Raising Bilingual Kids & Little Global Citizens

Language Development

Late Talkers – What to do if your child isn’t talking yet


Late Talkers: What you can do if your toddler isn’t talking yet

My child isn’t talking yet! Why isn’t my toddler talking? How many words should a 2 year old say? These are common questions parents ask themselves when worried about their late talking toddler.

If you are worried that your child isn’t talking and think they should be, they may just be what you call a late talker. Late talker’s are actually more common than most people think. Just search “18 month old not talking” and you will find many concerned parents worried about the same thing.

Speech and Language Therapist Mary Pat O’Malley is here today to answer your questions about kids who are “Late Talkers” and to give tips on what to do when your are worried that your toddler isn’t talking yet.

In this article we will answer the following questions:

  • What is a late talker and why isn’t my toddler talking yet?
  • When is a child considered a late talker?
  • When do children usually say their first words?
  • How common is late talking and do children grow out of it?
  • Why do some children talk later than others?
  • Is my child a late talker because they speak more than one language?
  • When should I see a Speech Therapist / Pathologist to know more about late talkers?
  • What can I do at home to help my late talker?

Late Talkers

So, you’re wondering why your child is not talking yet, or why your toddler is late to talk, and you want reliable information on what’s it’s all about.

In this post, I’m going to answer your questions about “kids who aren’t talking yet” using the most recent and dependable research.

Please note that individual experience does differ from family to family and all children are different. However if you’re worried, it’s important to acknowledge that feeling and take action.

What is a Late Talker?

So what is a late talker? Basically, if your child is 24 months old and does not yet use 50 words, they’d be considered a late talker.

But, to answer this question properly, first you need to know about comprehension and expression.

Comprehension is what a child understands. You say ‘Get your coat and hat and scarf’ (without pointing to them or without having said ‘We’re going for a walk’) and they go get them for example.

Expression is what they say- the words they use- not how they pronounce them but words and phrases like: mama gone, look mama, birdie and so on.

Leslie Rescorla, a researcher in this area, says expressive language delay is like fever. It’s a symptom found in many conditions. Just like children with hearing loss or cleft palate. That makes diagnosing Later Talkers challenging.

But here we’re talking about Late Talkers who don’t have other conditions like Autism or Down Syndrome.

When is a child considered a Late Talker?

Basically, children are considered late talkers when they are between 18 and 35 months old, they understand what you say to them BUT they have limited expressive vocabulary.

This means that they don’t use a lot of words or a lot or different words and word combinations.

For a child to be considered a late talker, all other areas of development need to be on track. Things like their play development, when they started to walk, their hearing, and so on.

So if you’re child’s development in other areas are on track, but is not talking yet, this could a reason why.

However, as we know, life isn’t always as straightforward as the research and some late talkers might have a delay in understanding as well.

How do I know if my child is a Late Talker?

If your child is 24 months old and does not yet use 50 words, they’d be considered a late talker.

Elizabeth Peña, another established researcher, says that between 18-20 months, you should expect your child to be using AT LEAST 10 words and those words would be distributed across the languages for bilingual kids. So they might have more words in one language than the other. It’s the total amount of words you’re interested in.

When do children usually say their first words?

First words usually come any time from 8 – 15 months depending on what you read.

At first, growth is slow with 18 month old children learning about 10 new words per month.

Don’t get too hung up on the numbers though. There’s so much variation between children when it comes to early language development that there are only rough guides.

It is also important to think about what they’re using the words for. It’s all about communication- so are they requesting something like tickling to be repeated or stopped? Are they protesting, rejecting something, commenting? And so on.

Between 17 & 20 months, there’s a rapid vocabulary spurt as they approach the 50 word mark and they learn several new words daily. Most of the ages and stages that you come across are based on monolingual children but the milestones are similar for bilingual children.

Children make progress at different rates but it is important to see steady progress.

How common is Late Talking?

