My 3 year old son is still not talking? Is it normal?

@yoj118 (330)
Philippines
April 9, 2008 9:21am CST
I think my son is too delayed in learning to communicate, he could only utter these simple words such as mama, car, no, la na (tagalog for no more)..i'm really worried already because unlike his sister who learned to talk at the age of 2, why is it my son is not the same? i haven't brought him yet to a developmental pediatrician but we already got a referral.. Some people are telling me that it is just normal because he's a boy..learning to communicate varies between boy and girl as said.. other aspects like motor skills, emotional skills, i don't see any problem with them except for communication..he only expresses what he wants through pointing or taking me by the hand to get to the object or place he wants. he seemed to be very interested to talk because he utters a lot only that i couldn't understand them, seemed to have made his own language.. but whenever we tried to talk to him or tell him something he seemed to listen and he could even follow simple instructions like put your plate on the sink after eating, give this or that (while pointing to the object), kiss mama, can i have some of your food?, no! don't do that... he's even good in imitating what he watches on tv or a movie, he even memorized what will happen next particularly to cartoons that he used to watch like cars, toy story et al.. he's a very affectionate and sweet child.. that's why i hope he's normal, and that he's just having a delay in his communication skills.. but what if there's a problem after consulting with an expert? i don't know if i could handle it... i'm a little afraid... we cannot deny the fact that any parents who would be experiencing a situation like this will try to deny the fact of the matter on their mind,..scared to face the truth... what do you think? could there be really a problem? need your advice..
19 people like this
63 responses
@suspenseful (40331)
• Canada
11 Apr 08
I know a little girl who did the pointing thing as well and another little girl who did not walk until she was about fourteen months old, so it could be that your son may be a bit slow in communication. It might also be that he is lazy,and does not feel the need to do so because you keep going on. In that case, you should do what you are doing and keep trying to get him to talk. On the other hand, he might be deaf or partially deaf. In that case, he may not be able to talk unless he looks at you. But you should see a doctor to see what is wrong. Then if there is something wrong, you can get it treated, but if there is nothing wrong, you will know that your son will suddenly started talking.
@Swaana (1208)
• India
9 Apr 08
Dear Yoj, There is no need to worry, as many kids will take time to start communicating. You kep talking and talking to him. Not baby talk but legible talk. Show him various cards and keep teaching him. As you say that all other skills are at par, you need not worry. Keep going. He will be a jolly good boy and you will be amazed to see how much he talks.
1 person likes this
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
thanks for the advice..i do hope he talks eventually...
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
6 Nov 09
Hi there just wondering how you Boy was doing?when did he start talking? My son it nearly 3 and still not talking,he had Grommits in his ears at 1 1/2 and has been in glasses since he turned 2 and is also not talking yet. He understands everything but just wont seam too talk. Hes a million miles an hour though never walks anywhere just seams too run. Its really starting too stress me out,hes been saying Mum since he was 1 but nothing new since then. If you could send me a email as I am not a registered member on this site and let me know how you son went and maybey give me some tips that would be great,thanks :) Hope all is well. Mark remarkable_hm@yahoo.co.nz
1 person likes this
• Thailand
25 Dec 09
When I read your initial question, it was like it was my own story. My son Aslan who just turned 3 speaks some, knows some vocabulary, doesn't have many sentences. Only like "that's funny" or "push play" for the DVD. I was just wondering the next part of your story and what you discovered to perhaps help me where to look. We are Americans living in Thailand and I often wonder if the culture and language changes delayed him in either confidence, processing, and speaking. My heart aches as his parent to know him and for him to be known by others. It is very challenging to be in settings where people notice how he does not speak and comment about it, it just continues to stir up the worry and then I need to find peace again. email:spreadtheflame@hotmail.com
• United States
9 Apr 08
