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Needing Advice About My 23 Month Old Son

I have a 23 month old son, turning 2 in April, Who hasn't started talking yet. He babbles alot and says things, but not Words. He's very affectionate and funny. He loves playing With his older brother, Who is turning 10 in April. My niece started talking at 15 Months old, so I aM concerned. I've heard that it's norMal, so if anyone has any advice for Me, or been through the saMe thing I'd appreciate it.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the responses. I feel alot better now. He has his 2 year old physical next Month, so I will get some info there. Thanks again everyone!

Featured Answers

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist - I suggest having his hearing evaluated by an Audiologist to see what if any problems he may have with his hearing.

2nd - does he have to talk to have his needs/wants met? If not, he will not be compelled to use any kind of speech to communicate as long as he can point or cry to get what he wants.

3rd - have him evaluated by a Speech-Language Pathologist as soon as possible - they will be able to help you not only with what he should/could be doing by now but how to facilitate language.

4th feel free to contact me with any questions at ____@____.com.


1 mom found this helpful

My youngest son didn't really talk until around the 2yr mark either. His problem was that his older brother was talking for him. If I asked him if he was hungry, big brother would say "yes he wants chicken" I finally had to start telling big brother to hush and make the baby tell me what he wanted. He's 7 now and never shuts up!(hahahaha)


I know that some will tell you not to worry, that it's normal, and just wait.

Get a hearing test for him. Go to an otolarygologist, also call ENT for Ear Nose and Throat. Or try an audiologist if the otolarygologist doesn't have one. Once anything physical has been ruled out, try a speech pathologist. There may even be a good educational product to use. Try to eliminate unnecessary clatter and noises in the house. Also try singing and getting him to sing. Singing helped me to achieve excellent pronunciation in Spanish and made me less reserved in speaking it to people.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

In Amazon sisterhood,
B. Williams

More Answers

I'm a little worried b/c most of the advise I am reading is for you not to "worry". When my son was not talking (only babbling and a couple of sounds) I kept insisting something was wrong. I was told by the dr and everyone else that he'll talk when he's ready. I heard it all, "He doesn't need to talk b/c you talk for him," "James Earl Jones didn't talk until he was almost 4",yadda yadda yadda. I finally had enough and took matters into my own hands. I called ECI and had him evaluated, in addition I had his hearing checked. BINGO. He had a hearing loss. I wouldn't wait very long to have his hearing checked b/c every month is so crucial in their early years. My son wound up getting ear surgery and being in Speech Therapy for the next 3 years to compensate for my delayed reaction. I can't help but think that if I had gone w/my instincts in the very beginning (around 18 mos.) instead of listening to everyone else than I would have saved him a lot of frustration (and hard work in speech).

1 mom found this helpful

Remember that every child is different, and every child learns at their own pace... I am telling you as a special ed preschool teacher that lots of children do not speak until they are 2 years old or even 3 in some cases... However you will probably notice that your child is more developed in the mental(cognitive & motor skills) parts-likes to play games, build puzzles, lots of hands on stuff and probably catches on really quickly. While other children tend to begin talking and do not advance in the motor skills until later, and there are some that balance and develope everything together(rare)- again though it is not fair to your child to compare them to anyone else in the family or any other child for that matter...I read through a lot of the responses wrote by other moms that had something wrong with their child, I am not saying that it is bad advice to go and have your childs hearing tested however most doctors will have you wait till age 4 and they will test their eye sight as well, just don't get all scared because a few of these women had children that did have children that needed a little extra help. I would consider these things before worrying about the childs ears as being a problem-does your child constantly get ear aches? pull at their ears? while your child is playing-(do this from behind) drop something heavy and again later something just loud(pan lid)do it near and in another room and watch and see if your child gives a reaction... Also talk to your child, call them to you from another room in a regular voice-don't yell.. does he respond- these are all ways to test his hearing at home, If your child is reacting to up close sounds and sounds from far chances are there is nothing wrong with their hearing and it is developmental, if you DO NOT get a response then take him to the doctor and explain why you think he needs to have his hearing checked, explain what you did at home... Otherwise if you get reactions from most of these do not worry at this time, they are who they are, and if you start pushing learning in a neg way now it will only limit them later. Children learn through play, Its how they get their personality, However a suggestion that could help improve his talking skills- start singing songs with him, play the radio, turn on sesame street or another PBS show-let him hear the different sounds so that he can mimmick, do itsy spider and teapot so he learns the movements, join a play group, preschool class- this will help him to interact with other children his age, allow him to begin mimicking other sounds, learn songs, and lots of other verbal and nonverbal skills.. As a preschool teacher and a parent, I noticed that children whom participated in playgroups outside of preschool had better communication skills than children whom stayed home with parents and siblings all day. **Oh an if it helps my son didn't start talking until he was almost 3 ( he is bilingual)-now he won't stop-lol and my daughter starting babling at 2(bilingual also) and is 2 1/2 she is talking but I am the only one who understands what she is saying... Good Luck and don't worry!!! HE IS NORMAL!

1 mom found this helpful

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist - I suggest having his hearing evaluated by an Audiologist to see what if any problems he may have with his hearing.

