2 Year Old Not Talking at All! Help!

Updated on April 13, 2011
L.J. asks from Ridgeland, MS
16 answers

Hi. My oldest daughter is almost 26 months old and is not talking what so ever. When she was one she could say "Good", "Da-da", and "Bad". But that was all. Now she does not say anything. You can talk to her all day and she will not respond, repeat, or even act like she knows what you are talking about. She has gotten to where she just cries when you try to talk to her. She understands when you tell her no about something but that is about it. She was a late walker so i thought maybe she would be a late talker but now i am kind of getting concerned. help please?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all of your answers. They were all very helpful. To answer some of your questions, yes, she does respond to her name and sound. She watches movies and even has her favorite shows and will not even play with her toys if they are not making sounds. It is just the speech thing that is concerning us. We are going to give her until she is 2 and a half and if nothing by then we are going to make her an appointment to get her evaluated. I will keep you posted.

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answers from Los Angeles on

From what I know loss of speech is worse than just delayed speech and something some kids on the spectrum (Autism) experience. Talk to her Dr. and also see if you can get her evaluated by a Speech Pathologist very soon. The Speech Pathologist will be able to tell you if it's just a speech delay or if you need to also get her evaluated by a Developmental Pediatrician for other possible issues. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I remember being terrified that my daughter wouldn't talk. Then shortly before she was three she just exploded into speech. I long for the days where she silently soaked in everything I said. Now she flings my own words back in my face half the time, making me feel foolish.

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answers from Detroit on

You need to get her evaluated by your state's Early Intervention services ASAP - these services are free for children under 3 years old.

EDITED TO ADD: Please do not wait any longer. Sometimes there is a waiting list to get an appointment and evaluation so you don't want to go 6 months and have to end up waiting 1 or 2 months longer (or more!). The sooner you get help for your daughter, the sooner she can start to improve and the longer she will get the help she needs.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

This can still fall in the normal range. But I would speak with her pedi about it.

Are you sure she can hear you?

When her back is turned and you call her name does she turn around?

When she is in another toom and you call for her, does she follow your direction?

If you ask her to bring you her purse can she do that? If so, could be she is just not ready or not wanting to talk.

Many extremely bright children were very late talkers.

Do not become frustrated with her, just gently give her words for things. Ask her questions, but do not demand word answers.

does she do baby sign language? maybe consider teaching her a few of these just to see if she catches on.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Book an appointment to your pediatrician and ask that he do two things:

1. Get a referral for your daughter to be evaluated by a speech therapist.

2. Call your State's Early Intervention Department to make the referral to have your daughter evaluated or give you the number for the EI Department so that you can make the call yourself.

All this should be ASAP. Your State's EI will come to your home to do the evaluation but there is a waiting list so you want to call and make the referral tomorrow. If your daughter is shown to have a certain percentage of a delay (sounds like she will), they will provide your daughter services in your home, free of charge. The therapy is always play-based and fun for the children. The evaluation is free of charge also.

You also want to have your daughter evaluated by a private speech therapist as well, hence my recommendation that your pediatrician get the referral. My experience has always been that the specialists are usually more honest and candid when you are the one footing the bill. The people who will do the eval and therapy through the EI department are paid by the State, so their loyalty is with the entity that pays their bills. Doesn't mean that you can't benefit from their services but I do think a private speech therapy evaluation would be a smart move.

If your daughter does qualify for services from EI, I would urge you to contact your nearest disability advocacy association and ask that they assign a parent mentor to help you and the EI department develop goals for your daughter. It really helps to have another parent there who has the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Hope this helps. Please call your pediatrician's office tomorrow.

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answers from Monroe on

I know you posted that you are giving it another few months, but from personal experience, I would NOT wait.