Late talkers are actually more common than many parents think. Again, estimates vary but about 15% of children at the age of 2 present with slow onset and development of their expressive language.

Do children grow out of it?

Another difficult question to answer, but about 50% of Late Talkers do score in the normal range by age 3 on vocabulary measures and in the normal range of grammar and conversational skills by school age.

Late Bloomers is the name given to children who catch up in the 3-5 year old period.

BUT there’s research showing that children who had expressive language delay between 24 and 31 months of age had weaker language skills throughout their adolescence. Even though they had language scores in the average range, they were still performing more poorly than their peers on vocabulary, grammar, and verbal memory.

There’s also research showing that where children have delays in understanding and expression together, they can struggle with learning to read.

You can’t know in advance if your child’s going to be a Late Bloomer. It’s definitely not a good idea to take a chance on the possibility of them growing out of it.

It’s hard to predict who will grow out of it and who won’t.

The children who are at greatest risk for not growing out of it are those where there’s a family history of language delay, where their comprehension is also delayed, and where they use few gestures.

The best gestures for language development are ones which add meaning.

What does that mean? It’s shaking their head while saying ‘water’. In effect they’re saying ‘no water’ or ‘I don’t want water’. The gesture expands the meaning of the word. Shaking your head while saying ‘no’ doesn’t expand the meaning of the word.

Why do some children start to talk later than others?

There is currently no clear answer to why some toddlers are late to talk. Early language development varies from one child to another.

But, things that Late Talkers tend to have in common are things such as a family history of early language delay, being a boy, being born at less than 85% of their optimal birth weight or at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Is my child a late talker because we speak more than one language?

Definitely not!

More people in the world speak two languages or more but most of the research tends to involve children who speak one language.

Your child’s language development is affected by the amount of input they get and the opportunities they have to use the language(s) they have.  But speaking more than one language does not cause even a temporary delay in language development.

What’s important is to profile what languages your child is exposed to, who they speak them with and a rough idea of how much exposure to and use of each language is typical your child.

Please don’t compare the development of your child’s languages to that of other children. For bilingual families, each family is unique and comparisons are not helpful unless the language environment and experience is the same- and that’s unique to each child.

And don’t compare them to monolingual children either- it’s not a legitimate comparison.

Elizabeth Peña says bilingualism is like cake. If you make raspberry-apple cake for example, both flavours are unique and together they enhance the flavour of the whole. The cake isn’t one or the other- it’s a unique combination.

If you have a bilingual child, check out our raising bilingual kids post.

My toddler isn’t talking yet, what should I do?

If find yourself wondering why your toddler isn’t talking yet you should seek help sooner than later, especially if any of the following are relevant to your situation.

  • You have an 18 months old not talking yet, or not using at least 20 words. This includes different types of words, such as nouns or names of things (cup, biccie for biscuit), verbs or doing words (eat, go), prepositions or location words (up, down), adjectives or describing words (hot, mine), and social words (hi, bye). Toddlers need different types of words so that they can combine them into phrases like want biccie when they would like a biscuit.


  • You have a child who is 24 month old and they aren’t using at least 100 words and combining 2 words together. The word combinations need to be original. Phrases like Thank you. I want to, all gone, what’s that? are not genuine phrases. They’re chunks that are learned as one unit. Examples of real word combinations come from the child themselves, that they haven’t heard before. Things like: “kitty gone”, or “dirty dress”.

It’s never too early to see an SLP if you think you have a late talker, especially for your own piece of mind.

We can assess children from a very young age. And it’s better to be referred and not need the referral than need it and be stuck on a waiting list.

Please listen to your instinct and ignore comments like ‘Oh he’s too young to see an SLP’. That’s just not true! And the outcomes for children where the diagnosis is made later are not as positive as when the problem is identified early.

If you are raising bilingual kids, then ideally you want an SLP who has experience of working with bilingual families. If that’s not possible, read this post before you go so you’ll be prepared and know what to say.