2nd - does he have to talk to have his needs/wants met? If not, he will not be compelled to use any kind of speech to communicate as long as he can point or cry to get what he wants.

3rd - have him evaluated by a Speech-Language Pathologist as soon as possible - they will be able to help you not only with what he should/could be doing by now but how to facilitate language.

4th feel free to contact me with any questions at ____@____.com.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi L. ---

I wouldn't worry about it - I have a 22mo son and he is the same way. There are more and more kids being born who are taking their time on talking. If he is otherwise healthy, funny and understands things and finds ways to communicate with you, then he's fine ----just be patient. I have talked to lots of moms about this and most of these kiddos start their words from age 2yrs to 3 yrs. Some don't really even talk till they are 4 and older if you can believe that - they just don't feel the need and are absolutely fine! There is also some recent evidence on these kids that they are highly intelligent thinkers! So they aren't focused on talking immediately - they are way too focused on thinking about their new life and all around them. And, from what I have heard, once they talk, you cannot shut them up so enjoy your quiet now while you can!!! lol

Important to know - you know your own child and stick with what you know and sense - the challenge for those of us parents with "different" kids is to have very thick skin from other parents who compare, judge or try and tell you that something is "wrong" with your child - i.e. autism, Sensory Integration Dysfunction,Dyslexia,Central Auditory Processing Disorder, ADD, ADHD, etc. etc. etc.... - Although it is important to be aware of these disorders there are so many children that just beat to a different drum these days and there is nothing wrong with them at all. In fact, these are the generation of kiddos who probably need to be alittle different, as they will have to think outside of the box to deal with all our issues in the world - these are kids who will grow up to make great changes in our planet! So if some of them are outside the norm - more power to them - don't judge them, just love them and enjoy them - they are so wonderful! I am sure your son is absolutely precious!


1 mom found this helpful

My son will be two i n april as well. he doesn't talk either. I am not concerned because I can tell that he is on his way to talking. he babbles and "talks" to us just as if he was saying words. You have to remember EVERY child is different. you cannot compare kids. It just doesn't work like that. If you are really worried I would take him to the hearing doctor and make sure his ears are working, other than that, in his own time he will develop those words... In the meantime enjoy him not talking :) Love the stage he's in because he will never be that age again!

My son didn't talk until he was three. I think that a lot of it had to do with the fact that his older sister talked for him. If he wanted something she would figure it out and go get it. Also, he was quietly taking things in. He understood everything that was said to him and had things figured out. You need to make sure that everyone in the family is making HIM communicate what it is that he needs with his words. Say, "use your words.". Be patient, however because he hasn't began talking yet, forming the words properly will take quite some time.

Mother of 4. 10, 7, 6, and 3.

We went through the same thing with our youngest son (now 5). As soon as a child is 3 yrs old, you can go through the school for speech, etc. Before that, here in Baytown, we went through ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). It is through the United Way program. They came to our home (his space) and did all kinds of games to test him. They ended up coming to our home every week for about 6 months. While there, they played games. It didn't seem like they were doing anything more than playing, but within 6 months, he had an incredible vocabulary.... from 2 words at 2 years. We were beginning to think he was autistic. We also went through testing simultaneously at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. I would first begin by talking to his pedi. Since he's 23 months, he's almost due for his 2nd year appointment. I would talk to them about appropriate milestones - keeping in mind that boys mature slower. Although Thomas had several red flags for autism (had words then lost them, lack of words, behaviors, etc.), I am beginning to think it just wasn't his time yet. He is now 5 and doesn't need speech therapy, he is talking just fine.

Good luck and God bless,
Mom to 2 wonderful boys, 7 & 5.


I know that some will tell you not to worry, that it's normal, and just wait.

Get a hearing test for him. Go to an otolarygologist, also call ENT for Ear Nose and Throat. Or try an audiologist if the otolarygologist doesn't have one. Once anything physical has been ruled out, try a speech pathologist. There may even be a good educational product to use. Try to eliminate unnecessary clatter and noises in the house. Also try singing and getting him to sing. Singing helped me to achieve excellent pronunciation in Spanish and made me less reserved in speaking it to people.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

In Amazon sisterhood,
B. Williams

My son wasn't talking either at that age. I took him to the Easter Seals Foundation (we lived in Florida then), who tested him and said his ears were fine. (His pediatrician had told me for the first 3 years of his life that he was deaf.) When he was 3 1/2 I got him into the public school speech therapy program. he is 17 now and still has a few problems (mostly because he forgets to enunciate, not because he can't) but he was released from speech therapy about 2 years ago. The general conclusion is that his mind works faster than his mouth. Ignoring your son is NOT the answer, my son and I had our "own sign language" to this day, if I need him to do ANYTHING while I am having a conversation with someone else, he still responds to the sign language. I feel that ignoring a child does nothing for their self esteem and certainly won't encourage him to talk if he knows you aren't listening. Encourage him to talk, slow him down if necessary, but PLEASE don't ignore him just because you can't understand him. God Bless!

I would have his hearing checked out and send him to a speech therapist.