I think that depends on your child. When my youngest turned 3, she didnt speak enough words to satisfy the pediatrician, so we had 3 months to get her talking more or she had to go to speech therapy. Now evaluate your family. Do you have an older child, that speaks for the younger one. We did and I found both he and my husband would give her whatever she wanted at the least noise she made. So she learned all she had to do was point and they got it for her. So I had to retrain my son and my husband, and her, to no longer do this. Trust me it was not easy. It lead to tantrums for her, my husband about had a stroke, and her brother just thought it was dumb. But within the 3 months she was in fact communicating more towards her age level. The next thing I did was go on Ebay or Amazon I cant remember, and bought a dvd called Baby Babble. It was made by speech pathologists specializing in speech therapy for children. It has pointers to how to help your child speak more, and the dvd is wonderful. I had it on every day, even if she wasnt watching it, and it worked wonderful. I cant recommend it enough, and it wasnt that expensive. If I still had mine I would give it to you, but I have already passed it on. Ebay has tons of speech therapy items, and they are great. You may want to try some of them. They are usually listed under Autism, and I am not saying your child has that, that is just the easiest way to find them. Good luck and best wishes to you and your child.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
really??.. i could try that...right now i'm still trying to analyze what could be went wrong, perhaps we may be the reason why he doesn't want to talk..actually, when my eldest daughter learned to talk, my mom-in-law was here at home all the time to talk to her everyday..so i think she learned to communicate faster because of that..but when my mom-in-law left for abroad, my youngest son was left to a nanny when he's still a baby because me and my hubby have work.. sometimes her nanny would just left him on the crib and watch dvd of barney and friends while doing chores... but when he reached 1 1/2 yr old that's when i decided to stop working and just stay at home to take care of my children personally.. now i feel regretful about it..maybe it could be a reason why he didn't learn to talk normally.. i hope i still have the time to change that...
• United States
9 Apr 08
Take it from some one who has been there, you still have time. You need to be aggressive though, and not take too much time beating yourself up. Instead take action and dont look behind only look forward. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my kids now. It wasnt always like that though, and have done the daycare, guilty beat myself up thing. Trust me it doesnt help accomplish anything, only makes it worse. No parents are perfect, and we all do the best we can. Take care.
@luvstochat (6917)
• United States
9 Apr 08
I understand both of my kids had speech delays. You need to have him evalutated by an early child educator call your local school and they should be able to give you where to call. One thing to do is have his hearing evaluated as some kids who are slow at talking have a slight hearing loss. Both of my kids have worked with a speech patholigist and are doing great now.
1 person likes this
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
yeah i will consult a speech doctor..his pediatrician already checked his ears for any abnormalities but found out nothing..but maybe i still have to seek second opinion.. nice to hear your children are doing well now..i hope same will happen to my son... i appreciate your opinion and advice..thanks a lot..
• Philippines
28 Oct 10
Hi Yoj118, I hope you get this post, I have a son whose about to be 3 years old, and he isnt talking yet. He has the same symptoms as your son. I wanted to ask how your son is doing now? I sincerely hope he is able to talk now. Thank you.
@mi2ok02 (406)
• United States
11 Apr 08
My son did the same thing. My pediatrician said it was because he had 3 older sisters talking for him but as he got older and with testing, I found out that it was a delayed speech handicap. With your son, if he has a hearing loss, that might be a culprit though. You will have to have a pediatrician look at him and make sure he isn't deaf or anything else in his health that may be keeping him from talking. In my case, with my son, I got him into early education and they taught him sign language to help re-open up his speech centers in his brain to get him talking, even though he could hear just fine. It worked! I hope you find the answers you seek.
@mi2ok02 (406)
• United States
11 Apr 08
You should be concerned though and the earlier you can help, the better off he will be, and it will also help you feel better to find out that nothing is wrong after all. Follow your mommy instincts and get him to a doctor.
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8247)
• United States
9 Apr 08
It could be normal or it could be something. My husbands cousin was like that. He seemed fine other than talking, he even potty trained well. His parents took him to a specialist and found out he has autism. there are many different levels of autism. a friend of mine has a son with it. for years they told her he had add and ahd. he pretty much seemed like a normal kid that was just behaving badly. finally a doctor figured out it was autism. i don't know that is what your son has, just letting you know my experiance. hope all turns out well.
