17 answers

My Daughter Is Almost 4 and Not Fully Talking Yet.

My daughter is one month shy of 4 years old, and part of me is worried about her speech, other part of me says not to worry, she has been saying some words, but not all the time. She is the middle child, with my oldest (almost 6) she "talks" for her, and when she was a baby/toddler I would also not necessarily require her to talk which was my fault, I would automatically know what she wanted and say yes or no. A couple of days ago she said a full sentence out of the blue, which shocked me, but most of the time, it's not like that. She has a stubborn streak in her as well, She says "good girl" alot, which I say to her from time to time, or when she goes potty on the potty. We don't have insurance at all either. But she is smart, if she wants something she will find a way to get it! So...SHOULD I worry?

What can I do next?

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My son was a late talker--as was I--I didn't say a word until I was 3 (I too had an older sibling that spoke for me)--my son didn't say much until then either--but at 4 if he was still not saying much (he's 3 1/2 and doesn't stop talking), I too would be worried and would probably at least get him evaluated.
As mentioned by another mom--you can get a free language evaluation and one of two things will happen--you'll either find out she is fine which will give you a piece of mind to stop worrying or they will find something early enough that you can address! Both seem like a win-win--piece of mind or early intervention...

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Does your almost 4 year old go to school??? If she does I would ask her teacher what she thinks. If not I would call the school district (Child Find) and have her evaluated. If they feel she needs speech she will be able to go to public school for it and it will be free to you. Getting her evaluated is probably a good idea just to make sure there are no problems.
Hope that helps

1 mom found this helpful

Some children don't like to talk. I have met a few children who's parents stated their child didn't talk until 4 or 5. However, there were no other delays present in development. Regardless, you need to get a speech-language evaluation completed. The public school system has a free early intervention program (Florida Diagnostic& Learning Resource System or FDLRS) for 3 and 4 year old children who may exhibit a delay in speech,language and motor skills. Contact your public schools district Exceptional Student Education (ESE) office or FDLRS for information on how to get your daughter tested. It is better to do it now than to wait until she is older.

Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't worry, but I would be concerned. First, sit down with her and ask her to repeat the sounds of the alphabet. Write down which sounds she cannot pronounce or say clearly. Make a list of words she can say. Next, I would begin right now encouraging her to speak. When you know she wants juice for example, say, "YOu want juice?" Then get to her level and say, "Mommy wants you to say, I want juice." See if she can say that. IF you know she can say it but is refusing because of that stubborn streak, then tell her she must say she wants juice and once she says it, you will be happy to give it to her. You need to begin encouraging her to speak when she wants something. I know this will be a challenge for you . I've experienced this with my daughter. She knew that I understood her so I would automatically give her what she wanted even if she said "juice" instead of "I want juice." Pretend you DO NOT understand her and have her believe that in order to be understood, she must tell you and help her by saying a sentence and having her repeat it. Say things like, "You have to go potty?" You need to tell mommy, "I have to go potty." Can you repeat that for me so I understand that is what you want?" Don't allow her to use gestures like nodding of her head or pointing to get what she wants.

Also, do you have an Easter Seals in your area? They do offer speech therapy and it might benefit you to have her speech evaluated. What does the pediatrician say? There may be county sponsored organizations to help with the cost. I would begin with making a list that way you have something to work with and you can show your ped what she can say and not say. Once she is in school, your school should be able to provide speech therapy if she needs it.

1 mom found this helpful

You daughter should be saying more at that age. My son also has a speech disorder he was diagnosed last year for which he is receiving therapy. I suggest that you try your local school system. They have a program for as early as 3 years old where they can evaluate her and give her therapy . The program is FDLRS they have them both in Dade & Broward Counties. My prayers are with you and stay positive , don't blame yourself .

Talk to your child's doctor, they have free programs in Fl. for children with any kind of delays. I just had my son evaluated and he will get free speech theropy in about a week. They also come to your home which is nice if you don't want to have to take them out of their own environment for theropy.

All the best to you!
T.

Please have her evaluated by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Even though your child may not attend preschool at a public school, any child age 3 and above can be evaluated through the public school system (for free). You can also see a private SLP through a clinic or hospital, but there will be a fee. Please take a look at the American Speech-Language Hearing (ASHA) website for information about normal language development. There is a section for parents at www.asha.org. Good luck!

C. - All children develop at a different pace and it is normal for them to develop differently but if she is almost 4 years old she should probably be talking a little more. Try to get her pediatrician to send you to a specialist because the sooner you start to work with her the better it will be. Some children just need a little push and some extra activities very specific to their needs. I know you mentioned not having health insurance, you should probably try to apply for florida Healthy Kids. You will have to pay $15.00 a month for all three children. Go on line and complete the application on line many famiies are not taking advantage of this health insurance.

