inhibit his ability to breast feed- he could only do so with difficulty and would become so frustrated that he then couldn't do it at all. We were told that in some cases the situation is more severe and can impact speech development. In those cases there are procedures that can be performed to correct the problem.

I would consult with your pediatrician- they should be able to do an assessment and talk to you about what, if anything, needs to be done for your son.

Good Luck-

M.

Good Morning E.,
I would consider having your child tested with the speech pathologist at the school district in your area. Also, something to think about -- have you had his hearing evaluated by an ear-nose-throat doctor? Definitely get both of these things done to rule out any medical reason why your child isn't talking at this age.
Good Luck,
D.

Our son was tongue tied at birth. I never knew what that was. Apparently, my father is also tongue tied, so it must run in the family. My father never got it fixed (since he is a hemophiliac) and he is fine. Our son got it done at 14 months and he seems fine right now at 2 1/2 years old. I guess it isn't totally noticable until they really start talking and it affects their speech in school. Your son may or may not have problems depending on how badly tied the tongue is. It was an easy procedure, he was put under since he also got circumsized at 14 months (we had to check him for hemophilia and the bloodwork was finally show that he is not). Just take your son to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to see if it will be an issue or not!

I never even knew what tongue tied was until we noticed it with my daughter. My best advice to you is to talk with your pediatrician. My daughter had her frenulum cut by her ENT when she was 18 months old under anesthesia. Best thing we have ever done! I had a friend who's son had the same thing, but she waited until he was 4 and had it done at the dentist office. It was extremely traumatic for him and to this day, he is deathly afraid of sitting in a dentist chair.

My best friends boy is almost two and barely speaks. There's nothing wrong with him, we all think he just doesn't have a lot to say, and his tounge sticks way over his lips. I tell her that he's too busy growing his brains to talk. :) The boy is right along developmentally so there's no problem there. If it should last for a lot longer than you might want to have him see a speech therapist or have his hearing checked. My friends son had many, many ear infections and eventually she had to take him to a specalist. He basically had fluid in his ears constantly, and after he had tubes put in the speech took off way more than before. The doc said that it was like him trying to hear with ear muffs on or under water. Once he could hear what people were saying clearly he started to mimic. I'd make an appointment with the doc and ask to have his ears checked out and see if the doc is worried about the speech. That's what they're there for, after all. Good luck.

Interesting question. To me this doesn't sound like a reliable test to see if your son has speech or developmental issues in the area of communication. I'd recommend talking with your pediatrician for an evaluation and a possible recommendation for a qualified therapist if necessary. I'd also look into whether he has a hearing problem, autism, or sensory disorder since from what you have written, it sounds like he's not speaking much.

my son is tongue tied, he is 19 now and talks fine even talked and read early. My grandma was also tongue tied and she could not even get her tongue very far past her teeth. they used to snip them maybe they still do but it is not required.talk to his dr. about his speach, but it is not related to being tongue tied.

My son did the same thing at that age. He actually started talking and was talking for a little over a month, then he just quit. I was baffled. I actually went and had his hearing tested to be sure that wasn't an issue.

So was mine!!! Connor just turned 2 1/2 and he had the surgery about a month ago. My husband was the one that noticed it! He nursed OK and really didn't have any other signs apart from a slight speech delay and obviously couldn't stick his tongue out all the way. The surgery was really easy and he recovered very quickly. Now he is talking much clearer (although he still has a delay. I'd love to answer any questions you may have and also see if you are experiencing the same issues that I had.

Hope to hear back!

D. Schnieder
Group Manager Discovery Toys
www.discoverytoyslink.com/debschnieder

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