1 person likes this
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
yeah it also occurred to my mind if it could be autism (at a slight level) or adhd because he's really playful and active that he sometimes don't want to pay attention to what we are telling him.. but still i do hope he's fine... i appreciate your concern,,,thank you
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10021)
• United States
9 Apr 08
He seems on track in all the other areas developmentally so I would guess that he's fine, he just needs help with talking. It might just be as simple as he doesn't need to talk. You mentioned that he communicates well non-verbally, communicating is communicating, some kids are better with words, some are better with actions. Still have him checked out by the developmental pediatrician but I bet he will start talking more soon. Reinforce things at home to teach him that needs to talk. When he tries to just point, say the word yourself and tell him to say the word, eventually he'll get it!
1 person likes this
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
yeah i'm doing it right now, like posting educational posters inside our bedroom so i could teach him names of objects, alphabets and numbers..reinforcements is really needed so me and my husband took turns in doing it.. we just hope it works.. anyway, thanks for the advice..glad to hear your opinion..
1 person likes this
@ruby222 (4849)
9 Apr 08
Oh please dont get too worrie as yet...every child develops at their own rate...im sure he will be fine!! My grandson is the same age..and he has had a pronounced stutter since he was two...sometimes it seems worse than others...but he has been to see a specialist in this field...who told his Mum ..due to the fact of the young brain working faster than he is able to get the words out ..he stutters...she says she has seen this many times before ..and it always corrects itself... It may well be that your daughter talked fairly well at the age of two...and that you are expecting him to do the same... But honestly ..if you have any real worries...check it out...otherwise wait for a while and see what happens
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
perhaps you are right about the fact that i'm worrying too much because i am comparing him to his sister who learned to talk early.. kids do have different levels of development and maybe he would talk eventually at his own proper time... thanks for the help..
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Apr 08
i understand wht you mean we as parents we do alot of denying but its ok because we want are kids to be in good health and be normal, mybe nothings wrong with your son but you wont know until you tried taking him to a speach doctor usually your peditrian will refer you to the speech doctor. hope fully he is just waiting for the right moment to spring into cacth up mode. my newphew 6 yrs old now was like that hes speaks alot now but they have him with a resource teacher to help him cacth up will the words that he is suppose to know by now, keep the speech doctor in mind. i'll send a little prayer for your baby boy ok...
1 person likes this
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
9 Apr 08
yeah i do hope too..nice to hear about your nephew..i believe there's still a remedy and i should always be positive..thanks for the advice...:)
@mtdewgurl74 (18124)
• United States
12 Apr 08
Girls do develop faster then bos but you have right to be worried cause three year old usually can talk better then that. Is their a touch of autism in your family? My nephew has autism and he can say only about the same words as your little guy. He is 5 now he is learning sign language to help him communicate. Have you looked into sign language? it could be a big help in helping you to help him more and him being able to communicate with you and his wants better. That is how my nephew is he points and takes everyone by the hand to get what he wants, he plays,runs,and moves just fine his motorskills are great. yeah my nephew gibber gabber alot but we can't understand him much only a few words here and there, like mama,dada,and a few others. I seriously think he needs to maybe see a specialist to see if he has the autism gene, my nephew did the same as your son, It is scary to think your child has something wrong when we all pray for a healthy baby we don't think that your child can have autism and still be healthy just a little slower at learning. It just might take awhile. I pray that it is just a little slow at learning but you need to have him checked out by a specialist. HUGS!