My son was a late talker--as was I--I didn't say a word until I was 3 (I too had an older sibling that spoke for me)--my son didn't say much until then either--but at 4 if he was still not saying much (he's 3 1/2 and doesn't stop talking), I too would be worried and would probably at least get him evaluated.
As mentioned by another mom--you can get a free language evaluation and one of two things will happen--you'll either find out she is fine which will give you a piece of mind to stop worrying or they will find something early enough that you can address! Both seem like a win-win--piece of mind or early intervention...

I went through the same thing with my son, but he was just the 2nd child. I only have two kids. My son was 3 before he said Grandma & since my first spoke sentences & knew her colors etc by 18 months, he was a definate change. At the time, I sold Pampered Chef. One night I was at a party where I had heard a group of women talk about their children. One was talking as if she was talking about "my" son. She was saying everything that hit home for me, as far as how my son acted. She had mentioned that she finally took her son in & had his hearing tested. He needed tubes & once he had gotten them, it was like he was a differant child. Because he was not hearing things like we do, he couldn't say them either b/c they were muffled to him. So, I listened & went on with life. As I did parites it seemed I was hearing the same thing more & more. So, finally I had mis hearing tested & he was fine. They told me, he is a second child & since my daughter did & said everything for him, why would he need to talk or do anything on his own. I ended up having my daughter start to have him repeat after her & as we would drive, she would say things like, "that tree is green, can you say green, Connor?" This actually worked. She is only 2 1/2 years older than him but she is very smart. It seemed my son would not do or say anything for me, but he would for his big sister. This worked for us. I hope this helped a little. It could be just that she has the "younger sibling" gene or maybe she does need her hearing tested. If you have a local public elementary school, sometimes they will have a program where they test to see if your child is behind. If she is, they can help her before she goes to kindergarden to get her ready & it is paid by the state through that school. My friend did this with her son & it really helped him, plus it is free. I hope this helps!

I would trust your instincts...You think something may be going on? Well, call Child Find and they will do a FREE evaluation to determine if anything is a miss... If there is, you will be able to qualify for FREE help! This is not based on income or anything like that. Its a service by our local Board of Education. The programs they offer are not the best in town, but it would help some.

Kinda comparing speech/language by the school system to driving a Volkswagen, and speech/language outside of the school system as a BMW.

There are programs out there that will help with hearing tests...i would contact your pediatrician who should have a list for you. Child Find may also have this list.

My son has speech and language delays, so i know how hard all of this is...There is help out there...:)

C.,

Hi there! As a mother to 3 boys let me in on some of my experiences with my boys. With my oldest son, now 14 I never worried. He started talking at 9 months in full sentences and had full blown conversations. Now for my second son I wasn't too worried but when he was 2 and wasn't speaking full sentences my pediatrician at the time kept telling me that he should be speaking full sentences and sent him to be evaluated. Of course we ended up in speech therapy for close to a year with a little improvement, not much. Close to his fourth birthday I stopped the speech therapy and put him into daycare for the vpk and wouldn't you know it about a month later he started chatting up a storm. Now with my 3rd son, he is 3 1/2 and says a lot of words, has several small sentences in his little box of sentences that he uses but not too many. However, I did switch pediatricians, when I bring this up with him and he tells me that as long as he can mimic things that I say and he is put three or more words together on his own and he knows more than 3 words he is doing fine. It is usually a matter of just not wanting to do it. I have found this to be very true with my sons, now every child is different. If you are noticing that she isn't even mimicing or saying more than 3 words on her own I would definitely say that it is time to get her evaluated. I only told you my little story to show you that each child is different and that they learn in their own unique ways.

I wish you the best of luck.

S.

I would be concerned. But there are some options out there to also put your mind at ease. There is a program in Florida called part C. You do not have to have insurance for. It is a program for 0-3 years of age. Arnold Palmer hospital does the evaluations and will tell you if your child will qualify for help. Just call the main number and they will direct you. If your daughter is to old to qualify then, call Seminole county or Orange county schools depending upon where you live. They will test your daughter to see if she qualifies for speech or any other services.The school system will test your child even if they are not in school.This also does not require insurance. Next school year you can enroll your child in Voluntary pre- k,which being in the public school system You can request your child to be tested. I hope this info. is helpful to you . I went through some speech delays with my son.The part C program was very helpful to me. They even have people come to your home for services if you qualify. I am also SAHM of 3. 17,6 and 5.

