Speech delay in children, what must be done?

speech delay in boys? - a photo of a 2+ yrs old boy who still could not say words accurately, especially those words that have more than 2 syllables.
@bingskee (5239)
Philippines
August 16, 2010 8:57am CST
My daughter was able to talk almost straight when she was one and a half years old. She had an audible voice and comprehensible words and phrases. We did not have any worry that she'll have trouble talking when she reaches two years old. My son, on the other hand only was able to talk straight and comprehensive when he was nearing three years old. He was a shy boy who always giggles. He can only utter a few syllables like ga-ga, gu-gu, da-da, ba-bu. We were anxious he will not talk but when he was nearing three years old, he suddenly blurted out a one-liner that tells his grandma that he likes to wash the dishes. We were shocked. Who would not be when you hear your son talk straight all of a sudden?? A grandson by a nephew is past two years old. He still could not express himself clearly although he can utter syllables which are usually lacking when it comes to the true of a word. The parents believe that he will one day speak straight. They said it is just normal a boy to be delayed in speech. Do you think they are right? Do you think it is time to go see the doctor and let him diagnose what is wrong with our darling grandson?
5 people like this
25 responses
• United States
16 Aug 10
I have 2 girls that are in speech therapy classes. I personally think if someone is questioning his development there is no reason not to ask the Dr if the child needs an early intervention of sorts. Everyone kept saying that my oldest would talk eventually give her time. It took til she was 4 to say more than a few words, and some words she would say very well for a time and then not say them at all and go back to pointing for what she wanted. Either way, if the child needs help the sooner they receive it the easier things will be when they get to school.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
16 Aug 10
i hope i can be able to share this to the parents. :-) am taking my time as i would not want to slight them.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Aug 10
In the worst case senario the Dr would say to keep an eye on things. I know people are touchy for people to even suggest their child isn't up to par on certain skill levels. I know I am! As a result of my oldest being behind in her speaking she is also behind in her reading. Wich I have read it is something that typically happens when they are behind in their speech so she is in special ed classes for reading, but remains with her peers the rest of the school day. GL telling them your opinion on this. Perhaps there is a round about way you could tell them? Like I used to do a word list, where I'd write down all the words my girls could say. Look also for information on how many words a child at his age should be saying & examples of the vocabulary at his age.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
16 Aug 10
thank you for the suggestion. i will be asking them to look for information on how many words a child at his age should be able to say already. :-)
@SViswan (12096)
• India
28 Jan 11
Yes, I think children start speaking at different ages. There is a belief in our community that girls speak sooner than boys. That isn't true either. I have two boys. When I had my older son, he wasn't really speaking clearly at age 3 and I ended up translating or explaining for him so much that it became a habit.But once he started talking, he wouldn't stop (which was in a year from then). And he has no speech problems whatsoever. My younger started speaking clearly and in proper sentences much earlier than his older brother. But we didn't have anyone to compare with when I had my first child that I didn't even realize or consider a speech problem. I thought what he was going through was a normal phase and that our younger son was quicker than the older one. A cousin of mine had a baby girl a day after I had my younger son....so naturally, the family would compare the two of them because they were the same age. And she started speaking very clearly at one and a half which was a lot sooner than even my younger son. Each child is different. If the parents seem to think so, maybe that might be the case for your grandson. One of my cousin's sons had the same problem and since they thought of it as a problem earlier on...they went to a doctor who gave big big names and said it was a problem. But as a kindergarten teacher, I had seen many kids with similar problems who had outgrown it and in fact, I found a lot of similarity with my older son too. But since the parents thought of it as a problem....that's how they wanted to see it.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
1 Feb 11
hi, i am sorry it took me a long time to answer. been away during the holidays. thank you for your thoughts. there were a number of improvement for the little boy but it seems so slow for me as i never had experienced it with my kids when they were young. what is heart-warming one time is when my daughter gave him a gift - a puzzle for little kids - and he was able to solve all three of them. i think it requires the parents to communicate more often.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
2 Feb 11
That is exactly how my cousin's son is. He is a very bright child....and quite ahead of kids his age. He was reading books before the age of 5! But right from the beginning, they felt he had a speech problem and he preferred to mix more with older kids than children his age (I feel that it was possible that my nephew felt more at ease with them because of the wavelength).They didn't really encourage him to speak either and probably that is why he didn't speak. And when he was introduced, he was introduced to his mother tongue and English at the same time. The English his parents spoke at home (the accent) was very different from what he was listening to at school and the poor boy got confused. But what I don't understand is how anyone could say such a child has a speech problem!