1 person likes this
@pumpkinjam (4591)
11 Apr 08
There could be a problem but from all the other things he is doing, I don't think there is. One of my children didn't talk properly until he was nearly 3 but he could do things for himself and had no reason to talk, he also could follow instructions really well. My second child was late walking. He was almost 2 years old before he could walk but he was the opposite of your child because he was so good at talking that he could just ask for what he wanted and had no reason to walk. All children develop differently but I think we worry more when they seem to be behind with a "big" thing. What some people tend to forget is that children have an awful lot to learn and can't do everything. I had people saying I should get my son referred to someone because he couldn't walk but I didn't because he wasn't ready to do so. He was well ahead (and still is) in every other area and it seems your son is similar in that he is good at other things. There are a lot of 3 year olds who can't talk very well but many of them wouldn't be able to do the things your child can do either. Keep talking to him. Don't point at objects, tell him what it is you want and start asking him to say the words. He should start to talk more if you make it so he has to tell you what he wants. If you're still worried or feel like you're not making progress then maybe you should think about seeing a prefessional about it.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17873)
• United States
9 Apr 08
You should get him evaluated as soon as you can get in with the doctor. I am surprised his Doctor has not suggested that you do it before now (I know my sons pediatrician would always asking about vocabulary at his check ups). My nephew and my son were both talking up a storm when they were 3.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 09
you are describing my son, he is 3 and 3 months. i am extremely worried like you were. i notice this discussion was posted a year ago. i would like to know what progress you son had. please let me know. thanks.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
6 May 09
Hi! Yes, it's been a year since I last posted this discussion. Any improvements? He's quite coping with some words now...he's learning a few simple words, though the vocabulary is still the same. In general, he still has his own 'language', which most of us could not understand. However, he seemed to be learning faster now, compared before. He's very chatty though incomprehensible, he even actuate what he wants to say. He's more active and playful though sometimes we're worried because he seemed to be unmindful whether he's hurting somebody because of his hyperactivity (especially during play). We haven't brought him yet to an expert. But we really want to do it right away because we're concern that he might not be able to attend normal schooling next year. He's supposed to be enrolled on a preschool this year. However, we intend to postpone it until next year, so he could have time for a therapy if needed.
• United States
18 May 09
I am happy to hear your son is learning more words. my son is now 3 and 4 months, he started going to headstart about a 1 1/2 month ago. he has learned more words than ever and he is finally trying to talk; of course his speech level is not as the other kids and it seems i am the only one besides his father to understand what he says. The good new is that he is "talking". I believe interacting with other kids will help your son's vocabulary and will teach him how to play with other kids. I believed that my son was not ready for pre-school, but after only a month of attending school, his vocabulary has improved tremendously. He is also getting speech therapy twice a week. I have tried to teach him words at home but he seems to learn more from other kids. I know it is frustrating when you hear other kids the same age talk with no problem, but I know he will be fine. good luck!;)
6 Mar 09
My son will be three in 6 more weeks and his situation is exactly the same as yours. I have a 5 year old daughter and she had the same problem when she was 3 (though she did talk a bit more than her brother). Once she reached 4, she suddenly had a big leap on vocabularies. Now that she can talk non-stop for a long while. She's very normal now. I just hope that my son is the same and he has no problem. But still, I'm worried about him.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
6 May 09
he seemed to be improving a little. Though in general, it's still quite the same. He's very chatty but incomprehensible. Being his mom,of course I could easily translate what he wants to say. But for other people, this is quite hard. He's more active now compared before. He seemed to understand more statements and words now unlike last year. Nonetheless, we're still worried that he's still delay in speech. Another concern is, his being too active also result to unmindful acts of aggressiveness especially during playtime. His sister and even his cousins always complain that he is hurting them, but when you see him, he seemed to be just playing and no really intention of hurting them. Yet, after reprimanding him or explaining the situation, there's still no improvement.
