My 3 Year Old

Updated on December 30, 2010
C.S. asks from Spartanburg, SC
20 answers

I'm having a couple problems with my 3 year old, the most important problem is his speech. He doesn't talk half as well as other children his age,the first year and a half of his life he had chronic ear infections and I was told he wasn't talking as well as he should b/c he can't hear well, now the problem with his ears has been fixed, he's far behind in his speech development( he's doing a lot better than before)and I'm wondering if anyone knows of a speech therapist I could take him to? This problem along with the other that I'm about to explain are keeping him from being able to go to head start or preschool. The other problem is that he refuses to potty train. I've tried so many different methods and none of them have worked, I've even consulted a pediatrician at Spartanburg Ped's and he told me to just give up and let him start training when he's ready (which really discouraged me) Everytime I mention using the pot he says sadly "no pot pot!" He's had 3 differnt pots to see if a cartoon he loved would encourage him, I've tried letting him wear underwear all the time and he doesn't care about being wet or soiled. He's just a bit stubborn, can someone help?!

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to update you all on Camron's big news, he is officially a big boy and potty trained! I ordered the PODS online, and just as other moms had said, I didn't even make it through the whole box befoe he began to tell me he has to go potty. I'd recommend PODS to anyone b/c my son was set on not using the potty. Now he wears big boy underwear, and he goes on his own everyday, and he even has mastered getting up at night from his sleep to use the potty. Thanks again to everyone who helped by responding.


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answers from Charlotte on

Hi C.:
I know some of my friends take their kids to a speech therapist from the school system. I heard them talking about it the other day and they were saying that it is important to get the kids in the program as early as possible. You might want to call or go to a public school near you and see if they have a program like that. I think it is called early learning.
For the potty training I can only tell you that it is good sometimes to take a break and try again later. It is very frustrating sometimes for both the child and the mom.



answers from Wilmington on

My daughter had the exact same problem when it came to her speech and it also came from ear infections and fluid behind the ears. At the time we lived in Maryland and the pediatrian put us in touch with what is called the Infant and Toddler program. They are funded through the public school system. They came to the house to evaluate her. Then once they decided that she did need help they came once a week to work with her. It made a huge difference. She just needed the extra boost. They had this program to catch problems before they go into the school system because it is better to fix it earlier. I was very happy with them. I dont know if this kind of thing is available in every state but is worth looking into. It was completely free which was great for us. She is not completely understandable and is saying more everyday. Good luck I hope this helps

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answers from Hickory on

I am new here and don't know how much this will help but, my son is 7 now. He didn't speak well. He actually didn't start talking until he was about 3 1/2 almost 4. He actually one day went to the bathroom on his own when he was about 3. I went in there one day and he was using the bathroom. So your son will go when he's son still wets himself but we're working on that. About the speech therapist... when my son started school he took speech. They helped him a lot. We found out though just the end of the last school year that he's slightly autistic but he's adhd as well. I'm not saying that your child's like that. He sees a counsler which has helped him a lot and a pshycologist (not sure if I spelled right). Well hope I helped and sorry so long... take care :)



answers from Roanoke on

I can sympathize with the potty issue. My daughter simply ignored me everytime "potty" came up. One day, it just clicked. Out of the blue, he'll get it and be fine. As far as the speech delay, the other suggestions are very good. I just wanted to know, is it his vocal clarity or is it that he doesn't know words and sentences? Lack of clarity in speech is common among children who have had hearing challenge. Children with hearing loss tend to create other ways to communicate, home-signs or "nicknames" for things ("na-na" might mean playground, etc.) . If he uses these tools, it doesn't neccessarily mean that his hearing is impaired. It could mean that he has become used to relying on these methods of communication. A speech-language pathologist or speech therapist can help him re-learn those communication methods. If he is in public pre-school, there should be one there. Also, and I know this is very hard, try not to compare your child's development to other chldren. Every child is unique and will develop in his own way.



answers from Raleigh on

Hi! I noticed that you have a 6 week old as well, and I think now may not be the best time to really start potty training. I'd wait a few more weeks until he is adjusted. With my 3-year old, we just took off his diaper one day and said no more diapers, you are a big boy! And then we gave him a little toy when he used the potty. There were a few accidents at first, but he caught on quick. He still wears a diaper at night and at nap time.

As for speech, can you get him evaluated? My friend is also a single mom of a 3-year old, and her ped. gave her the name of who to contact. And her boy qualifies for free speech now, and he might qualify for free preschool as well. I know there are some preschools that accept kids that are not potty trained, but I think they are more then center-based ones. Like kindercare etc.

