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3 yo not talking at all!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My best friend's ds is not talking at all...he is 3 years 3 months old. He *tries* to talk all the time, but he can only pronounce the first syllable of a word, at best. So, 'mother' is 'ma', 'rocket' is 'ra' and so forth. Aside from an educated guess, it's impossible for anyone - including his mother - to understand what he's saying. Mostly, he does a lot of pointing and babbling, or if he really wants to get something across he'll physically take your hand and lead you to what he's trying to talk about.

My friend is not that concerned...she thinks he'll get it eventually. He might, I don't know. Is it okay to be this delayed in speech? Is he missing out on things that he won't be able to catch up on?
post #2 of 8
You might get more input if you post this on the special needs parenting forum. It definitely sounds like there is a pretty significant speech delay there. However since this is your friend's child and not yours it may be difficult to talk to her about this. If she does decide to pursue an evaluation it can be done through the local public school system (since the child is over age 3).
post #3 of 8
Sounds like an evaluation would be best. Depending on where you live, either Early Intervention can do the screening, or the school department. (in my area EI is for ages 3-5 after that the school takes over. It varies state to state.)
post #4 of 8
For a 2 year old it could be well within normal ranges and other than having his earing checked just to make sure that everything was OK, no intervention would be recommended. However, since he is 3, the standard recommendation would be a hearing check followed by speech therapy.

The longer kids go without learning to make certain sounds, the harder it can be to learn to make them. It doesn't mean that he won't eventually catch up, just that it will take longer and be harder for him. The longer this goes on, the MORE speech therapy he will most likely end up needing, not less.

Also, kids with speech delays tend to have poor phonemic awareness (being able to rhyme words, hearing beginning and ending sounds, etc.) which puts them at risk for reading problems when they start school.

(One of my DDs had speech and languages delays).

EI is a great idea, but if they have health insurance they might be able to get in faster going through private channels. And some of these things take a while, sometimes there are waiting list for the speech therapy. Even if she feels like could wait another 6 months before taking any action, she could go ahead and get the ball rolling now because it *may* take months for therapy to start.
post #5 of 8
I also would recommend having his ears checked. A friend of mine's daughter was barely talking at around age 3 and it turned out her ears were all plugged up from having repeated ear infections. She's fine now at 5, she's all caught up and talks a mile a minute.
post #6 of 8
If he is saying the first sound, that is still a word. They're called approximations and are counted in a child's total word count. She probably should have him evaluated for autism/ hearing though.
post #7 of 8
It makes sense to have him evaluated. Sure does not sound like autism though. The pointing and leading a person to an object as a form of communication are contra-indications for that.

Sounds like an actual pronounciation issue, which is really a mild problem, but will cause him great frustration. I definitely think they should have some evaluate him.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your feedback, I will crosspost this in Special Needs. It's hard because I'm worried about him, but of course he's not my child...my friend and I have talked about it of course, but I don't want to overstep my boundaries.

Anyhow, she has contacted EI and they recommended an evaluation, but in the end she and her husband decided to wait and see if he can do it on his own. They don't want him to be 'labeled' in any way.
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