• United States
17 Aug 10
Speech therapy works. My cousin took his son to one and he can speak very well, in fact, he never stays quite. Another good thing is too talk to him. Constantly talk to him. The more he hears people speak and talk, the more words he will pick up. You can take him to a doctor, and get a doctor's opinion on what the problem might be, but I think it is just because people need to talk to him more.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
the adults in the family talk to him most of the time like a big adult.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Aug 10
Okay, then there clearly is a bigger problem, and you all need to get him to a doctor, because what he has could be medical condition.
• United States
16 Aug 10
In my opinion we go the extra mile in a great many things such as work and friends. Why on earth would we not make extra efforts to help in this type of situation. I understand that perhaps they feel that this will instantly come, but in my opinion I think as a parent I would work with the child and research areas where can get additional assistance as if I remember correctly when children are around 1 1/2 they mimic a great many things. So not seeing some of this I would be concerned and would want to do all I could to find out why.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
16 Aug 10
exactly, hardworkinggurl. but the thing is, not all parents have the same sensitivity and knowledge as we do. some are ignorant, some could not care less.
• United States
17 Aug 10
Too sad for the children
• Philippines
9 Sep 10
kids need stimuli and when they see something in their environment that fascinates them they will investigate and try to emulate the behavior so in order to avoid speech delay... we should talk and talk and talk and talk to them sooner or later they will learn how to talk (and you'll wish there really was a delay hahaha)
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
10 Sep 10
ha ha when my son learned to talk, i truly started wishing he did not learn sooner!
@LadyDulce (832)
• United States
9 Sep 10
All children develop at different rates, and boys do tend to develop their physical abilities before their cognitive abilities, whereas the reverse is true for girls. At two, I wouldn't worry about it as long as he's growing and developing normally in other areas. My son (four now) didn't really speak coherently until just after he was three. He would attempt to speak, and close family could understand him, but it still wasn't clear. I think your grandson's parents are right not to worry so early. Now if he still can't construct a proper sentence when he's five, then take him to a doctor, lol. Blessed Be
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
10 Sep 10
thank you for the information, LadyDulce. :-)
@sjhaeki (798)
• Philippines
8 Sep 10
whether or not it is true that boys' speech are delayed than girls I think it is time for them to see a doctor and have the grandson diagnosed. as I can remember, speech has it's own time to develop and if it goes beyond that, medical attention should be seek so to rule out any dangerous signs of abnormalities. It also depends on how the family had been treating the boy, or how they were talking to him. Sometimes it is by the manner the parents, relatives and people around the children talk to them affect the children's speed of developing comprehensible words and phrases or speech itself. If they have been talking to the boy like they would to a normal person - not using baby words and coos - then it could be something serious and they need a doctor's help for that. i hope that this problem will be solved soon and the boy will talk, for me any kid beyond 2 yrs old and still have problems expressing themselves has the possibility of having mental abnormalities, I have a cousin who was almost in the same situation and after going to the doctor they found out he has autism. Hopefully, theirs is not that.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
8 Sep 10
that is one scary story. my grandson is currently being able to say a few syllables but cannot still utter a straight sentence. just syllables.
@dorannmwin (36609)
• United States
29 Aug 10
My son was a bit slower about talking than my daughter was, but he seemed to have a speech explosion when he was about two years old. As far as I am concerned, there may or may not be a problem with your grandson's speech and there is no reason at all that you shouldn't take him to see a doctor about it. It is quite common for children to have speech delays for various reasons and if he does in fact have a delay they may be able to recommend speech therapy for him.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
29 Aug 10
my son was very slow and suddenly spoke a lot when he was near three. you are right, they may or may not be a problem.
