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Toddler not talking much.

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My son is 23 months old and will be two on Jan 5th.


He doesnt talk yet. He points and babbles. He understands and can even follow simple instructions.


Like, if I say lets go see what we can find to eat! He understands and will walk with me to the fridge. He will point and babble when he wants something, so I know he does understand what he wants and what I say, sometimes I think he understands a whole lot more than you would think!


He can say 'SCHOP' which is 'stop'. He can say 'no'.... He can say mama, dada... sometimes its mom or daddddyyy..... He can say 'neenee' which is his variation of Nana. He can even say dog, although seems every animal is a dog lately to him. He can say a few other words too but mostly its babbling and pointing.


I worry that he should be talking more than he is though, because I can remember my older child talking more? Or maybe its just my memory slipping, the oldest is now 9 years old. Should I worry?


He has a checkup with the pediatrician next month and of course I plan to bring this up with the doctor. Just wanting opinions from anyone that wants to weigh in here.

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southerngirl, my daughter was talking in sentences just after 1, and my son was exactly where yours is at 2. He's 4 now and every once in a while I still get that feeling I should take him to speech therapy!! But, there's nothing to worry about... especially boys can be less verbal early on. My son was way more advanced physically than my daughter... stronger, more balanced, etc., so each child does have their own pace.


I wouldn't worry about it, and just bring it up at his checkup like you mentioned. People that immediately freak out and try to shove you to speech therapy shouldn't be listened to, in my opinion!!

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I can remember my 2 year old and the pediatrician saying he didn't talk very much, which amazed me because I could understand him perfectly, even if no-one else did. He is obviously thinking about what you say and is saying what he thinks even if it does sound like gibberish at the moment.


If your child uses a pacifier, it might be an idea to remove it so he/she gets more practise talking. I hear that children with pacifiers may talk less because their facial muscles are less developed. I am not sure if that is true or not.


Your pediatrician will check hearing to see if there is any problems there as children with hearing problems may not hear sounds as clearly and are thereforeeee not as easily able to replicate those sounds. Often, the hearing problem is caused by fluid behind the ear.


Try not to worry, children develop differently but usually catch up and as your little one understands lots, can indicate what he wants, babbles away and does say some words, I wouldn't be overly concerned.

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My son who is now 5 was also a slow starter, I think alot was due to his now 10 year brother always telling everyone too quickly what his little brother had said, so he got abit lazy in having to make himself understood.


My son had a month back an evaluation of his speech (though in german), for starting school next september. I brought up his slowness, and the german doctor, said his german was perfectly clear, apart from not being able to say his SCH's, but that's normal.


When she heard me speak english with him, she told me that I speak to fast, and that I should put more envasise on tone in sentence. I was a wee bit shocked, b/c I knew we should always try and make the last letter of a word clear, but tone I hadn't thought about.


So am trying harder to talk slower, and also sound like an opera singer!!

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Background: I am a linguist (not working on acquisition but I do have the knowledge to reassure you!).


First of all, although the general patterns and timeframes of language acquisition is quite systematic from 0 to 6 years, individually it can really vary. I spoke quite soon, my sister was like your son. But once she started, full sentences came out.


Second, even a speaking child has more grammatical knowledge of the language than that he shows. That is to say: perception precedes production. So a silent child in the environment of speaking parents is still acquiring that language, even if he doesn't show that out loud.


Which brings me to what others also said: obviously he needs to have good hearing for that. Also for producing more than babbling, he needs to be able to hear the distinction between L and R (which are phonetically quite close and hard to acquire).


So the only thing you can now do is have him do a hearing test to be sure. Does he respond to you when you say his name (i.e., look up?), or is he startled with a sudden loud noise? If not, that may be signs of a (somewhat) impaired hearing.


Don't worry too much. I am sure there will be a time you look back at this post and WISH your toddler would stop talking and asking questions all the time



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I've seen a few boys who did not talk much when slightly older.


One is now about 5 and last I saw him was talking about as well as the other four-year olds he was with. He was very much like your son in that if you asked him things, he understood. If you asked him for something red, he came back with an apple. In this case, some who knew the child and mother thought he did not talk because he did not have to talk. His mother responded to his moaning, whining, etc., and interpreted them to give him whatever he wanted. He kept on until she got it right. Not saying you are doing this, but in that case, it might have been.


A child from the same neighborhood, and about the same age, within a few weeks, seemed to be very confused by langauge at two. He could not go get something red. A friend of his family blamed it on the Spanish-speaking nanny. However, I understand he is now fairly fluent in both English and Spanish, whihc he speaks with a a Latin-American accent. He goes to a local market full of Spanish-speakers and has conversations in Spanish while his parents stand there and wait for him to interpret.


In short, I think you have nothing to worry about. But get his hearing checked all the same.

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Yeah, I have heard that too that if exposed at a very young age kids can pick up more than one language alot easier than an adult would. With no confusion.


It reminds me of a story my mom told me about my brother when he was a 3 or 4 year old... He used to play with a kid that was chinese and would ask my mom for things in chinese and of course she didnt know what he was saying...

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Girl, don't worry about it, my friend's little son is almost 3 and still only babbling, but his brother started talking virtually at 9 months! If your son's balance is ok, his hearing should be ok too, but how about having it tested just to be certain. Did he have lots of colds or ear infections when he was younger? My child had, and even though her speech was on time, and her balance was good the ENT specialist told me she can't hear the grass in the wind, because her eardrums have lots of sticky gunk behind them, making it difficult for her to distinguish between sound that are closer together phonetically. She was sent in for grommets, and now she talks really well! It's always better to have it checked out - even a general practitioner can do it!

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Hi, my name is Melanie and my son also had and still has that same problem and he is now 5 years old and in Kindergarten. I started noticing it around his second birthday that he wasnt talking at all, I made a doctors appt for him and his doctor referred him to a "Private Speech Therapist" and it seemed to help him alot, then when he turned three there is a preschool program that he went to for "Children with disabilitys" mostly speech and hearing problems called "The Early Childhood Development Program" and that was through a public school district and it was also "Free Preschool" and he did so well, I noticed a difference with in 2 months of him being in that program. I highly reccomend getting him in to speech therapy right away, my son is now a "Special needs child" in kindergarten but that also depends on the child, I am not saying that will be your child but thats my sons situation. My son will eventually grow out of that and be a regular child but he has a way to go on his speech! if you have any questions please feel free to email me @ email removed. Goodluck and you and your son will definitly get through this!!

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