Two Year Old & Talking

Updated on July 23, 2016
A.S. asks from San Angelo, TX
15 answers

My son will be two in September and I am unsure whether or not I should be concerned about him talking. A little background:
According to the mothers, my brother and my husband didn't really start talking until after they were two.
My son is and has always been super advanced physically (I have read that sometimes if they are very advanced in one way they can be a little delayed in the other).
He understands EVERYTHING. You can give him any instruction or ask him any question and he responds right away (just not with words).
He knows the words. You can say "where is the _____ (animal, body part, family member, toy, etc.)" and he will point straight to it.
He communicates completely through ways other than speaking, we always know exactly what he wants or is trying to say.
He knows all animal sounds makes them all the time lol.
He says around 15 words consistently. Sometimes he will repeat new words, sometimes he won't. I honestly haven't been worried about it, but I am starting to feel bits of concern, I guess just from comparing him to other children his age. I would love any thoughts, advice, or personal experiences! Thanks in advance!😊

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answers from Pittsburgh on

There is an easy answer to this: call early intervention in your state. They will come and evaluate him for free, and if he is behind, they will provide speech therapy for free too.

They were fantastic with my son who, perhaps like yours, was running by 9 months old but only had a handful of words when they evaluated him at 18 months. With their help, he was completely caught up with speech by 24 months.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

A., it's common for people to be concerned around the 2 year old mark when their kiddos aren't talking. PLEASE don't worry. I worked for quite a long time with a group of 20-30 month olds and it was very common for kids to be where your son is now.

It sounds like his receptive language skills (understanding the spoken language of others) is right on.

I have fond memories of one little girl in that group. She was mostly quiet for months, then suddenly started pointing at everything. And I mean *everything*. We would do little 'tours' around the older toddler room a few times a day-- she would point at things and I would name them. She was storing them up in her brain and when she started really talking, whoa!

My own son didn't really do much talking until about 2.5 or so. He's nine now and you more or less can't pay him to be quiet. Please, I hope what I've shared is encouraging and please! don't worry. Just enjoy this time and keep providing rich language for him. :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Our son could say words and he understood plenty but his talking didn't really take off till right after his 2nd birthday.
Then it was non stop chatter chatter chatter from morning till night!
I was glad he was talking but I missed the quite just a little bit.
A few months can really make a big difference.
In the mean time - read and sing to him as much as you can.
Play matching games with him - always make it fun.
They absorb it all in - and he'll be talking before you know it.

A friend of mine told me a joke that I didn't appreciate right away - but once our son was a certain age - I suddenly GOT IT!

"We spend the first 2 years teaching them to walk and talk and then we spend the rest of the time telling them to sit down and shut up.".

It's really SO TRUE.
You'll be there very soon!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

If you are concerned that he is behind other kids his age, it doesn't hurt to discuss this with your pediatrician. If he's just a little behind, it's probably just fine and he'll catch up on his own very soon. If it's more significant, it's probably worth it to get a referral and an evaluation by a speech therapist.

I took my son for an evaluation at 2 years. He was definitely behind. We also had his hearing tested, just in case. At 2 years he was really too young to work with the therapist, but she gave me some great tips. Took him back at 2 1/2 years, and he was still behind but old enough to begin going to speech therapy. When he turned 3 we started taking him to the local grade school. He's 7 and doing great!

The reason I would consider taking him to be evaluated is to rule out things (like hearing) and also because not being able to communicate is frustrating for you and for him and will hinder is growth and development is other ways.

It's possible he's just a late talker, but if there is anything else affecting his speech, the sooner you identify it the sooner you can help him and get him talking and learning and developing.

I think some people are well meaning when they say, "Oh, my son was a later talker, too. He'll be fine." But what they are really saying is, "Don't worry. He'll talk some day." But I didn't want to wait for some day. If I waited for some day, my son would have had so much more frustration and so many behavior issues and just so many things that we would have to correct and undo. Speaking is a huge part of their development, and if they are delayed in their speech, they will be delayed in many other areas as well.

It doesn't hurt to talk to your pediatrician and have him/her check him out and ask a few questions.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My son was like this. He needed tubes in his ears. He could hear everything - he passed the hearing test - but it was muffled at times. Not all the time - just when his ears had a bit too much fluid in them. This was missed by our doctor and the hearing test place.

It was when we saw ENT she suggested tubes. The next day my son said helicopter and basketball clear as a bell.

Like your son, we knew what our son wanted because he could communicate in other ways.

Our son caught up remarkably quickly.

May not be what your son has at all - but it might be worth mentioning.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I wouldn't worry too much abut it.