Good luck! Ask your ped about the speech evaluation! It's really helped my friend's child.



answers from Columbia on

If you live in SC, I recommend you contact your local school district. Speech therapy is very expensive, but if he qualifies, it will be provided by the district.
There may be other programs that he qualifies for as well.



answers from Decatur on

I don't have any advice on the speech but maybe the potty. When we started training our now three year old we had a tough time. What we started out doing was giving him a popsicle while he sat on the pot. He didn't always go but he got used to sitting there. Then we gradually started giving him a popsicle if he went. We would have him sit on the potty while he ate it. This worked on his little potty and even better with the potty seat that fits on the regular toilet. I hope this helps.




answers from Birmingham on

As far as his speech, part of the "No child left Behing" program is goverment funding for early child intervention. In Indiana we have a program called first steps. They send a speech therapist to your house on your time once a week and she works with him. I will do a search tonight to see what I can find for you. As far as the potty situation, it truly is a hard job to potty train. With you being a single mom I am sure that you are working, so what you are doing might not be the same as what the daycare/preschool is doing. I would give it a rest for a month or so, then talk to his teacher and get on the same page. Rewards go a long way, we did a sticker chart. Two stickers for poop, and one for pee. Everyone who came in our house saw our sticker chart and got really exited. It was like a party everytime they went to the potty. Also, at walmart they have a really good, short, and to the point potty book for you to read to him. You can also go to charmon toilet papers website to subscribe to the potty training kit. It is free, it comes with tips, stickers, posters, and a book. Good luck, 3 year olds are stubborn as all get out. Also, whenever my girls finally pooped we called grandma's, aunts, uncles, friends, and made out like they had just won the lottery. You really need to be able to comitt fully. No more diapers, no pullups, big boy and that is it. Now, I still take my girls pee in the middle of the night, but when we travel, bedtime, and naptime there is no diapers of any sort. When you get rid of all of that stuff we will finally realize that you mean business. Moral of the story, potty parties can be fun. HEHE



answers from Spartanburg on


Hi. Just saw your posting. You defiantly need to take him to a different pediatrician. If he is 3 and his speech is delayed that should send a flag to the doctor that he needs help. My son is 23 months and is starting speech because we have noticed that he is behind. Also does your son have any behavior problems? Like tantrums??? Yes all this could due to the chronic ear infections; however, it needs to be looked into further, especially if he is having the behavior issues. Please write back, from one mom to another I am concerned




answers from Richmond on

When my daughter was 3 she went into the public schools for ped, preschool special education, she had problems with speech. Go to your local elementry school there should be programs. and there were kids in her class not potty trained. Hope This helped , Have a blessed day , A.



answers from Tuscaloosa on

Hi C.,
It is funny that you posted this. I have a son that will be 4 in Nov. and his speech is not very good at all. My ped. says that you should be able to understand 75% of what they say at this age. (or that others should) I have contacted several speech therapist and it is VERY expensive and my insurance will not cover it. We live in the town with the Mississippi University for Women and they have a wonderful speech program. It is about 1/2 the price as the other programs and they are WONDERFUL. So if there are any universitys close you might check with them to see if they have a program. You have a cert. speech therapist and a student but to me thats just 2 people to help my baby. Also, in the state of Mississippi we have the "No Child Left Behind" so if a child is over the age of 3 they can see a speech therapist at the school for free. I was concerned when my ped. told me she thought he needed this. He is my baby and was born 7 1/2 weeks early. His problem is that we baby him and do all his talking for him. When I didn't want to do it my ped. told me. "What will it hurt to have him listened to by a trained prof." And she was right. It is not painful to the children and my son thougth it was fun. So my advice just have him looked at and go from there. Best case the therapist will tell you everything is ok. Keep us posted and I hope this helps.



answers from Richmond on

I have a 4 year old. When he was 2 I gave him a book about going potty. He LOVED it. He toyed with the idea of going potty, then a while later he started sitting on the potty to go pee. I know all children are different, but as soon as he saw big boy undies at Wall Mart, that's all it took to get him potty trained! He wanted those big boy undies so bad, that he decided from that point on, no more diapers.
Hope this helped.



answers from Spartanburg on

I can't help with the speeach therapist, but I have an idea you can try for potty training.

You will need to dedicate your day to this, so if possible, try to find a babysitter for Zackery for a day. Start in the morning with Camron loading him up with LOTS of liquids. Then start taking him every 15 to 30 minutes to the potty. (You may want to consider using regular cloth underwear this day so he can feel and you can see when he goes.) If he doesn't go, say "that's ok, we'll try again later", but give no other attention or affection. If he does, literally make it a party! Sing, dance, get some party hats and balloons, maybe even a cupcake. Call Grandma or an aunt or uncle, someone he loves, and make a big deal about it with them (you may want to prepare them in advance!), and even call one of his favorite cartoon characters (Elmo, Thomas the Train, whoever... obviously a friend or family member who can pretend on the phone.) REALLY make this a HUGE deal so he will WANT to do it again. Now of course, you can't do this EVERY time he goes, but do it the first time, and then gradually subdue the "party" each time after that during the day. I bet that by the end of the day he will be going by himself. On following days, continue to really praise him and show him plenty of attention when he uses the potty so it will continue to be something he is proud of and associates with happy times.