My daughter, who is not nine, did not utter a word until she was 2 1/2. We tested her hearing, everything but her doctor finally told us she had four adults in her house (two much older brothers) and did not need to talk. When she started to talk it was in complete sentences. Check your child's hearing and then just try not to worry. Liv is not a perfectly eloquent child and looking back I can see what I put myself through because she didn't compare with her older brothers in various milestones. Everybody is different and developes at a different rate. I hope that helps.


My youngest son didn't really talk until around the 2yr mark either. His problem was that his older brother was talking for him. If I asked him if he was hungry, big brother would say "yes he wants chicken" I finally had to start telling big brother to hush and make the baby tell me what he wanted. He's 7 now and never shuts up!(hahahaha)

My youngest son was the same way. It was almost as if he had his own little language. He was a about 2 1/2 when he started using more words. When you take him in for his two year check up ask the doctor just for your own peace of mind.


Your son will probably start talking in sentences, very soon. "Normal" is two-word sentences at two years, but some babies just don't get the right sounds together until a little later. Another six months before I'd be concerned in any way. A..

My son didn't start talking until he was almost 3. There wasn't anythin wrong with, he was just the lazy. He pointed and his older siblings would get it. Make sure with your doctor that there is nothing physically delaying him (hearing, etc.) If there's nothing wrong, then make sure everyone in the house makes the youngest use words to get what he wants. My son loved stories that rhymed (Dr. Seuss.) I also bought a book "My First 100 words", it has pictures of things we see everyday. I worked with him for 20 minutes everyday, I broke it up since he was little. It jump started him, he's four now and you can't tell he was a late bloomer. He has turned into quite the conversationalist. Don't forget every kid is different from your last. Good luck and bless you!

My children have the same age spread as yours. When my youngest turned 2, she could say 5 words. mama, dada, pop, bye, and something else. By the time she was 2 1/2, she went from barely talking to saying everything, including singing her ABC's.

If y'all are anything like my family, y'all (including your 10 yr old) are predicting what he's going to say and he doesn't really need to talk. I didn't even realize we were doing that until later.

The way you describe your son being funny and interacting with his brother, I'm sure there is nothing at all to be concerned about. From what our pedi told us, as long as she can follow directions and interact, she's fine!

I'm sure your pedi will reassure you when you go in for the 2 yr old check up.

Funny, I just heard a similar story, but the outcome is different, this child was deaf and had learned to read lips.
Stand behind your child and clap or speak to them and see if they respond. THis is the test this couple's friend did to show this childs parents he could not hear. They are find now that he has a hearing aide. This is just a possability, or could be he is just not ready to start talking.

I am a preschool teacher and I have to tell you that many children, boys especially, enter preschool at 2 without much speech. It's perfectly normal and I wouldn't worry about it at this point. As long as he is exposed to speech either at home or in preschool or other programs, he will eventually begin to talk.

I wouldn't really worry about it unless he starts regressing. I have told many others that Einstein didn't speak until he was four, but neither did my mother in law (i love her to death, but she's definately no genius ;-) ) Also, children who have parents who are very attentive, often speak later because all there needs are being met right then so they really dont have to focus on speaking because some can get by with pointing and whining.

Hi L.;
My 2 1/2 is the same way. He is babbling but not talking a whole lot. My 6 yr old at his age was talking and making sentences, I have asked my pediatrician about this concern, she said not to worry, he will come around, she also recommended I take him to an ENT to get his hearing checked. Good Luck, L..

T. S.

Geez - where was this site 6 months ago when I needed it!!Looks like you've got lots of great information here!

I am in the same boat as you are. I have a 27 month old who is JUST starting to say a few words.

I kept asking around for others who had a similar experience when he was about 22 months, and I had a lot of "friend of a friend stories, but nothing encouraging. The posts here should be a great comfort to you!

People mean diffent things by their kids not talking. At 2 years old my son said NOTHING!!! Not even mamma or dadda. He also did not point. But he's also super social and very affectionate. (He also has a twin brother that speaks incessantly!!)

At 18 months we started Speach Therapy. And I would encourage you to do so too. If your insurance pays for it then go private. You should get better experienced therapists from what I heard.

A hearing test will be required before you start therapy. And it is a MUST weather you think he hears fine or not, he could have certain decibals he's not picking up.

I won't go into all the same advice - you've got plenty here. But no one yet has mentioned signing with him. I'm sure you do it anyway as it comes as natural as baby-talking to your child. But we have only a handful that we use. More, Help, Go, Ball, Please, All Done and a few more. When I know he wants something I make him point to it (like his sippy cup) and do the sign for Please. You're just helping him to learn that communication is a two way street. And believe it or not, sometimes that just doesn't come so easy for some kids as others.

We had to teach our son to point, he does it on his own now but not as frequent as other kids.

My biggest advice, worry less about the words being said and more about 2 way communication. My son does say some words now, but they are REALLY muddled - they are mostly just vowel sounds. But it is a HUGE improvement from where we were even 3 months ago. However, our communication has improved SOO much. And cuts down on the frustration for both of us.

And by the way... my son is fine. He has had a 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinion. All of them say he's completely normal, just a late bloomer.

I'm sure your son will be fine without speech therapy. But it really will speed things up a bit and teach YOU how to communicate on his level.

Good Luck!

