14 answers

Question About My Son's Speech Delay

Hello everyone!

I have not seen anything related to my sons speech delay, so I thought I'd ask now.

My son is 2.5 yo and has been receiving speech therapy for a few months now. He has had some tremendous progression since he started, but most of his words are what the SLP says are imitation vs. spoken. For example, we have to tell him, "say cup" then he'll say the word. Most times he will imitate the sound of the item. For car he'll go vroom, train he'll toot, for cat he'll meow, etc, etc.

The speech therapist says he is smart, but very strong willed. Neither the therapist nor the pediatricians have diagnosed him with anything. He passed his hearing test, and had his 1st ear infection earlier this year, so I am not quite sure what else to do at this point?

Has anyone on here experienced anything similair with their own child? Would my child benefit from the fish oils or other supplements? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advanced!


many thanks to the moms who have responded so far. I also did want to note that he is an only child and will probably be entering early childhodd pre-k in jan/Feb.
I will update if I can remember.

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J.- There was a discussion on this a while back. Try again to search the archives here for that topic. At that time I added my two cents which was to say that we had the same problem. Sometimes it just takes a little longer, but they DO catch up and in their own time. Our son did and we had a very similar experience to yours. We worried as well. Honestly, if he has tested out well, just take a big breath and try not to worry. If you find that archive discussion you will see that MANY children had the SAME situation. As far as supplements, PLEASE don't give him any of that without talking to the pediatrician. Personally, I think they are going to tell you NOT to.

Hi J. My name is A. and yes i have a daughter who is 8 years old now and she also has a speech delay.I found out when she was alomost 3 years old she was always making noise, instead of talking. She would also make the car noise or train noise when she wanted to go out. One day at the Doctors he began to talk to her and she would not answer him. The doctor asked me to take her to get test done. The therapist gave me information to get my daughter to take a test at the Chicago public schools. Well i took my daughter and yes they tested her and she started going to school. well she is in second grade and now she gets speech therapy in school.I went through the Easter Seals to get the therapist adn the information about getting my daughter speech. She is doing very well. Even though we still think she sound like she is from out of town. she can not pronounce R and S
Good luck

I am going to speak from my experience with this, so don't get all paranoid, this is what happened with my son...

At about age 2.5 I went through all the evaluations with my son, and from there he qualified for speech and occupational therapy. He had both of these weekly, and started to progress, but the progession was slow. In speech, we did use signing, and PECS, and I believe PECS is what really helped him in his speech progression. As we were getting close to age 3, and getting the final evaluations from the people working with him, they had told me they thought he still needed help in those areas, but they would not say he had any other developmental issues. We knew in our hearts that there was still other things going on with our son, even though our pediatrician told us he was fine, and so did the therapists. Finally we took him to a psychologist, and he was diagnosed with Autism about a month after his 3rd birthday.
He moved on to a wonderful preschool program, with an AMAZING teacher, and wonderful therapists working with him. He is now 5, and talks just as an average 5 year old would. He has made HUGE strides in the past 2 years!!
I guess all I can tell you, is hang in there, things will all work out in the long run! Boys tend to be a little behind in their speech as it is, so I'm sure things will come along just fine for your son.
Good Luck with everything!

Your child is TWO and a HALF! Sheesh. Get a hint from the doctor and therapist. If he is 5 years old and still has the same issue then you worry. Why do you expect a child that young to speak perfectly?? He is smart, like the doctor said, because he recognizes things for what they sound like...nothing wrong with his ears apparently. Give him time, relax, PLAY with him. Enjoy the baby you have now, believe me they grow up fast enough.

Hey J.,

Sounds like my boat looks a lot like yours! My 2 1/2 year old son has had a speech therapist see him for an hour a week, since mid August. He has "Final Consonant Deletion" which means he does not end his words unless it is a vowel sound like "Baby." His therapist has said over and over to not ask him to say words because it's asking him to do something he can not do, and he knows that. She has encouraged me to use modeling like when he says "Duh" for "Duck" I should say, "Yes, I see a duck!" and say the "K" sound slightly louder. After doing this A LOT, he is "talking" more, or trying to.

I think at this point, it is most frustrating for us both when he can't convey his wants and needs. I see him making progress, but SLOWLY! I have told the therapist my concerns that he doesn't seem to be progressing very quickly, and she reminds me that it is like making a sturdy building. We have to place the foundation and then put it together, piece by piece. I believe that he really has the potential but we just have to get it all put together.

I guess a good question would be does your son understand what you say? If he can't, I think that is an indication of a processing problem. If he can follow a direction, that means he just can not articulate what he wants. THAT'S a good thing! That means there is no other reason for him NOT to be able to use language. If you don't feel like you are getting anywhere with your therapist, or that there may be tother things going on, you may want to contact the agency that is providing services for further testing at least. When my son was first diagnosed with a speech delay I also had a Developmental Therapist evaluate him to be sure there is nothing else going on.

BTW, I am also a teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids, and REALLY felt like I should know how to "Fix" my son's problems. With everything I learned in college, I still don't know how to make this stop happening! THAT is frustrating! I really can understand where you are coming from and believe you are doing what your child needs! Early intervention is where it MUST start!

Feel free to contact me anytime to vent! I am in the same boat!


Well I know how you feel. My son just had a speech evaluation, but is not quite behind enough for actually therapy(needs to be 30%). He is only going on 26 months, but was a concern to me because lots of pointing and very few words. They told us imagination play and holding ojects to our face while saying the object is good so that he can articulate what each things is. It is a little harder in our case because our sitter primary language is Spanish and we speak English at home, so he speaks gibberish. We also invest in anything I see that can help with alphabet, colors and numbers. I wish you all the luck.

