My 3-year-old boy doesn't speak well yet. Any advice or suggestions?

Philippines
January 22, 2007 8:53pm CST
Sean is already 3 years old. But seems too late for his speaking ability. He can say a word with 2 syllables only and can't construct a sentence yet. I am a bit worried because I see kids with the same age who speaks clear enough to be understood. Instead of trying to speak he just demonstrates what he wants to say. Some says it's ordinary for a boy to speak a little delayed from girls. Do you have any advice or suggestion so I can help him speak fast?
18 people like this
109 responses
@chumm525 (169)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
it is true that boys developmwnt is delayed than girls even in maturity, dont woory that much about your son's situation, one way of imroving your sons speaking ability is to talk to him in normal way dont talk to him min baby talk way, and allow him to watch tv for him to learn and improvehis speaking ability. Let him play w/ other children w/ same age as his or even older to him in order to interact w/ them.
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Thanks for the quick response. I do talk him in normal way. I never baby talk him. Yes, he watches TV and he's learning new words from it. But regards with playmates, he don't have a playmate with same age. He's only left with the nanny for the whole day.
3 people like this
@nicky35 (747)
23 Jan 07
ask your nanny to keep talking to him,even if shes just thinking out loud
2 people like this
@ronita34 (3923)
• Canada
24 Jan 07
I agree that you should talk to the nanny and ask her if she can help out a little bit by talking around him as much as possible. He will talk though do not worry children develop at their own pace and should not be rushed into new things!
@TerryZ (22082)
• United States
23 Jan 07
My cousins little boy went through that. She took him to all kinds of doctors. They were of no help. We were afraid he would never speak right. Till one day he started talking as clear as a bell. So dont worry about a thing. Some children take a little longer thats all. Now they can not shout him up.
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
That's amazing. Thanks :-)
1 person likes this
@pimponel (291)
• Romania
3 Feb 07
first every child is different never compare your child with others. Also have you spoke to your doctor about this because they will help if there is a problem also it could be that your child is a bit lazy in wanting to talk but to talk to your doctor if you are still worried
@pimponel (291)
• Romania
3 Feb 07
first every child is different never compare your child with others. Also have you spoke to your doctor about this because they will help if there is a problem also it could be that your child is a bit lazy in wanting to talk but to talk to your doctor if you are still worried
@darckj (885)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
have enough time to talk to him [do not baby talk to him, please].. make your words clear and try to pronounce the words exactly.. let him speak too, if needed, most of the time... have a frequent conversation with him.. i guess that way, he will learn how to talk fast.. if you cannot attend to him, let him watch tv.. o, one thing more, speak only in one language when you talk to him..
2 people like this
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Oh maybe it's one cause of the delay. We speaks to him in different languages. Maybe he's confused. Hahaha..Thanks darckj
• United States
23 Jan 07
I'm glad someone brought the dual languages thing up! Children who are taught 2 languages at once take longer to speak, however, when they do, they have the advantage of knowing more than one language already. I would probably disagree with only speaking to him in one language, because if you are teaching two, this is actually very normal in a child's speech development process if they are learning two. I have read that the best way for children to learn the separation, however, and to avoid confusion as much as possible, is to have one parent speak solely to the child in one language and the other parent speak solely in the other language. As always, if you are concerned, ask your pediatrician about it, and make sure you let the pediatrician also know you have been using two languages and they will probably have a better idea of what age children learning 2 languages will need to speak well at.
@darckj (885)
• Philippines
25 Jan 07
our psychology teacher told us that once a kid is being taught with more than one language, he gets confused.. the right time to teach him the second language is when he already know, mastered, or at least can speak his first language.. i cannot learn chinese and japanese languages at the same time.. maybe i can learn japanese by the time i speak mandarin.. its like that..
• United States
23 Jan 07
There is no big secret it is just that some children focus more on speaking well than others. Just like with anything else, if they have the desire to speak better they will. Just like my son was. When he was younger he did not speak to well and one day he just wouldn't be quiet. I don't know what happened. All I know is that I started speaking to him more directly as opposed to speaking around him and he just started to respond better.
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
That's nice to hear. I know it will happen to Sean too in the near future :-)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Raj119 is right, marjonelle. The BEST choice is to take your child to a speech therapist. This way you get a professional diagnostic AND help if needed. A friend of my sister in law took her son and we've all seen the improvement. Pretty fast might I add. Take care and good luck!!!