Hi L.,

Our oldest son was the same way. We found out that he had hearing problems due to constant ear infections. On his 2nd b-day he had tubes put in, and from that day on he hasn't stopped talking. If your child doesn't suffer from them, it still wouldn't hurt to go to an ENT and have him checked out. Good luck.



You should talk to your pediatrician about your concerns and definitely request a hearing screening. As everyone else has said all kids do develop at different rates but if there is a problem it is always better to catch it sooner rather than later. According to the developmental milestones guidelines a child should be using 8-10 words by the age of 18 months. Of course that's just a guide and not all children will, but it's worth following up with your pediatrician.

My oldest son actually spoke early and had exceptional language skills at an early age. Because he was so advanced in these areas when we noticed a problem with his social skills at age 3 we assumed he was just shy and would learn to play with other kids sooner or later. We waited a year before seeing a developmental pediatrician and then learned that he had a form of autism called Asperger's. My son is doing well now (age 6) but I do wish now that I had not waited to have him evaluated so that he could have started receiving help a year sooner.

Good Luck,

My daughter is 2 and a half and is just starting to really use words so don't fret. Each kid does things on their own time and comparing your child to another child will only make it worse. I am not stressing over it. I work with her everyday and she is finally starting to talk a little.

Hi L.,

I would suggest contacting ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). They will come to your home and do a free evaluation of your child. If they decide he qualifies for services, they will send a Speech and Language Pathologist to your home to provide the services (I believe that too, is free in most cases). Because it is a government run program, they have nothing to gain by falsely qualifying your child.

My son was a late crawler/walker, so they sent out a physical therapist to evaluate him. He did not end up qualifying for services, but they were very nice and professional to work with during the evaluation process.

Hope that helps.

Hello L.,

My name is D. and I have and am going through the same thing that you are experiencing.

I wouldn't worry too much about your son's speech. Sometime's with boys they tend to be a little more laid back than girls or take their time with certain developments.

I know first hand because I have three boys and my last is a girl. She's two and talking almost perfectly, with my son's my middle son he was fast just like his birth so he didn't encounter any delayed speech. He babbled just like my other sons and started to speak clearly between 2 and 3.

So really it just depends on the child.

Now I have a 7 year old who wasn't talking around that age as well even before then but I wasn't concerned until the doctor made it a big issue.

The reason I wasn't so concerned is because I didn't talk for some time as a baby so my sister's tell me. I was quite to myself and so was my son at the age of 2.

As time went on and my son made 3 I noticed some signs that I didn't want to acknowledge and started getting concerned and my pastor asked me if I'd heard of autism?

Of course I internally freaked out but outwardly I kept my cool. But the only autism I knew of was from "Rain Man," you know the movie with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

Anyway, turned out that my son did and does have autism but there are several spectrum and thankfully his is mild. He's very sociable and affectionate and he is now speaking a few words and sentences. But I believe that if I hadn't doubted and been fearful when it was first brought to my attention by my pastor he would've been further along in his speech.

My three year old was having the same issue accept we caught it before hand and he is in school receiving speech therapy and before then he received speech therapy through ECI (Early Childhood Intervention).

Don't be alarmed I'm not suggesting that your child has autism but it could be one or two things. Talk to your pediatrician and go on the website and look up Early Childhood Intervention or your Pediatrician can refer you if necessary.

Hope this helps

I went through this with my son who is now almost 9. I thought he was just stubborn and hard headed. I took him to his doctor and he said that it was normal...which of corse had me more frustrated so after about a month I took him back and the doctor found that he had fluid on his ears and needed tubes. After the tubes were put in with in days he was talking up a storm and hasn't stopped since!!! Best of luck!

I have a girlfriend who has a son who didn't start talking until he was about 3. Our kids are the same age, and my dd was jabbering away in full sentences & he would still just grunt. I told her many times that I could tell he had all kinds of stuff going on in his head, and that he'd probably just start talking one day & never stop. That's what happened. He started speaking with great diction, grammar & sentence structure. He now lives in Russia, and is fluently bilingual at age 5 after living there for 2 years.

i agree with the other lady ... try doing the ignore him until he says it clear... which if it dont seem to work .. you might wanna get his ears checkd cause maybe he isnt hearing it clearly, just a thougt ... God Bless you

Hi L.,
My 20 month old daughter is not talking; she says some words (rarely) and when she does it's hard to understand. She still make a lot of baby sounds. Her 32 month old sister talks better than my 4 year old son! So it's quite a difference. All my other 3 children (especially the girls) have been talking by now. I'm not really concerned because I know she's intelligent and is on track everywhere else. I think some kids are just late bloomers in different areas. Good Luck! -A.

There are guidelines for speech. I know my little one did not meet them at 18 mos. You need to check with your pediatrician and be persistant if need be. All my children have used speech therapy to some degree and the earlier you start the better. My son started at 18 mos. It also runs in families if your other son had any issues it is likely to affect this one also. I would definitely talk to your PED at his 2 yr appointment and go from there.