CHECK WITH YOUR SCHOOL SYSTEM. SPEECH PROBLEMS ARE LISTED AS SPECIAL EDUCATION AND THEY START THOSE KIDS EARILIER THAN OTHERS.. START NOW AND MAKE HER SAY WHAT SHE WANTS,TALK TO HER IN ADULT SENTENCES NO BABY TALK WATER NOT WAWA BY YOU. SHE LEARNS BY MIMIC SO SAY WORDS THEY WAY YOU WANT HER TO WHEN SHE'S 16. READ BOOKS TO THE GANG TURN OFF THE TV UNLESS IT IS AN EDUCATIONAL SHOW. gET HER AROUND OTHER KIDS HER AGE.
mIDDLE KIDS ARE THE WORST TO BE, YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING FIRST,YOU'RE NEVER THE CUTE BABY YOU DON'T GET THE SAME AMOUT OF ATTENTION YOU ARE JUST THERE. iT IS IN THE PSYCHOLOGY BOOKS. PLACEMENT IN A FAMILY DOES MATTER. MY HUSBAND IS AN ONLY CHILD AND IT SHOWS. i HAVE BEEN THE MIDDLE CHILD FROM 1952 TO 1994 WHEN MY OLDER SISTER DIED JUST 2 MOUNTHS BEFORE MY DOUBLE TRANS PLANTS. SHE DIED ON THE TABLE HAVING HER GALLBLATTER OUT. SHE EVEN GOT ME TO THE END. MOM WAS THERE FOR ALL MY SISTERS' AND BROTHER'S CHILDREN BUT NOT ME. a NO SHOW WHEN MY DAUGHTER HAD TUBES IN HER EARS, BUT THE USAF CAME TO MY AIDE BY TAKING MY SON TO DAY CARE. HUBBY OUT OF TOWN FIXING AN F15, bEING A MIDDLE CHILD IS HELL, YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR ATTENTION ANYWAY YOU CAN tHE REAL BUMMER IS NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO SHE WILL FALL INTO THE MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME. HER SPEECH MAY JUST BE HER ATTENTION GETTER. i LOVE ALL MY SIBLINGS. I JUST DON'T LIKE ONE. THE BABY
ONCE THERE WAS A VERY WORRIED MOM. HER 4 YEAR OLD HAD NEVER SAID A WORD. THEN ONE DAY HE YELLED DAMN IT YOU BURNT THE FRENCH FRIES.! MOM WAS SURPRISED AND ASK WHY HE HAD NOT SPOKEN BEFORE.HIS ANSWER WAS" EVERYTHING HAS BE FINE UP TO NOW!"

2 things - 1, I agree with Dawn that it doesn't hurt to have her evaluated. There are services available that you don't have to pay for.

Also, I would talk with the older child and let her know that your 4 year old needs to answer for herself. With my son we started things with food because he loves to eat. If he wanted a snack there was no more "reading his mind" which we too could do as you do, or letting him point or grab. We got down on our knees and face to face encouraged him to ask for it. Example, we knew he wanted crackers. We down on our knees held the crackers and chips in different hands. We looked at him and said do you want crackers (and moved them towards him without giving them to him) or do you want chips (same motion)? Speak slowly and if there is not an immediate response don't panic. Count to 10 and then ask again. If he'd grab for the crackers we'd respond "I didn't hear you. Do you want crackers?" Basically we started by teaching him yes then to say "I want crackers please" A speech therapist can show you and her how to do all this. They can also teach initial sign language to initiate the conversation. If you just want some things to do at home feel free to contact me and I'll walk you through them. I'm not a therapist but my son had severe speech/lanuage delays and we have been to many a therapy sessions. It's best when you can stay in the room with the therapist so you can learn what he/she is teaching your child and then repeat it at home. My background is in Special Education as well.

C. ###-###-#### or ____@____.com

my son is almost 3 and i am having the same problem. I have heard of many kids not talking till they turned 4. My son is also somewhat bilingual so even the doctor says that it takes longer. My doctor has tried to get me to go into speech therapy for him, but like you insurance is an issue. I also understand him without him talking. the joy of being mother. Sometimes i hear words, but you gotta listen well. Stay strong, its frustrating i know, we are their first teacher, i blame myself for not doing this or that but all we can do is try to fix it. Spend more quality time and talking like they understand and reply. Good Luck

Hi C.,

There could be several things going on here. Since you don't have insurance I would first talk to your oldest child and see if she would not help her communicate. This is a common problem for younger children. The next thing I would do would be to detox the house and see if anything is impeding her thoughts from being expressed. My daughter had a complete turnaround when she didn't have the neurotoxins in the house interfering with her thinking. (Windex, Pledge, Tide, Dawn and all the generic substitutes have a high toxicity level that can affect children much more than adults.) My daughter went from not reading to reading in a manner of weeks....

If these things don't have any affect on her I would get her hearing tested. There are places that do that for free. Just google. At that point if there is still no visible reason, you can start spending the money for consultations. This entire process shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks.

My answer is NO, you shouldn't worry until you have exhausted all that you can do. You said she is smart. That says a lot to the fact that it is probably an outside stimuli that is causing this. Be patient and observant.

God bless..I'll be praying for her and for you as well :)

M.

My 3 year old has problem w/speech too. We got him therapy with Part C/Early Steps all around Florida and when he turned 3 they transfered us to Child Find (which you should find out about they might help you) and they got me thru the school system. They placed him in pre-kinder for special needs. He goes m-f half a day and the bus picks him up. All free of charge. and they are great. Try finding information w/Child Find because Early Steps ends when they turn 3 it ends. If you need anymore info please let me know! Good luck!

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