2 people like this
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
Thank you for your suggestion but I think he doen't need a speech therapist yet. He's improving bit by bit. :-)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Ok, so lets see. If his speech is delayed, you want to see someone about that. If you are worried, see a speech therapist or an Early Childhood Development specialist who can decide whether or not his development is delayed, and if they think it is, they can refer you further. Good luck!
2 people like this
• Philippines
30 Jan 07
No i guess he won't need them. He is developing but a little delayes and some says it's normal. Child development varies from each other. Thanks for the suggestion.
• United States
23 Jan 07
Yes my son was slower at learning to talk then my girls were. He was almost four before he started speaking real well. Some things that I did to help him along the way were things like when he wanted something and was gesturing for it, I would tell him what it was. I also started sending him to a preschool just a few hours a couple of days a week. I think that this is what helped him the most as he was around other children his age and just seemed to pick up on language faster through them. I would also spend a lot of time talking with him and reading to him so that he would get the familiariety of hearing sentences spoken.
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Yes he will be going to a preschool in a couple of months. I also think it will help with children his age around him. Thanks.
@raijin (10371)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Engage him in a straight-adult talk to practice his speech. Avoid also your relatives to have him in a baby-talk conversations, they are not helping your son and would only make it more complicated for your son to learn. You can also read some stories for him and practice him to those words you think he's having a difficulty talking to.
• Philippines
30 Jan 07
We don't baby talk him at all. I know it won't help at all. Thanks for the reply
@kylesmiles (1911)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Hey there. From what my mom says, my brother was the same way, he'd point to what he wanted and I'd get it for him (I was 2 years older than he is) or he'd grunt! LOL I honestly don't mean to be mean but do YOU speak to him clearly and in full sentences? :) With my son, we've been using sign language with him, ever since he was a few weeks old. He does say a few words too. :) Although my son isn't as old as your son.
2 people like this
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Yes I speak to him clearly and in full sentence. Thanks
1 person likes this
@Raj119 (225)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Actually, my aunt's son has the same speech impediment problem. He's 4 1/2 now and what my aunt did was hire a speech therapist. He's actually gotten a lot better now. He doesn't slur like before. Maybe you can try the same solution marjonelle. I'm not saying it will definitely work but you can look into it.
2 people like this
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Thanks for the suggestion.
1 person likes this
@raven33 (70)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I'd first double check and make sure there isn't a physical cause...maybe get his hearing checked, which you've probably done already. Every child is different, you could try some nursery rymes, light toungue twisters, or some favorite songs he can sing along to...even a favorite commericial jingle. Make it into a fun game, and before long he may be talking your ear off.
@tyfriend (63)
• Canada
24 Jan 07
have you tried to teach your son some songs? songs that have a catchy beat seem to stick. or you can sit your son down everyday for an hour and show your son some flash cards.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
Oh yes, Sean is a very good singer. But he can only pronounce the last syllable of each line of the song... hehehehe. Thanks for the reply.
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
Oh yes, Sean is a very good singer. But he can only pronounce the last syllable of each line of the song... hehehehe. Thanks for the comment.
• India
3 Feb 07
i can able to help your baby to be alright but not with simple advice, a complete case history is to be taken for it .. because defect can be at any level like, -during pregnancy -during labour -in diet -in surroundings etc., so send a complete history which includes pregnancy history and brought up and mothers health.. for a complete resolution..
• Philippines
3 Feb 07
Thanks. I'll add you instead for the complete history from pregnancy to present.
• United States
2 Feb 07
Does your son attend daycare or spend time with other small children? Sometimes it is hard for children to speak with adults since they aren't really on the same level. If he is with like aged children they might have more in common. I have a friend with a 3 year old son and she insists he can't speak yet because he doesn't attend daycare. I also have a friend with a 2 year old daughter and she speaks nearly as well as I do!!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Feb 07
Not yet, he will attend preschool this school year. He don't have a playmate. I know it's one reason why he is delayed with his speech development. Thanks for the respons. :-)
@Sasselle (698)
• Australia
2 Feb 07
My son will be 4 in May and he is only just starting to say 2-3 word sentences. He has been diagnosed with having a "language disorder" which is common in young children [especially boys]. You didn't mention if he is having trouble understanding what you say aswell. We've worked mainly with flashcards to build up his word vocabulary. I made my own out of some cardboard and pictures that i'd just printed off the internet or from the clipart cd and added the word at the bottom. We started off with things that he would see/use day to day - everything from clothes to his favourite TV characters. It's easy to add more and more cards into the pile. Also if you are extremely worried about his - go and see your doctor and see what they recommend. We got referred to a speech pathologist and they have a wonderful "kindy" type playgroup with kids the same age as my son with the same language skills - it's wonderful to see how he's progressed in this group and it helps myself immensely not to have others compare him to others. I mean ... what is "normal" anyway?