My daughter turned 2 in Januray and is not talking as much as her friends. She babbles alot and "talks" in her own language but only says a few real words. When I talked to her Dr. about it, she assured me this is normal. She told me to keep a record of the actual words she does say. She also told me to make sure I was talking to her and naming things and encouraging her to say them back to me....but not to the point that she is frustrated. The other thing that I do think helps is that she is in a MOD program 2 days a week. Most of her other friends have been in daycare FT or PT and it seems that they all talk more than she does. If she hasn't moved ahead by this summer, my pedi mentioned that we can talk about going to a specialist. Another thing-I was asking a friend of mine about her kids-when they talked, etc. (she has 3 boys) and she mentioned that in her area (Katy) they have a speech therapy program through Katy ISD...for younger kids not yet in school. She had mentioned that alot of her friends have taken advantage of that program. So you may check with your school district and find out if they have a similar program for young children. Good Luck!

Don't get discouraged! Your son is communicating and he will start using "words" very soon. Both of my sons were talking much later than their older sisters-and both of them still talk less than their older sisters! Keep on modeling the language you want him to use. Ask him questions and give him answer choices-such as "Do you want juice- yes, or no?" Be assured that he will talk when he's ready. There is an organization called ECI or Early Childhood Intervention that is very helpful. They offer speech and other services to infants up to age 3. Look in your local phone book. I believe their services are on a sliding fee scale, but I know if you explain your concerns they will be glad to visit with you and perhaps offer some advice, reference material or even activities. Above all don't worry about your son developing at a slower pace-he'll be fine!

My little boy is a few months older than yours. A kid in my son's Mother's Day Out class, who is around 2 also, babbled and said a few words here or there but wasn't really talking. I overheard the teacher and his mom discussing his hearing and one day he came in w/ hearing aids on and was talking up a storm after that. I hope you won't be burdened with hearing aids, but it's just an avenue you may pursue.

My daughter who is now 6 was speaking in sentences by 2 so when my son came along and wasn't talking I was a little concerned. He didn't start really talking until he was 2 1/2. He is now 3 and he is talking fine. One reason I think he never talked before was his sister always talked for him. I have a 2 year old daughter who is talking way more than my son ever did at that age. It's normal. Girls are always more verbal than boys and boys tend to make more sound effects. I wouldn't worry too much but if you are still concerned mention it to your pediatrician at the next well check.

At 2 years old he should have 2 word phrases to be on track with normal speech development. Have him evaluated, Early Intervention programs are wonderful, and they have a year with him if he needs speech therapy. Once they turn three, they're generally turned over to the school district for further eval/therapy.

Hi L.,

My little girl (will turn 3 soon!) was also not talking at 23 months. A big part of the problem was the arrival of her little brother when she turned 21 months ... just sort of put a hold on everything for her as she adjusted. Her grandparents were worried about it, and worried me to the point that I asked the pediatrician about it at her checkup! The pediatrician said to give her some time (but wrote me a prescription for a speech therapist just in case), and my husband also kept his head even with the grandparents' pressure and said to give her some time. Well, about two weeks after her birthday, I started hearing new words ... a lot of them! Time was just what she needed. By the end of the summer, she was putting two and three words together, and by Christmas she was talking in full sentences. And then paragraphs! One thing we did was start her in a mothers-day-out program after her birthday -- in part to help her socialize and in part to give me a small break with the new baby. I honestly think that program helped encourage her talking. We never used a speech therapist. Like everything else in her life, she did it herself in her own time. So talk to your doctor about your concerns, but give him some time, too! It's likely that is all he needs. Good luck!

Hi L.,
I was just wondering if his older brother speaks for him. I know my neice was much more delayed in speaking, because her older sister talked for her. We finally had to make the older one stop talking for her and then she started talking pretty quickly after that.... just a thought. But if you are concerned talked to your peditrician.

Hi, I am a 31yr old mother of three great children. I also had a son that just would not speak to us. When he was three I tried to put him in prek, because he could not speak they tested him and figured out that he did need some help. So they enrolled him in prek. That was such a great help because he could not communicate with us at all with words. He is finishing his first yr of kinder and he will have to repeat it because he is just not ready for 1st grade. He has been in school for 3 full yrs and now he wont shut up. The teachers are trained to teach kids how to speak and he has speach lessons aswell. He just needed the teachers to help him along with taling and they did wonders. So dont worry. Sometimes the youngest child just doesnt talk because everyone else does it for them. When he is three try to put him in prek for speech help and he will do fine. Hope I help ease your worries about your son.

My son did not say a word before he was 2. However, a little after 2 he was at the table with the extended family and anounced "more meat". From then on it was EVERYTHING. Boys generally talk later than girls. My niece has just started talking a lot, she will be 2 next week. Check with your doctor. what does he say? Really, 2 is not bad. by 2 1/2 you should have NO problem.
Good job taking care of your babies.

L., hello my name is L.. I am 25, married, and work part-time at IKEA. Dean, my son, just turned 3 in Feb. I first became concerned about my son not saying words when he was 1, at a doctor's visit. I was asked how many words he could speak and when the doctor gave a concerning "hm" to my answer I wondered what I was doing wrong. NOTHING. Every child is different. My son just started speaking words at 2 and a half! Both me and my husband were Daddy even when he did start speaking. I had read to him, and investigated things with him stressing what to call it, sang songs.... he just did not want to. He also went through these phases.....he said "milk" very early on for about a week or so and then just stopped. The rest of the time it was baby talk. It was hard for me seeing other kids his age talking like they were 4, and then my husband was wondering about the possibility that something was wrong. It made me cry because despite what others thought I am not a lazy parent! I had faith that he would come around. I read that it is important not to pressure the child, and just continue exploring and explaining things to them until they are ready. Your son is soaking it all in even if he doesn't try to speak words. I was also told that boys are slower than girls. Don't think that anything is wrong with your son. He will talk and when he starts he won't shut up! Hang in there.
I know exactly how you feel.