Now if you think you will have trouble getting him just to try the first few times, one thing that may help with that is the "potty training Elmo". You can get it at Toys-R-Us and I think Wal-mart. It comes with an Elmo doll with removeable underwear, a toy potty and a potty-training book for Elmo. When you press the hand or whatever to turn him on, he says he's got to go. If you get his underwear down and sit him on the potty in time, he cheers and plays music. If not, he says something like "Oh oh, maybe next time." Anyway, this might be a way to encourage Camron to try.

Well, I hope this helps. Good luck!



answers from Spartanburg on

for the potty problem try they carry a product called PODS and it worked very well for my daughter and it would definitely be worth checking out. He may be behind in speech because of the ear infections. Have you had his hearing checked to make sure that it is fine, because that could be a problem if he had so much trouble when he was smaller. You public school system should have a speech therapist on staff that you could utilize since it is hindering him from going to school. I would check with them to see who they use. Good luck.



answers from Columbia on

why does that keep him from headstart? was he evaluated by the school district? my dd had the same speech issues for the same reasons, her articulation ws bad but we had behavior problems as well , including her not being potty trained so they did a general development (despite passing the pre screenings with flying colors, I requested a behavior assesment though) and a behavioral assesment too. B/c of this she was behind in social and adaptive behaviors and b/c of the potty training she was behind in daily living skills. So the potty training actually HELPED her get into the spcial ed preschool. She worked on potty training at school and I think that helped a lot. There were kids though that were even not capable of being potty trained at the school so I donts ee how he cant go to Head Start b/c of this. But dont know other districts, we were in district 5.



answers from Dayton on

Hi C.,
I have a 3 year old little girl during her half day at preschool she will potty fine in the toliet. However when she gets home she will not use the potty for my husband and I. One question do you put pull ups on him all day or do you put him in undies? We have started taking away the pullups except for nap time and bed time. And during the day only put undies on her. Even though she will pee in them I have noticed it has helped several times, because she hates having undies on that are wet. Even though we take them off immediatly and put her in new ones. It has helped a little with her going to the potty at home at least 2 times a day now. We are not nearly there but I think progress has happened. I hope this helps somewhat!



answers from Mobile on

I will tell you what worked for me with my son. He was about the same age as your son and showed now interest in going to the bathroom. I found him one day with his pull-up in hand and a pile of poop on the floor. The next day off from work I had I started in with him. I put him in underwear and just bug him to death. Every 15 min. I stopped him in what he was doing and took he to the bathroom. By the end of the day he told me he didn't have to go pottey when I took him. I told him that when he started going on his on I wouldn't have to keep doing him this way. The next day we went every 30 min. By the end of that day he started putting in his own effort. (Trying to go when he knew he had to) That was the turning point. He still had accadents but he was trying . Once he was trying he started figuring it out. I hope our story can help you find a way to help your son.



answers from Columbia on

I work for the University of South Carolina in the Speech & Hearing Center. Please email me or call our scheduling secratary ###-###-#### to get some information in regards to scheduling a speech language evaluation for your son. We are located at 1601 St.Julian Place, Columbia, SC 29204 just off Forest Drive. We can help and our prices are very low compared to private speech pathologists. Take Care-T.



answers from Seattle on

For the speech delay take him to Easter Seals in Alabaster. They are wonderful. I have A 2 year old and she would not talk. She had a similar problem like your except it was not chronic. She has been 4 times and is already up to a 50 word vocabulary. Hope it helps.



answers from Huntsville on

Good luck with the speech problem and just know that it's not that uncommon for a 3 year old to have speech delays, it looks like you got some good suggestions on therapists. On the potty training thing, I know you don't want to give up, but it might be a good idea to let up for a bit. My nephew was almost 4 before he was potty trained and his older sister was barely 2, so it just depends on the kid. Having a new baby around and then trying to change such a major thing is probably too much at once. If he's not ready, he's not ready. My sister thought she would pull her hair out trying to get her very intelligent 2 and then 3 and then almost 4 year old to potty train and then one day about a month before his 4th birthday, he just started doing it. He never cared about being wet or soiled either, he just wasn't ready. It doesn't meant stop trying, just don't make it traumatic for him and let him do it on his own time. My son is 3 and has been potty trained for awhile, but I needed help. I put him in a great school (after a home daycare mom who said boys aren't ready until they are 3 - end of story) and they were great and very helpful. He just decided one day he wanted to do it and that was that. I had tried everything prior to that and was very discouraged. Good luck.

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