My almost three year old doesn't talk, should I worry? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My son will be three years old in one and half months, but he still likes to talk his own language and just says several words that are very important to him like shoes(he wants to go out all the time), mail(loves to pick up mail), hot(about food). Before I talked to him lithuanian, now I stopped, because that might have been too much for him, but things did not change yet.He loves to read books and reads himself - mostly mimicking our intonation but rarely the words.
Do we nessesarily have to go to speech therapy or maybe there are good books about subject? Some moms told me not to worry, that their kids started right after 3 years old. But I am mom and I am getting worried anyway.
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#2 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 06:21 PM
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I would talk to your pediatrician or family practice doctor, or whoever you see for medical care. Personally, I would be concerned that at age 3 he only has a few words. It may be he is just a late talker, but there could be other issues, such as trouble hearing, motor problems with speech production, receptive/expressive lanaguge difficultites, etc. My son is almost the exact same age (he'll be 3 next week) and has been saying single words since about 16 months or so.....

Being raised in a bilingual household is an advantage for children who do not have learning/speech difficulties. For children who do have these problems, they seem to do best in single language environments since they then only have to master one language. I hope that makes sense. So, getting an evaluation could help you determine whether to continue with Lithuanian + English or English only (or whatever language you choose to focus on).
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#3 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 06:38 PM
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#4 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 07:10 PM
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i'd get him evaluated. does his hearing seem ok? how does he respond when you ask him questions, or to follow directions? depending on where you live, you may be able to call early intervention services and refer him yourself.
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#5 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 08:36 PM
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definitely time to look into it!!

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#6 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 08:41 PM
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Does he sign? When my son wasn't actually saying words at three, they said he was still fine b/c he had a large sign vocabulary. He started talking shortly after he turned three.

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#7 of 15 Old 07-11-2006, 11:45 PM
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Yes! Definitely look into this. Do you live in the US? If so, you can contact your state department of education or your local school district about Early Intervention services.

Talking to him in Lithuanian should not slow him down. It's a myth that bilingual children talk slower. It doesn't seem to be true that hearing only one language is better for children with language difficulties. There are a lot of culture and social and emotional things tied in with language. You should speak to him in whatever language you feel most comfortable.

The sooner you have him evaluated, the better. He should definitely have his hearing checked (even if you think it's OK) and then be evaluated by a certified speech language pathologist. Talk to your pediatrician about whether having him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician woudl be a good idea.

Speech therapy is generally 1-2 times a week (sometimes 3 depending on the child's needs), and they will give you things to do at home too. Obviously, you will have the most influence on him, but there are things a speech therapist has been trained to do or recognize that might be hard for you.

Here is a good article:

I don't want to alarm you unduly, but only having a few words at nearly 3 is very far behind the norm, and you should not delay in getting him assessed. By age 3 children are expected to be using short sentences, and several hundred words.

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#8 of 15 Old 07-12-2006, 02:04 AM
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My son grew up speaking 3 languages simultaneously and it took him a little longer than his peers to catch up but he finally did. I think you should continue the Lithuanian as well as the English. If you give him a good solid base in both, he'll be fine.

Make sure you read to him a lot, and that you engage him in conversation. He clearly needs work on his expressive language. Now you might get people telling you to drop a language (I got some of that) but so long as you've had his hearing checked, and there are no signs of language problems, then I say keep up the bilingualism.
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#9 of 15 Old 07-12-2006, 07:57 AM
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So we live in a trilngual family as well, and dd was REALLY slow at talking and ds isn't, I think it's more in the child than how many languages. If you're concerned at his speech then I'd go to your health professionals. My nephew had problems speaking and then we discovered that he had perforated eardrum for most of his infant life which in turn slowed down his speech. It won't do any harm to have him checked out and put your mind at ease.

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#10 of 15 Old 07-13-2006, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't hink he has any problems with hearing, since in the morning when I tell him to go play silently so dad would not wake up - he always gets up quickly and brings me what asked. And he can say Sighning Time - his favorite video, which we stoped showing, because my husband got worried about him showing signs and not talking.
I did not talk until 2.5 and I had just one language. But I guess speech therapy won't hurt.
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#11 of 15 Old 07-13-2006, 10:58 PM
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It's past time to look into it. I would schedule an appointment with your pediatrician ASAP.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-07-2006, 11:58 AM
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My family is bilingual. My son did not speak until 3 1/2 - 4 years and I was worried to death at times especially when you see 2 yr olds just talking away.
If his hearing is fine and you feel he is acting normal you dont need to worry.
My friend's son talked only at the age of 5.
All kids are different . It doesnt mean your kid is slow. Mine is a talker now and when I get notes from his teacher that he talked too much in the class I just laugh away looking at it.And I must say he is one of the smartest kids in his school.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-07-2006, 12:56 PM
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I agree on talking with the pediatrician or a speech pathologist just to be on the safe side. It couldn't hurt. But I also agree that all children learn things at their own pace. I'd just keep working with him at home and maybe even consider putting him a play class along with other kids his age. Sometimes they learn better from other kids in their own peer group instead of adults.

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#14 of 15 Old 08-07-2006, 02:00 PM
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Probably keep doing what you're doing. If you always spoke to him in Lithuanian, keep doing it. Changing to English (from you anyway) after 3.5 years could be really confusing to him! Meanwhile, discuss your concerns with your son's pediatrician.

My father and my grandfather were both late talkers. My grandfather finally talked when he was 3 or 4. When asked why he didn't talk before then, he replied, "I didn't have anything to say."

Every child is different, and yours might not follow the "average" timelines. That might be a sign of something wrong, or it just might be normal for your child.

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#15 of 15 Old 08-07-2006, 03:37 PM
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My Chinese friend did not talk until she was 4. She was exposed to 2 different Chinese dialects while around extended family at an early age. She says the reason she did not talk until age 4 was because she was afraid to say something wrong and was trying to figure everything out. She is definitely an introvert so this played into as well. Today she can speak both dialects just fine and is often an interpretor for her Chinese friends that only speak one dialect.

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