My 3 Years Old Boy Doesn't Talk

Updated on February 15, 2013
M.E. asks from Cincinnati, OH
8 answers

My 3 years old boy doesn't talk, he was diagnosed with a speech delay, he just say mom and dad and a lot of sounds but no words, Help me to grow came for a couple months but I didn't see any progress, now he is going to preschool with kids with disabilities he is having speech therapy once a week, he is very active and happy boy, I also have another son 15 months older than him, he speak english and Spanish, my husband speak english and I speak english and spanish, the pediatrician at his 3 check up last january told us he is no autism, I am really worry I don't know how to help him, I even think I am doing something wrong, Please Help!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for your kind responses, I will investigate with his speech therapist about Apraxia, and I will work with him with photos and encourage him to try to ask for things by name, read more. I will let you know what happend

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answers from Jacksonville on

Are the therapist having him use sign language? My son started speech therapy when he was a little younger (22 months) and the therapist suggested sign language. We had to make him ask for food or drink or more before he could have anything. We would move his hands for him until he caught on. We would watch the signing times dvds together too. He really liked those.

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answers from St. Louis on

You might want to have your son's hearing checked. My cousin did talk until he was about 5 years old. They checked him for everything things he had a learning disability, turned out he couldn't hear. As far as the two languages going he is fluent in English and Italian and neither slowed him down just the not hearing part. I could be wrong but it is worth a shot if they haven't checked yet.

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answers from Santa Fe on

I have always heard that if you grow up in a bilingual home that it takes you longer for language to all "click". Then eventually both languages click and you catch up to everyone else. My son had a little friend who had a mom who only spoke chinese and a dad who only spoke english to him. At age 3 he hardly said anything but you could tell he was a smart little boy. I don't remember age 4 but I do remember at age 5 he was speaking english just as good as all the other kids in Kindergarten. So, my guess is because your little boy is growing up bilingual (lucky guy!) he is taking longer and that is normal for bilingual kids.

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answers from Seattle on

Seeing as your son is being raised bilingual he may very well be a late talker however since he was also diagnosed with a speech delay it might take him a bit longer to pick up on spoken language skills. It's great that it sounds as if all he does have is a speech delay, that is something that can be worked on and as time progresses he can develop typical speaking ability. Until he is able to communicate verbally allow him to use gestures such as pointing to items to enable him to express things to you. Also, always be sure to give him tons of praise whenever he attempts a word because while approximations are not exact they are still progress. If you're unsure on what you can do with him at home be sure to speak with his speech therapist at school, they can put you on the right track to further help your son.

I will say it's worth it to look into Picture Exchange Communication System(PECS) which is something my nonverbal 6 year old son uses to communicate. It is a very easy program to use and it works wonders and helps cut down on frustrations if the child is able to communicate with you their wants/needs/emotions.

Wish you the best.



answers from Beaumont on

I'm not sure to help him but don't panic. My son didn't speak til 3 and when he did he said "Mommy, please read." A full sentence. I think with 2 languages going on he is processing it all. Don't worry (I know how hard that is), but I'm sure he's fine.



answers from Austin on

There may be some confusion/difficulty with being a bi-lingual household...

Also... how much do you "interpret" what he says and just get him what he points to? I found with my third child that we all interpreted her gestures and she didn't HAVE to speak. It was a tough habit to break, but very necessary...

Work with him... when he grunts/mumbles for something, talk to him... try to get him to ask for things.... even if 'please' comes out as 'pee?' ... he is still talking, and asking..... just short phrases/words will help... as he gets used to using his voice for things, it will begin to expand. Start with 2 word phrases... "want juice" "want snack"...... ask him to say things as you point to them... read him a story and ask him to say "dog" ... things like that.

Good luck..... him being in a preschool will help, I'm sure.....



answers from Cincinnati on

I don't think you are doing anything wrong, for some kids, it just takes longer.

BUT, only having speech therapy once a week doesn't sound right to me. I had a speech delay-well it's called Apraxia but because of that I was in speech 2-3 days a week and when I was in grade school I had speech therapy in school as well.

I saw the previous comment about Apraxia-What that is, is a neurological disorder that can affect one's speech, motor and sensory skills. It can affect one thing or up to all three. It is easier to diagnose now, then it was 30 years ago. A speech therapist should be able to help and tell you if it is Apraxia or not but if not, certainly another specialist. There are significant differences between a speech delay and Apraxia of Speech.

One thing you can try, if you aren't doing it already, is to work with the speech therapist and find out what you can do to help your son at home, continue those lessons with him.

Are they teaching him sign language? That can also help. At least with sign he'll be able to communicate, and when he learns the words he will use sign less and less.



answers from Chicago on

Have they checked him for Apraxia? I have a neighbor who runs a non-profit. She wishes her daughter would have been diagnosed earlier. Unfortunately, many docs & speech therapists don't know enough about it. (Check out websites for CASANA & Silent Stars which will explain what Apraxia is) I also had a child who was non-verbal until almost age 3 and her "intelligability" level was next to none. Insist on testing from your local public school district. Age 3 is the perfect time. It helped us and now she is an almost 14 yr old who doesn't stop talking :) Best of luck to you!

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