• Philippines
3 Feb 07
He has no trouble in uderstanding what we say. He comprehend well and follow instruction perfectly. I'll try to do that flashcard thing. I only shows him flascard of alphabet not a whole word. Thanks for the reply.
• India
2 Feb 07
Nothing to worry. If a child of three years doesn't speak at all, there is obviously some problem. But since the child has started speaking two-syllable words, he will definitely pick up the momentum. Children take different intervals of time to be able to make proper sitting, standing and walking postures. The same is true for speaking too. But ensure maximum conversation with him and never respond with silent gestures. Take special care that the children he plays with also follow this.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Feb 07
Yes. I won't worry anymore. Thanks for your reply.
• Canada
24 Jan 07
My oldest son had that problem, he made his own language after awhile - it was weird. sign language can help. But follow your gut. I knew there was something wrong with my oldest son from the start but everyone kept telling me ' oh he will develop at his own rate' had i got him the help he needed when he was young - had i known (as a 1st time mother) I wouldnt be in the mess i am in now with him with schools and drs. He has finally been diagnosed with a learning disiblity and possible autism. So its best to make sure your child is assesed and keep trudging even after someone tells you there is nothing wrong with him. Make sure he gets the help he needs. the only other thing i suggest is a language therepist
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Feb 07
Luckily I can't see anything wrong with him. I know he's normal only delayed in talking. Thanks for the reply.
@Kscott (634)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I have a 2 & 3 year old, and they are both speaking pretty well, and I also have a 9 year old who didn't speak as well, and was in speech classes until she was in the end of 2nd grade. I attribute the younger ones speaking better, because I constantly have been talking to them since before they were born. I read them when they will sit still long enough, and try to get them to repeat the words. I have an Aunt who is a teacher and she suggested to tape yourself saying a word (s), then have them repeat it on tape, and play it back for them, so they can "hear" theirselves talking. My daughter (9) had several severe ear infections and tubes put in her ears, and she was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder (what she hears being said doesn't process right, then comes out differently when she speaks), have you involved a Dr. in reguards to making sure his hearing is ok? (just a suggestion). I think it is probably normal for a boy to do things delayed than girls, it has been said that boys develop and mature slower than girls. I dont know if anything will help him really fast, but you can always continue to help him by speaking clearly to him (dont use baby talk), try hooked on phonics (it helped my daughter with her speech, and I know it's for reading, but you cant read if you cant pronounce the words phonetically correct!) I hope this advice helps some. Good luck!
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
No I don't think he has problem with hearing. It's just that he can't say difficult words and it is understandable. I think some more time with him and talk to him more. Thanks Kscott.
@soldenski (2503)
• United States
23 Jan 07
My nephew did not speak until he was over three year's old. He is a very smart boy (he is ten year's old now) He did not walk until after two. My son did not speak clearly either, although he was speaking at about one, he has a speach problem, now that he is in school he goes to a speach therapist and is doing very well. My husband even understand's him, and he speak's spanish better then my 15 year old. I would not worry too much, if you speak to him clearly, (no baby talk, I saw that you said you do not speak to him in baby talk) once he get's to school, the teacher will either have him evaluated for speach therapy or he will grow out of it. Good luck
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
Thanks :-)
@slavena (87)
• Canada
23 Jan 07
I wouldn't be worried if I was you, he will come around on his own time and pace. My daughter is almost three and she speaks a lot better than the boys at her daycare, so I guess you are right about it being ordinary for boys to speak a little delayed from girls. You said that he just demonstrates what he's trying to say, maybe you should try not giving him want he wants unless he says it first. Like a certain toy, etc.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Jan 07
I'll take that advice. Thanks so much for the reply.