My niece was the same way (could at one point say mama, dada, no, more--but lost them at a little over a year), only by 18 months my mom and I had begged them to have her evaluated enough that they finally did--she has severe hearing loss and while she does hear some, it wasn't enough to learn to speak and since she couldn't hear herself well she refused to talk...this was also the reason for the late walking...she couldn't balance properly because what controls your balance is your ears and since they are messed up, so was her balance.
Please do not wait--they didn't get my niece in hearing aids until she was almost 2--all that time lost for speech therapy and hearing aids that would allow her to hear...so sad.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tuscaloosa on

Hi L.,
I just read your post and that you are going to wait a little to get a referral. I'm a pediatric PT from Meridian, and I recommend you take her in ASAP. Anytime a child loses skills, like saying a few words for example, it is cause for concern. It is still in the normal range for kids not to speak much until 2, but it is more common in boys and she SHOULD be saying at least what she was saying before. This is a really important time for development and the early intervention program only lasts until age 3, so if you wait until 2.5 you may not even get her started before she will be too old to participate. It sometimes takes a while to get the process started. I urge you not to wait, but to go ahead and get the process started. Best of luck!

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answers from New York on

My son is 26 months old and also says very few words. However, he communicates in other ways very well and understands everything I say. Does she respond to things you say? For instance, when I tell my son.. the garbage truck is outside, he will run to the window and look. If it s just the speech thing, I wouldnt be too worried about it. Our pediatrician said many children are just late talkers. My cousins son didnt say one word until a week before his 3rd birthday and then just woke up one day talking in complete sentences. He is a very bright child.

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answers from Honolulu on

Time for Speech Therapy.

Every State has an "Early Childhood Intervention" organization.
They do, for FREE... developmental assessments and speech therapy, at your home.
But it is only for children, from 0-3 years old. After that, if need be, they will refer you to other local speech therapy centers.

My son had that. He LOVED it as did I.
My son was speech delayed. No biggie.
His overall developmental assessment was that he was spot on and even advanced in several areas. He was just speech delayed.

Just call them.
In our State at least, you don't have to be referred by a Pediatrician. I just called them myself and made an appointment.

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answers from Washington DC on

Haven't you called the pediatician? She at least needs a hearing test!!! Is her social emotional development normal? Get to the doctor and if they don't see a problem here, see a new doctor!!! This is not normal via your description and backpeddling in development is very alarming.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

i agree w/everyone else. i waited til my sweet boy was 24 months b/c i was just holding out for him or on him, but i ended up calling ECI....which was good b/c he did NOT just wake up one day talking up a storm like moms claims their toddlers did. we're in ECI now & i'm learning strategies, inflections, activities, etc to do w/him to encourage speech. it's free b/c of our income (low middle class) but it's still at an EXTREMELY cheap sliding scale price if you do have to pay. and it had to be over $45K/yr for two people (me & my son), so that's awful lot, so most people do meet the free qualifications. after age 3 they'll get services still but through the local ISD. my son will be 3 in december (sniff, sniff), but we were assured he'll still get services and it'll be 1x/wk, which is good continuity of care to me! :)
yup mama, give 'em a call tomorrow. :)



answers from Lawton on

My granddaughter did the same thing,I finally got her parents to take her in and she had a inner ear infection that damaged her hearing.Please don't wait go get her checked out.



answers from Denver on

If you are concerned I encourage you to contact the early intervention services in your state. We have for my son and you can get services for free until they turn 3, and from what I hear from other mamas on here in other states early intervention services seem to be very good everywhere! I have heard a lot of moms in the past say my son/daughter wouldnt say anything until they turned 3 and then they wouldnt shut-up! So it could just be something like that.



answers from Houston on

check her ears for an ear infection or fluid



answers from New York on

I feel like such a fool for my earlier post. I stated that my son is 14 months and only says 6 words. :/ I would speak with her ped asap. Maybe the two of you can come up with a solution on how to get your daughter help, if she even needs it at all. Good luck. Keep us posted.


answers from Cincinnati on

26 months is too early to worry a whole lot. When my son was 26 months, he said NOTHING. Around 30 months we started group speech therapy. It was fun, and he got to be around other kids, but on his own, he just picked up on it all and today, he just turned 3 last month, we have full fledged conversations! It does come with time. If you tell her to go get something, like a yellow crayon.... does she understand? If yes, then she is perfectly fine.

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