Bring it up at his next check up.

Our school district does free screenings 4 times a year with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, social worker and PT for parents that are concerned with child's development. You can always contact your local school district and find out if your community does this.

Just to put your mind at ease.

Our former elderly neighbors had six children: 5 girls and then the youngest a boy. He did not speak until he was over two because his sisters were always speaking for him and waiting on him, LOL

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter woke up one day and started speaking in full sentences right before she turned two. It was amazing.

The fact that your son understands everything is such a great sign.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

My son just turned two may 21st & he is exactly the same way. He started walking at 8 months & he knows everything you say, he says words & sometimes he says 2 or 3 words together. At his two year appointment I talked to his pediatrician about it & he said boys usually take longer than girls to talk & that it was completely normal at that age as long as he was doing everything else. Like understands everything and all that. 28 months is typical age for boys to start talking.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Your pediatrician should be going over these milestones with you at your child's well baby/child visits. Ask him/her at your next appointment.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If you're concerned, talk to your pediatrician about it next time you're in- It can't hurt

My son didn't start talking until he was almost 3. Like your munchkin , mine understood everything but didn't say much...and he had come up with some of his own sign language. Right after his 2 year check up we had him evaluated by Early Intervention while we waited for our appointment with Children's Hospital and also took him for a hearing test just in case. His hearing was fine but his expressive language was delayed. This was also confirmed by the folks at Children's. He did speech therapy with EI once a week (that's all they would give him) until his 3rd b'day and Children's referred us to someone who used to work for them and had gone into private practice for the another day a week(Children's had a 6 month waiting list) who we worked with until he was almost 5, right before kindergarten. Our public schools provided him more speech therapy from age 3 thru the 5th grade. Once he started talking, mostly thanks to the private therapist and not the one from EI (let's just say it was not a good fit and EI was mostly a waste of time), he would not stop. He then started with a disfluency, aka a stutter, which they (they being the private speech therapist and the schools) worked on and it cleared up... he's fine now and to this day we really don't have an answer as to why the delay.

That's our story....Wish you and your little one well and good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My first son was exactly like this. I started getting concerned too. Our pedi told us to work with his as much as we could but don't freak out just yet. Sure enough, all of a sudden he exploded with full sentences just around his 2 year birthday. He's always been a thinker, but he just wanted to be ready. He's almost 3 now and has an outstanding vocabulary.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Please ask the ped for a referral to a speech therapist for an evaluation. It's really important to do this. You need to ignore this business of what others in the family did when they were little. Your child is not them.

An evaluation after the 24 month benchmark will give you the info you need. Get the appointment.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Hello A.,

Talking was a survival mechanism for my darling son. He was saying full sentences by 20 months. Of course, he didn't walk until 16 months. I agree that different milestones are met by babies individually. I would say the only times I've ever regretted a decision where he's concerned was when I ignored my "mommy alarm." My advice is if this is causing you to question it then by all means have him evaluated. They'll most likely tell you he'll turn this corner soon enough but it won't hurt to have him looked at. it's not like it's an invasive procedure. He'll get to play with someone new and you can allay your concerns. Enjoy these early years........I know it cliché but it's so true...........they fly by. Mine's almost a freshman in high did THAT happen??

best of all to you. S.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I encourage you to ask for an evaluation from your early intervention folks. You can get a referral from your pediatrician. The process is friendly, the assessments are done in playful ways, you will receive a report regarding your son's skills, and ways to help him continue to grow. You may also be offered services for him. Either way, you will have a baseline of his actual skills. This baseline will be very helpful to measure his progress in the months ahead. Don't wait. There is nothing to fear, only help if he would benefit from it. All my best.


I encourage you to ask for an evaluation from your early intervention folks. You can get a referral from your pediatrician. The process is friendly, the assessments are done in playful ways, you will receive a report regarding your son's skills, and ways to help him continue to grow. You may also be offered services for him. Either way, you will have a baseline of his actual skills. This baseline will be very helpful to measure his progress in the months ahead. Don't wait. There is nothing to fear, only help if he would benefit from it. All my best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have three children and each had a different journey. The youngest experienced developmental delays and delayed speech was the "red flag" that set my "mother's intuition" into action.
I am extremely grateful because he was evaluated by early intervention at 18 months. A rigorous therapy intervention made a world of difference. My son was found to be within the spectrum disorder. Today, at age 15, he is an honors student at a college preparatory school. He takes AP courses and is a member of his school's debate team. Early intervention was the key. It was "tough love" (our pediatrician's advice). My advice is to listen to your inner voice. If this is troubling you, then have him evaluated as soon as possible. You have nothing to lose.

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