18 answers

When Do Kids Start Talking?

I have a 2 1/2 year old that isn't talking much yet, he says a few things like "mama", "dad", "puppy", "cup" and simple things like that but he won't say much else. So my question is when do most kids start actually talking...my son is a very smart kid and he can get across what he wants without talking so I'm not really concerned that he's not going to talk but it would be so nice for him to actually talk and tell me what he wants or what is wrong.

What can I do next?

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I have a coworker who is having the same problem with her son. He gets across what he wants without saying a word as well. I am willing to bet, as with what others have said, why talk when he doesn't have to. Pretend you don't know what he wants for a little while, see how it goes.

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Hi J.,

I am a speech pathologist and I work in the schools with children in young fives, kindergarten and 1st grade. Most of the kids that come to me have parents who say, "My child really didn't start talking until they were three, but my pediatrician said that they would grow out of it." Please don't accept that advice. Early intervention is key and at 2 1/2, your child should be speaking in sentences. (Not grammatically correct sentences, but putting 3 or more words together.)If you contact your local school district, they can help set you up with an evaluation free of cost. Even if your child doesn't qualify for speech services, they can give you a ton of ideas to help get that expressive language flowing. Contact me personally if you need anything else.


1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem with my son. We had taking him to a speech therapist and had him evaluated. It maybe something to look into. We went back six months later for a follow up too. They gave me lots of things to do with him to help him get in the mood for talking. Now I cant get him to stop and its great.

According to a speech therapist friend, a kid should have a few words around 12 months and 50 words by 18 months. By 2 they should be putting words together & speaking in short sentences. If you don't think there is anything physically wrong, then make him talk. Don't give him what he wants until he asks for it, and require longer and longer responses every time. Tell him often to "use your words". I would have him checked out. I'm surprised your pediatrician hasn't said anything about it yet. When my son was 18 months and not talking I asked our pediatrician about it. She said "Don't worry about it until he's 3." I took him to Children's Hospital for a hearing test, which was fine. They sent me to a speech therapist for evaluation and they recommended therapy at Curative. That was at 18 months. At age 2 he was diagnosed autistic and had I listened to that doctor, he would be SO MUCH further behind than he is now. We never did see her again. I'm not trying to scare you, but I wouldn't just sit and do nothing either.

Every child starts when they are ready! My first, Ella, didn't start saying more than a few words until she was 2yrs but my second, Ava, is saying sentences and singing songs at 20mo! Although, I can't believe Ava can get a word in edgewise now that Ella is 3yr (she talks non-stop)! :) But if you are worried (mother's instinct is the best) first I would have his hearing checked and then have a visit with a speech therapist. I know if you go through the school system it is free to have an evaluation, and if he does have a problem they will follow him throughout the school years. Good luck and be patient with him!

I have 3 kids with speech delays. The first step for a child under 3 is to have him evaluated by Birth to 3 Early Intervention in your county. If he qualifies, they will offer speech therapy for him and they come to your house. I am getting my 22 month old son evaluated because he is only saying 5 words and he will most likely qualify. It sounds like your son would qualify also. After age 3, 2 of my kids have gone to an early childhood program only for kids with speech delays(called phonology) email me if you have any other questions

Many times boys talk later than girls. I know my DD was saying full sentences at 16 months, and my DS didn't talk until 2 years old!

Like the others said, keep talking to him. I bet he is siting back taking it ALL in, and will one day "spit" it all out :)

I have a coworker who is having the same problem with her son. He gets across what he wants without saying a word as well. I am willing to bet, as with what others have said, why talk when he doesn't have to. Pretend you don't know what he wants for a little while, see how it goes.

My son was having the same problem, I finally called Omaha Public Schools and did get him evaluated. A speech therapist and a teacher came to the house and tested him. He was evaluated in four categories (right now I dont remember the details of each) but two categories he passed with 32 months (basically his age) and the other two he evaluated at 12 months. So needless to say, we were accepted into the OPS therapy. I have a speech therapist (through OPS, free of charge) come to the house once a week and work with him and also his Dad and I. She is giving us tons of ideas. They cant diagnose "why" he doesnt talk much, just some kids develop differently. He is great at listening and following directions and has no problem there, he just doesnt speak well, or his words arent clear. Our daughter who now is 5 was completely opposite, she had several words by the age of one and had sentences by the age of two. I totally recommend calling your school district and see what they recommend. Its possible that he doesnt need therapy, but its so frustrating for them to try and talk and just cant, so its better to be pro-active and keep the child's frustrations at a minimum. If you have questions or need more details please email me. There's alot of information to pass on if your interested. Good Luck!!!

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