My grandson was the same way. We had his hearing checked and the doctors said there was no problem with his hearing. They could not find any physical reason why he was not talking. Now he is 6 and has gone through prek and is now in kindergarten. When he finally did start talking he had what we jokingly called a Brooklyn accent. We are all Texans born and raised. He has a slight speech impetiment which kind of sounds like baby talk, but this improves with age. I still think that maybe he did have some problem early on that was never detected. He seems to have that selective hearing that is normal with children. I hope this helps.

It sounds as if your child has a speech delay. You can get help from an ECI (Early Intervention Agency). In Austin, call Any Baby Can ,or Easter Seals. Do not wait and listen to people who tell you he will outgrow this. The earlier you get the child help, the better the outcome is. I have worked as a PPCD (Pre-school Program for Children with Disabilities) teacher for ten years and have seen great progress for kids who get early help. After your child turn three, the public schools offer free programs. Get him a Speech/ developmental eval. as soon as possible. J. K.

All kids progress at a different rate. I don't think you should be too alarmed. He is babbling and that is a positive sign. He is just not ready to make words yet. Comparing him will do NO GOOD!!! Your neice may have been saying words at 15 months but look at other areas too. What does your son do or did earlier than your niece. There is bound to be something. My daughters are one year apart. ( to the day, their bday is 12-16!) My oldest daughter and my younger daughter started talking at the SAME TIME. They were two and a half and one and a half. It was actually knid of funny. But I can appreciate what you feel. My friend and my sister kept on me about my oldest not talking. I got all the "is something wrong with her" questions too. But I can tell you that the answer is NO.

Hi. My name is C. and have had a friend who went to her son's 18 mo check-up and because he was not saying 10 words, he qualified for someone to come and test him. His tests show that he does need some help. So, for 6 months, he's eligible to have someone come visit and work with the family. This just recently occured and I have a friend who's 5 year old also had help for some time and I believe this help is through the state. So, maybe at your next visit you can share this as a concern. I hope it helps!

I would suggest a hearing test. Never can be to sure.......my grandson has fluid behind his ears so that changes his hearing.Tubes will probally be the next step for him. But in your case. If the dr says all is well, I would suggest working on a few words at a time Like drink eat ect make him try the word before giving him what ever he is asking for. You may notice people give him what he wants so he feels no need to talk.good luck

My oldest, who will be eight next month, did not talk at all until he was two years old. We were very concerned about him, and the pediatrician said not to worry unless he was still not talking at two. When he did begin speaking, he had a full vocabulary and could speak in complete sentences. He has not stopped talking since. LOL!
Hope this eases your mind a bit.

Hi L.!

I to faced that with my now 3 year old(almost 4) that really started talking at 2 1/2 which worried me for my first was very fast at doing everything. He didnt potty train completely till 3 almost 3 1/2. So yes it might worry and concern you but every told me it was normal. So its okay and evidentually will do. Good Luck!

S. W

I would talk with a doctor. He might benifit from seeing a speech pathologist. Eary intervention is always best
~ Tess

Your son is probably so smart, too. He is just taking it all in and one day, he will start talking and won't stop. This is normal. You can try some things. Do you ever try to get him to say words like when he wants a drink, have him say,"drink please" or before you give him a bite of something, have him try to say, "bite" Can he copy words like this? If not, try to make that a priority in getting him to copy words as you live them. (bath, diaper, facial parts like eyes, nose,) If he can do this well, then try two to three word phrases like "change diaper" "drink please" "bath time" I remember my daughter being signed up for a club at three years old. They were having them memorize things and I was terrified because she could barely speak! Now everyone can't believe how clear and audible she speaks. It all works out...some children are just a little slower, but it doesn't mean they are any less smarter!
On the other hand, speech problems do exist and it is possible he may need some therapy. Check the school your 10 year old attends and ask them how old they have to be in order to be tested.


He should definitely be saying 2 words together like, "Hi mommy,". Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? I would recommend getting him a Sounds Like Fun CD from Discovery Toys. It has songs on it for language development and it has helped many of my customers. One fo my favorite songs has , "Do you know these letter sounds? Apple, apple, aa,aa,aa. Baby baby baby ba,ba,ba and continues repetitive letter sounds throughout the alphabet. If you let him listen he will want to sing along. It's slow enough that he can comprehend the words. Also, have you tried baby sign language? That would help as well. Check out the Sounds Like Fun at www.cindystoybox.com and let me know if you'd like to try it. Peace, C.