@hmkoct5 (2067)
• United States
17 Aug 10
I once knew a child who could not talk until he was five. Then one day, out of the blue, he started speaking! I think many of the problems are just normal. No two children are the same and some can talk sooner than others. But, just to be on the safe side, I would take the child to the doctor. If there is something that can be done to help him and you have the means to pay for it, then I would definitely give it a try.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
what you wrote gave me more hope, hmkoct5. :-)
@34momma (13920)
• United States
17 Aug 10
i don't know if speech delays are only in boys. but i do know that all chidlren are different. i know that they all do what they need to do on their own time. As long as they understand you when you talk to them, and they can follow simple commands like clap your hands, or pick that up then i would not worry. i think anytime after three years old they are not talking in sentences then it's time to get them check out! wish you the best!
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
he can follow! that is why it gives me hope for this child. :-)
@skysuccess (8884)
• Singapore
17 Aug 10
bingskee, I feel that there's really no yardstick for this and your grandson may just be slow or shy in expressing himself. Leave it to the parents as I am sure they will be able to determine if the child would really need to consult the doctors in due time. If the child had not been stricken with any major illnesses or traumas then, it will just be the normal delays that everyone is experiencing.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
i guess it's also one of my questions if i have to meddle. other than not being able to construct a clear sentence, the child is a happy one. i hope to God it is just one of those normal delays.
@jamed28 (1910)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
I have the same condition at home, but mine is a daughter, she is 3 years old also, and until now she finds talking difficult. We try to teach her some words but she sometimes shy to participate especially if she is not in a mood of talking, but if she is in a mood, she can only follow a word by word teaching. If you try to let her follow two or more words, she will speak it but in a complex combination of sounds, but the last syllabus will sound the same. Since I am not always at home, I ask everybody at home to always talk to my daughter so that she might get into communicating wit others.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
i think it would really help that everybody at home talks to your daughter. what is good is that she still follows a word. she's not just in the mood maybe or is shy. what needs to be developed probably is her social skills. little children have to mingle with little children.
@katland05 (136)
• Guam
17 Aug 10
My son just turned 3 this past June 1st, he says words some with difficulty, he hardly completes any 3 words for sentence only 1 word. Like when he's hungry, he says eat or when he needs the bathroom he points to the bathroom, he doesn't say I need to pee. I am worried, but when I told his father he just says he would talk when he's ready. My son's doctor tested him & we were referred to a speech specialist & will be testing his hearing & vision too. My son can say his abc's but some letters he's not clear. I have an older son & daughter but I didn't have this problem with them. I hope that the speech specialist will help my 3 year old & the problem is not deeper. I do sit with him daily to talk with him, read to him & show him pictures to practice. But when I tell him to repeat his name he won't say his name, not even when I say his father's name or mine. The only names he says is his siblings & others. I hope I'm not being so hard on him. I think us parents don't want to think anything is wrong with our kids, but maybe if you tell them in a kind way that their son is not speaking like other kids his age & tell them privately with no one else around they won't take it the wrong way. Best to get them checked early so our kids don't suffer when they get older.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
that's a wonderful suggestion, katland05. though i do not have the habit of talking about sensitive matters in public or when other people are round, i would try to talk to them privately about my concerns. i just hope i would not be disappointed.
• United States
17 Aug 10
If you kids has a problem especially about speech delay i think al you haeve to do is be patience more and do your part try to teach your kids on how to talk.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
well, everybody is patient with the little boy. it is the love for this cute boy that makes me so worried.
17 Aug 10
I would not worry about it. Everyone is different. One of my nephews did not start talking until he was 4 but he is a member of mensa so is in the top 2% of the intelligence range. I would think it is time to do something about it when they reach school age as it could hold them back at school but until then let nature take it course
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
i would be scared if the little boy could not speak til he's four. but then again, more observations will be made. i am worried because it seems unnatural for me.