@eihdra (3116)
• Philippines
28 Apr 08
hi..i know two parents who has exactly the same prob as yours..same signs since the beginning..they waited for 3 years before they went to a dev.psych but to their dismay it was already severe autism..they opted to wait coz some adviced to wait coz it's a natural thing, that boys are usually delayed than girls..THOSE WHO RESPONDED,PLEASE DONT GET OFFENDED...im simply telling the story of those two parents.. the dev.psychiatrist said if they brought the kids as early as the first signs, they would have been analyzed and sent to an O.T. or occupational therapist for proper treatments..The treatments arent medicines but playlike analyzations. You can check with perpetual hospital in las pi√Ďas or asian hospital. They have very good dev.psychs there... It wouldnt hurt if you go now to the psych..at least all your questions will be answered.. Dont be like the parents i know..they delayed..thus resulting to lifetime agonies for them.. God Bless
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
3 May 08
hi eihdra!! thanks for the concern. we'll bring our son asap to a developmental ped maybe in la salle dasma where we've been referred to by his pediatrician and it's much closer to us because we lived in dasma anyway. We also plan of getting him enrolled in a day care this June where he could also experience a sort of school set up with children to mingle with and learning environment. Hoping maybe it could help him in some way to talk and develop his speech soon... We actually noticed that he seemed to be excited over her sister's schooling 2 weeks ago that he doesn't even want to go home yet and just stay with her sister inside the classroom.. that's why, my hubby and I thought of enrolling him too this June.. With regards to consulting a dev ped, we think we're ready now to face whatever result it maybe... thanks for all the help from all of you guys!!... godbless...
@chertsy (3818)
• United States
10 Apr 08
If he's passed a hearing test, I wouldn't worry to much honestly. Just because some kids start talking at one age, doesn't mean every single child is suppose to do it at that age. Like I said, if he passed a hearing test, just repeat words around him. When he signals for milk, say you mean MILK, same goes for everything. When your watching a movie, say MOVIE. Just focus on the main word and repeat it a lot, but like like milk, milk, because he might just up and walk off because he thinks mommy is nuts,. You can also ask him questions with choices. Like for example, do you want a piece of APPLE or CARROT, and see if he will say what he wants. Just take it slow and work with him every chance you get. Night time, you can try to get him to say book by saying want mommy to read you a BOOK. Honestly, give him time, your going to wish he came with a mute button,
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
lol...thanks for the response... take care..
@Pose123 (21677)
• Canada
10 Apr 08
Hi yoj118, All children are not alike, but I don't know if the difference is boys as opposed to girls. I know our oldest son was talking before he was a year old. I know of parents who were concerned about their child not talking by a certain age, later they couldn't get them to stop. I doubt if you have anything to worry about, but see a developmental pediatrician anyway, it will at least give you peace of mind. Blessings.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
yes we definitely will...thanks a lot!!
@worldwise1 (14893)
• United States
10 Apr 08
Sometimes, yoj, children don't talk simply because they are not ready to talk. He might not have anything to say just yet. I have raised 4 children and helped to raise 8 grandchildren and some of them seemed to begin talking almost from the day they were born, while others took their time. It's much the same with walking. If your child is speaking a few words I'm sure that there is no need to worry.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
thanks for the help... have a nice day!!
@suganrekh (264)
• India
10 Apr 08
boys speak,walk a little bit latter than girls.your boy speaks at least mom,dad like that.Give him a spoon of honey my granny says this will stimulate speech.scientifically honey is antibacterial. Give him badams 3 -4 daily it is also good it will increase his memory power I mean to make him remember words for conversation. Include walnuts also in his daily diet 1 - 2 will do or may be even half you know his appetite. It wou;d be also best if you have an appointment with the speech therapist also. take care of him dear but the main thing to whom ever you pray for him well.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
thanks for the response.. yeah i have strong faith in HIM that things will turn out just fine...
@sid556 (31030)
• United States
10 Apr 08
I wouldn't worry too deeply about it before seeing someone that is an expert on this. I would say that most kids do talk by that age but not all. My grandson was 3 and still hardly talking at all. My daughter took him in for speech therapy. They advised her to put him in a preschool that was being run by a speech therapist. She did and he is now 10 and talking very well. In fact he began talking quite well soon after going to the school. Im thinking that just being around so many other kids helped him. the thing that matters is he is fine and healthy. I am hoping your son is the same.
@yoj118 (330)
• Philippines
11 Apr 08
me too.. thanks for sharing that to me...it gives me relief... thanks