Hang in there! My 2 1/2 year old son is just starting to use words consistently. At 23 months, he still was not using daddy. He had said it a few times before, but never referred to his daddy as anything but a babble. I've heard that boys are slower than girls and that the second child is sometimes slower to pick up on things, i.e. crawling, talking. I would definitely talk to your pediatrician about it. He or she should have the best advice for you. Just in the past month, my little guy has had an explosion of words. I'm still hoping for more, but you can't force it. You've just got to keep nurturing them!

Our son did the same thing. He had said a couple of words pretty young, but then stopped talking at all until is was 2 yo. He was always very quiet, so he didn't even babble a whole lot- that's just his personality, so we didn't think much of it. My family kept teasing us that we wanted so bad for him to start walking & talking (he did both pretty late), but once he starts we'll want him to sit down & shut up...
Now at 3 runs around like a little maniac and talks up a storm. No, he doesn't talk nearly as well as my niece did at his age, but he does understand complex concepts much better than she did. It's hard to compare them because each child is unique. Plus, as I'm sure you've heard, girls generally talk earlier than boys do.

I have been in the same situation. My 29 month old daughter hasn't started talking yet. I have had her evaluated by the Early Childhood Intervention program. I would recommend calling them if you really feel he is behind. The evaluation is free and they are really helpful. If he is behind they will help him catch up and if he isn't behind then you will at least have some peace of mind.

Don't let people tell you that it is normal, because it's not. I was told the same thing about my son. I recommend having your child evaluated by a developmental pediatrician. There are 2 or 3 in San Antonio.

Also, contact Early Childhood Intervention. They offer services for children under 3. They did wonders with my son. My child is now 4 and in a pre-k for children with disabilities.

Hi, I'm a mother of 5 (3 girls and 2 boys) and 1 grand child (almost 2). Kids all learn to talk at different stages as long as he is saying a few words, there shouldn't be anything to worry about and speech has nothing to do with intelligence. My oldest daughter who is now 22 could hold a conversation with you when she was a year and 1/2 old and her older brother was 2 1/2 at the time couldn't talk nearly as well. My grandbaby will be 2 in May and doesn't talk in sentences,just some words and jabbers alot, but she understands everything. Just enjoy him!

I have a child who spoke only 10 words by age 2. He too had older siblings, as well as younger ones. I'm not so big on comparing children at stages, and I do NOT let older ppl talk for the younger ones, but his ped was concerned and we had him tested at a local development center. His dx was slight hearing loss AND a development delay. He went into speech therapy for 6 yrs. He's now a teenager and speaks just fine - nonstop.

I wouldn't worry about your son not talking much yet. I work with 2 & 3 year olds just about every week in Sunday School and many of them don't talk very well or at all yet.
I have a nephew who will be 3 in July. He has been talking since he was 2. I have a friend with a little girl who is a week older than my nephew and she's just now starting to really talk.
Just keep talking to your son and he'll pick it up before you know it. If he's like my son, once he starts talking, he'll never stop. Good luck and remember...don't compare...it will drive you crazy.

I experience that same thing with my 23 month old son, he too has an older brother 5. At that point, he had yet to say Mama. However, I did get him tested by the state (it is free to anyone regardless if you make a lot of money). They indicated that his hearing was fine and that possibly I/my husband understood his needs so there was no need for him to say things. Of course, I want him to say "Mama". A few weeks past and it did happen. Now at 27 months, reading what to expect the toddler years, again he is behind on the verbal target but the ESD department has asked us to pronunicate more clearly, ask him questions (and this important show patience when waiting for the answer), and lastly make sure the older brother doesn't try to talk for him.
I know this is easier to write down what to do ... but if your state provides this service at least have him test. Its piece of mine, and sometimes all of need that.

Hi. I'm just letting you know you're not by yourself. My son will turn 3 in September and the only word he can say properly is "Pizza". sha sha shee is chuck e cheese. My husband gets angry but my 7 yr old is a severe chatterbox so I let him slide. He'll talk when ever he's ready.

As long as his ears are ok and he seems to have normal development otherwise, do not worry about his speech. Typically boys talk later than girls and I have known children who go from no words to full sentences later on. My nephew and my son are 30 months old and my son talks up a storm while his cousin speaks "Zach-anese" as they call it. Kids are all different.

That said, you can help. Talk to your son. Talk to him a lot and about everything. Repeat words five, six, seven times and wait until he tries to repeat them. After he says a word, . Read to him a lot and try to use character voices so he can pick up patterns in speech. All of these things will go a long way in the long term to helping him develop his speech. Good luck.

My son did not speak until he went into pre-school. He wanted to "talk" to the other boys and make friends. Before that I had all the hearing and mental testing done to see what was wrong. At the time we were in Las Vegas and they had a "free" program with classes that would help him with speech. This was through the State/County special Education, up to 4 years old. So from 4-6 I was on my own, a little bit of sign language didn't hurt, at least I was able to tend to basic needs like food, drinks, sleeptime and bathroom. He's now a normal functioning 14 year old who makes A's and B's at school.

I am in same situation don't worry...The doctors said she is fine and maybe if I did not do everything she wanted she would talk.Thats my situation

I have a son who turned 3 in Nov. He didn't start talking until he was at least 2 1/2. Even now he still babbles as much as he talks, however, his speech is making improvements daily. As long as you know it is not a hearing issue, my advice is to just relax and read to him often. He will start talking when he is ready.