How to get my toddler to talk?

Here are 5 tips to get your toddler to talk.

Late Talkers What to do when your child is not talking
Feel free to use this image ONLY if you link back to this post

1. Get a referral to an SLP

See a professional. Don’t just listen to your friends.

If you are raising bilingual kids, see a SLP who is experienced in working with multilingual families. Don’t accept advice to drop a language- this suggestion is not supported by any research and is not best practice.

Don’t feel under pressure to follow a one person one language approach either, as this isn’t the only or the most effective way to nurture multilingual development and it can feel somewhat unnatural.

Language Strategies for Raising Bilingual Kids

2. Get your child’s hearing checked

This is common with 18month olds not talking. There may be an underlying condition, so check just to make sure it’s as it should be. You never know.

3. Set aside 30 minutes a day

If you’re worried that your child’s expressive language is not progressing, set aside some one on one time where your sole focus is on interacting with them.

In this 30 minutes, you want to observe them closely and see what are they interested in? What are they looking at? Playing with? Children’s language develops better when we give them the name for the thing they’re looking at or the action they’re doing than when we try to direct their attention to what we’re interested in.

So it should sound something like: Oh, you’re walking to the sofa. Plop! You sat down! And not like this: Look Jamie, here’s a book. Look at the book. This small action consistently taken will make a difference.

Check out this post on more ways to get your toddler to talk.

4. Keep a communication diary

Now don’t panic- it doesn’t have to be anything fancy- just somewhere you can write down how they communicate. So it can be they use their whole body- they move away to say I don’t want that. Or they use a word with a gesture like shaking their head and saying No.

You also want to look at what they’re communicating about. These are called communicative intentions and are really important because vocabulary is not enough.

They need experience using the words they’ve got to communicate about what’s important to them.

So this includes things like: greeting you when you come home, indicating farewell or goodbye, requesting action like holding his hands up to communicate Pick me up, rejecting something, commenting.

These can be done using words or gestures or whole body movements. You want to see new words appearing over the course of a month.

5. Look at books together.

Reading to children is important. But Look is the important word here- you don’t have to read the book to encourage an interest in books and boost language development. You can find lots of ways to help your child LOVE to read HERE. And you can find some fun ways to make the most of books with your child here.

Top English Story Books for Kids
Top Spanish Story Books for Kids

Is your child not talking yet and you think they should be? Do you think your child is a late talker and you need advice?

If you are worried that your child is not talking yet and should be feel free to email us at info@bilingualkidspot.com if you are interested in a consultation.

Looking for more tips about late talkers, speech, language and communication, be sure to sign up at  www.talknua.com.

If you think you have a late talker these related posts on Bilingual Kidspot may be of interest:
Bilingual Kids and Speech Delay
Speech and Language Milestones for Bilingual Kids
Ways to nurture your child’s Language Development

Are you raising a bilingual child? Subscribe for related articles. Follow Bilingual KidSpot on Facebook and join our private discussion group.

Late Talkers, what to do if your child is not speaking yet


  1. Arben

    Hi our son is3y and10m he doesn’t speak at oll, he understands in two languages, points at what he wonts, points at front or back for toilet, if his mum ignores him for long time hi will say mum but only to hear. We have been waiting since 2019 to see a Dr but with COVID they keep cancelling our appointments, any help or advice would be much appreciated

  2. Thomas

    Hi My son is 3 years and 4 months and he does not speak at all….he makes sounds and points at things he wants…..he understands everything and only needs the name for something told one time and he knows it all and can point to it when I say it….how ever when I ask him or try to get him to speak he makes sounds as if he is saying he does not want to speak……some of his behavior reminds me of autism as he already from early age took a liking to certain things and jumped up and down in the same place in excitement and started screaming when taking him away from them….he seems attached tome some people and don’t care much about others but can get along with anybody if he wants he remembers roads and locations and how to get there a lot better than kids his age……I read about ASD and the levels but don’t seem to fit him into any of these….I read about late talkers and late bloomers but he does not fit into any of them,,,,i read about down syndrome but he does not seem to fit into any of them…..what is the most likely reason for him not talking