@yakuyaku (35)
17 Aug 10
hi!got the same problem..my son is 1 year and 8 months old..turning two this december..also has s0me speech deLAy..he's reaLLy trying hard t0 express himseLF through his own w0rdings such as "aaaa...daaa..baa.." and s0rts of syLLables..as his m0ther i was abLe to understand and c0mprhend th0se things that he wants t0 say..and we d0 understand each other..still g0t s0me fear and question inside my mind on why he isnt speaking yet..old foLks here have beLiefs that when a chiLd first learn h0w to stand and t0 waLk..usuaLLy they speak late..s0 im bearing that in mind..and im being extra patient on taLking to him urging him to taLk and say s0me w0rds..they said that its n0rmaL and i shouLd wait after he turns 2 and he'll taLk n0n-stop and ill be the one saying "pLease stay quiet"..!if later than that age..ill try t0 bring him t0 a d0ctor..n0t n0w because it would be stressfuLL to him!thanks!
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
that is still young to expect that he will be talking a lot. heard that saying of the old, too, that when a child learns to stand and walk first, he'll speak late. i just don't know if there are studies on this one to prove it is true.
@gnomeland (421)
17 Aug 10
hello, it is often the case if an older child is in the home they will answer for the younger child so that child becomes use to someone speaking for them. if this is the case then tell the parents to ask the child directly what they think or want to eat etc. this can be done without hurting the elder childs feelings by saying 'i know you like to help but i want ---- to speak for himself this time'
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
no, that is not case for this one. in fact, the child is encouraged to talk. the adults do not baby talk; they talk to him often.
@katiesueg (259)
• Italy
17 Aug 10
Very likely the parents are right, and many boys are delayed in speech, but it would probably still be a good idea to see a doctor anyway, just to make sure he does not have something wrong like maybe a hearing impediment. My youngest son did not say much when he was small, then for his second birthday we got him a small bicycle with training wheels. When another boy tried to take it from him, Michael said "That's my bike. Go get your own." My jaw dropped at the realisation that my two year old son was speaking in complete sentences. After that my greatest problem was getting him to shut up. There is at least one case of a genius who had early speech difficulties. I read once that Einstein was very late in speaking. He was past three before he spoke and had difficulty in speaking even at the age of 9.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
ha ha that became a problem, too, with my son, getting him to shut up after that long time of waiting for him to talk. sadly, not all children are born Einsteins ha ha
@BigTips (305)
• China
16 Aug 10
I don't think you need to get worried about your son. Usually, boys are slower than girls. It is obvious that speech delays in children can be one of the most worrisome concerns parent can have over their toddlers. If at any point you notice some delay in the speech development of your son, it helps much to consult with the experts so proper motivation or therapy can be implemented. There are late bloomers just as there are early starters, so it is best to seek professional assessment to show you some detailed tips to solve your problem.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
17 Aug 10
he is not my son, he is my grandson. i hope he's just a late bloomer. :-)
@pastigger (618)
• United States
16 Aug 10
Every child develops at different rates. My daugher was also a very early talker, she hasn't stop yet! But I do daycare and I have 3 year old boy that does not talk much and not very clearly. I have a 2 year old boy that talks more and you can understand most of what he says. I have a 2 1/2 little girl and she say almost nothing and I can't understand her much at all. I have a new little girl that is 2 1/2 and she talks really well and I understand her. I think so of it has to do with the child. Boys usually do talk slower as boys are doers and girls tend to be talkers. But it is not always the case. If he is not following directions or understanding things then he could have some hearing problems, but if he is hearing fine I would just give him some time. You can't compare one child with another as they are all so diffrent. Some 2nd children talk sooner and some talk later because their sibling talks for them. Some children just don't want to. Other are very eager to communitcate with the world. I would say give it some time see what happens. One day he may just start talking clear as day.
@bingskee (5239)
• Philippines
16 Aug 10
that is one good point pastigger. grandson follows what is being told to him. he follows when he's told to get his pair of slippers and many more. he is a very active child but you cannot really understand most of the words that he says. if he utters some of them, it's not clear, you have to figure out what he is saying. i hope and pray i am wrong and that he will soon become articulate.