Get his hearing checked! This is the age when most parents start noticing that their child is not using words to speak and there could be a problem.

Our daughter didn't start talking until she was almost 2 and a half. We took her for testing and the doctor said she would start talking when she was ready. When she did start talking, she started with complete sentences. Several people kept reminding me that Einstein didn't speak until he was 2.

Hi, I also went through the same thing. My first son could talk before he could walk, we could say words to him and he would repeat everything perfectly. So when my second came along, we expected the same. We could try to get him to repeat words and he would just ignore us. When he turned 2 and still wasnt talking plain, I worried. He is now 27 months and you would not believe some of the things he says. You can actually carry on a conversation with him. Its like someone flipped a switch. We figure he was listening all that time, he just didnt want to talk. So I wouldnt worry if I were you. Just give it time.

My youngest turns 4 next month...my oldest is 8 1/2...and spoke in complete sentences by a year old. When my youngest wasn't progressing very well, I mentioned my concern to my pediatritian. After making sure he didn't have an ear infection, she suggested we take my youngest to get his speech and hearing tested. He passed the hearing test with flying colors, but was WAY behind on the speech.

We had a therapist come to our home and do an evaluation. It just so happened that my oldest was home at the time. The therapist explained that my youngest wasn't talking because he didn't have to...his big brother was doing it all for him! She suggested that before we started therapy, we find something for my youngest to do without his big brother where he would have to start using his words. (She also explained to my oldest that to be an awesome teacher, he would need to help us make his little bother talk...she encouraged him to read books and have his little brother repeat words.)

We enrolled him in a day school (3 hours a day, 4 days a week), put him in choir at churh and he started a children's program (Cubbie's...part of AWANA's) at church where he has to memorize a bible verse every week.

A year later and he is doing GREAT!!! He talks all the time now. He is understood about 90 - 95% of the time by people. I think the church programs encourage him to use new words and school forces him to communicate with other children as well as adults. The combination has been awesome...besides, it saved me TONS in what we would have paid in speech therapy! The added benefit...his big brother loves to read to him!

Hi L.. I encountered the same thing with my now 4 1/2 yr old son. I had him evaluated through ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) when he was 19 mo old. He was only saying "Ba" and mama and dada. He started speech therapy at 20 mo. It is free through the state. It can be normal. However, I feel that it never hurts to have them evaluated. If they do not qualify, then you can go to private therapy or just be patient and see what happens. If he does qualify, then great. He gets a head start instead of waiting until school and having to go through it then. They can begin to get frustrated if they can't communicate and it can cause other issues. My son made great strides with therapy and was dismissed in September at the age of 4!


Have you had his hearing checked, I just dealt with this on a child ( he is now almost 4, but was 23 months when he came to us.) and although they found no problems with his hearing, they did say that the muscles in his mouth and throat that help with speech seemed very weakand they had us use a hard to suck sippee cup to strengthen them. Also, because his older brother does all the talking, this child never got to try to talk. we are now throught the first year of school in an Early Intervention class, and he has made great progress. Easter Seals has helped a lot with this also.

HE PROBABLY GETS EVERYTHING HE WANTS WITHOUT HAVING TO TALK SO WHY SHOULD HE? DO not respond to his requests unless he uses words to tell you what he wants. Ask you okder son to do the same.
When your 23 month old wants something make him aask for it in understandable words.

I am a mom of 4 adult sons, they learned to
talk by me encouraging them by nameing the items they wanted and asking them to ask for them with words.

I say go with your instincts. I work in special education (I taught and am now a diagnostician) and the services are FREE! Go through ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). The office is located in Round Rock and they do therapy in the evenings in your home. They will evaluate in all areas and come up with a plan. If the services are FREE, why not just take the time to get the testing...even if it's only to hear "No, he's fine!". My daughter is 3 and we had similar concerns when she was almost 2...turns out, my gut didn't lie! We had her evaluated, they did therapy for about 6 months and she made gains by leaps and bounds!

Hello L.,
My son, age 9 now, did not speak clearly for the longest time. I do not think it was until age 2 or right before until he started speaking clearly-or as clearly as a 2 year old can. We had several tell us he needed speech therapy, what changed it for us is when we had to be stern with his older sisters and tell them to make him ask or speak clearly. They are 3 years older and would respond to his needs or desires when he would grunt, point, and make different sounds. I noticed this and then realized we did this also. As a family we started making him "tell" us instead of giving in because we had learned what all of his "language" meant. We have an awesome pediatrician that recommended we try this before speech therapy. It worked very quickly and he hasn't stopped since! I hope this helps-Proud Mom of three that I am very blessed to stay home with and homeschool them!
M. James

Go with your instincts---they are there for a reason. It is not unusual at all for a 23 month old boy to be only babbling and not using words. BUT...if you seriously feel there could be a problem, see a specialist. Get his hearing checked. My 23 1/2 month old son just started using words one week ago. Prior to that, it was babbling, mama, and dada. Now he surprises me each day with 2 or 3 new words. Not sentences, just single words. Some kids (especially boys) take a while to talk, and sometimes it is normal and sometimes something is physically wrong. I truly believe that mother's know best, so go with what you feel.

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