My dd went through speech and occupational therapy starting a little before she was 2 until she went to preschool at 3.5. I have to say that it took about 4-6 months before we saw any obvious progress with her ability to speak. She was not able to say any words when she started and when she went to preschool 18 months later, none of the teachers could tell she ever had a speech problem. Just remember it takes time for developmental delays to work themselves out. BTW, she did not have a hearing problem, the therapist said she had a developmental issue getting her mouth to do what her brain was telling it to.

Good luck!!

What kind of feedback are you getting from the therapist? If you are going throught the state program, they are required to document their sessions with your child and their progress. I think you can ask for a reevaluation at 6 months as well. I have to say that I loved the program up until my dd turned 3, then they go to the public school programs. The under 3 programs are much better, they get one on one therapy, where the school programs are group sessions. My advice, take full advantage of the state program while you can and your son can get one on one attention.

My son was in Early Intervention for only 6 mos from 2.5 to 3 yrs old, but he did have ST. He was an imitator at first as well. Once he hit his 3 yr old growth spurt plus the fact he was in a Early Childhood program the day after he turned 3, he has been speaking on his own. It was like a lightbuld went on. However, we do use fishoils and Pedi-Active(focus supplement) which we feel have both increased his attention span and bumped up his learning. When in EI, we asked for a Medical Diagnostic which EI paid for so it was free. EI pays for a team to evaluate your child either at Lutheran General or Illinois Masonic. Our son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and Mixed Developmental Delay. It took about 1.5 hours for the team to evaluate him and it helped us as parents to focus in on his needs. Just a suggestion. If you want to chat further, you can email me at ____@____.com. -Judy

My daughter does the same thing. Does your son have any older siblings? I have a 5 year old and ever since he started kindergarden my daughter has started talking more and more. My doctor says that there is nothing wrong, she is a very smart girl, I think they will talk when they are good and ready. I ask her to say a word and she puts her hands over her mouth and starts laughing but a few minutes later when she is ready she will say it.
Good luck

I was a teacher for an at-risk pre-k, and had many students ages 3-5 w/speech delays. Many of those children were not always very compliant during speech therapy, but it did help. And at age 2.5, therapy could be more challenging because....well because the younger they are the harder it could be to get the child to comply/pay attention.
If your son was diagnosed w/a speech delay and no other problems (like hearing), then i would continue w/speech therapy and ask for at-home suggestions and activities and follow up w/those. Get some ideas from the therapist on activities and other things you can do at home. I don't think any supplements would help w/this specifically. The fact that your son has improved already is great. Somtimes children seem to stay in teh same place and then take leaps. Maybe you won't see improvement for a while, then all of a sudden he'll make a big improvement. Just be consisitent w/the therapist and at home, and as your son gets older his speech will improve.
hope this helps a bit!

My son had the same problem, I kept asking his doctor what was wrong he wasn't even saying his name at 4. My doctor recommened speach therapy but where I lived they had no public help, I ended up paying over $2000.00 in hearing tests evaluations and speach therapy, when I moved I found out that Indiana has a First steps program but they also had a 3-5 pre-school. They have helped him tremendously, He has only been diagnosed with speech delay. He is now in first grade and talking much better. It was a struggle and alot of repetitions but he is getting there. He still has times when you are trying to figure out what he is saying and he is 6 but in 2 years he went from not saying his name to reading a book. My second son is in the pre-school that they offer also and there are only 7 kids in his class, he has his actual teacher and an assistant. We had him in First Steps from 18 months until he was 3. He will be 4 in November and he knows all his ABC's, how to identify them, counts to 25, knows the months of the year, days of the week, his address phone number and is learning how to spell. So with all the help he has gotten he is exceptionally smart for a 4 year old. And by the way he can write his name as well.

What I did with my son was force him to ask for what he wanted and be firm about not letting him get away with guesturing or imitating what he wanted. I always make sure to have eye contact with him and make sure he can see my mouth moving clearly while correctly pronouncing each word.

I had the same problem like your son and my own son. What I did with my son was the same thing I went through with speech therapy in my early years. Eye contact and him being able to see how you correctly pronounce words is important even if there isn't any hearing problems at all.

Keep at it, praise your son highly each time he tries to sound the words out, and if it wasn't correct tell him it was a good try and see if he can do even better on the next try.

What really helped turn my son's speech development around was when he had a sitter who was partially deaf. He had to look at her and speak clearly to get the things he wanted.

We had the same experience with my son, who is now 17 (!). Up until he was about 4 or 4 1/2, he could echo a speaker with amazing accuracy, but could not put words together in a sentence for his own purposes. He often communicated in animal or machine sounds (barking like a dog or making sounds of a train). If we told him, "Say puppy," he would repeat, "Say puppy." His speech was very clear, but the words he used usually didn't make sense together. He was diagnosed at 5 with a central auditory processing disorder. Speech therapy helped a lot, as did lipreading therapy and a computer-based language recognition program called "Fast ForWord." Learning to read made a huge difference, as he no longer had to rely exclusively on his ears to learn the structure of language.

Your son is very young, so it may not be possible to pin down what is happening at this point. But you should read up on CAPD. There's a good book on this called "When the Brain Can't Hear." Forgot the author -- Terri Bello or something like that?

I went through the same thing with my first. He qualified for speech therapy, hearing was fine. In our case , I was also told that if the child is "smart" enough to make the sounds of what it does and put the correct sound with the correct object it is just a matter of him not wanting to talk. Maybe you talk for him more than you realize (that was our issue). Its now a year and half later and he never seems to quit talking - he is not as precise as some of his other peers but we are no longer taking therapy.

Best of Luck.

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