  3. Cynthia

    My daughter is 2 years 4 months old, she has never said mama or dadda but she would say some words once in a while when she wants to like thank you, where are you, how are you, see you, imitate the peppa pig song and honk like a pig,sing the hot dog song from mickey mouse and lion guard though it wont be very clear, however her comprehension is 100%. When she wants something she would pull you and take you to where it is or she would bring it to you if she needs help, when she wants the loo she does the rain dance or she would go to the bathroom and knock on the door. She does not wet her bed even at night she wakes me up or her dad and she is the most happiest child ever. The only issue is that she is not talking yet like peers, we always laugh about it that she speaks Chinese even when she is playing with her friends at school. We are concerned as parents please help

    • Muna

      I think you need to see SLP, my son is about to be 2 years old, he can say, mama, papa, nana ( grandma) he calls my name clearly, mom for food ( we usually call food mom) but still using gesturing when he is thirsty, call he car beeb beeb the color red ded. I am planning to visit the SLP asap

  4. Your tip about keeping a communication diary seems like a sound idea. My sister and I have been worried about my niece because we feel like she might be a late talker, to the point that my sister is considering to enrol her in speech therapy. If it pushes through, I think she should still follow the tips in this article to supplement the therapy.

  5. Ved bhushan

    I have a son of 2 years 8 months. He listen to sound of train, cars, bike,his favorite rhyme and advertisement on tv, bell and many more even from a distance. But he will not respond when we called his name or say something. He does not speak. Sometime say mama or bye…whether he has hearing problem?

    • Natalie

      hi, I know this is late to respond as you dated it from December but my son is almost 2 ( in march) and he too doesn’t respond to us calling his name but will respond to sounds. I was curious as if you have been told anything about this from a professional?

    • Bhivor Lama

      My nephew is 4 yrs old.he have a twin sister.his sister my niece can hear and speak but my nephew can’t hear clearly and even can’t speak single word..what can we do to make Him speak fluently.

  6. Sindiswa

    Mine too he is 5 years old he doesn’t talk and its even hard to potty train him. He is still on the dipper

    • Gary

      Hi, my son is nearly 4 and doesn’t speak, I’m replying to find out how you’re coping. Would you mind sharing some tips with me? I’d be happy to hear back from you. Many thanks

  7. Sandra

    My son will turn 3 next months and I don’t know if he is a late talker or just lazy. He knows all his alphabet and nuform 1 to 20 up and down. He can ready most of all the words he see even the hard one like asda lidl. He use the words “you want one…” for anything he want. When he brother poopoo he will say baby poopoo. He knows all the animals and their names and sound. All the differents types of dinosaur but he doesn’t talk Fluently like kids of his age and he does screams a lot especially when he is too exited.he goes to nursery and they are worried about he speech so I am. What should I do? He had he ears checked couple of months ago and they were happy about the results. He repeat everything on peppa pig but will not we me please help

  8. Love this post. Thank you for sharing it. My son is turning 4years old and he doesn’t talk at all. I think I heard him say ‘mom’ and ‘bye’ but we’re working on it. I have him through therapy already and he had to get tubes in both ears to release liquid. I pray and hope he learns to speak. I was considered mute when I was younger up to grade five. When I did speak, it was only to my siblings or close friends and it was broken. I understood and comprehended everything… but when it comes to verbal speech it was like exercising another muscle. As I got older and learnt to read in grade six, a teacher took me aside at lunch and started teaching me. I started reading and speaking more. I listened to music and read the lyrics of the songs off the CD cases. Anyways over time the link from observation to speech and then tone and practiced helped. I write better than I speak but you wouldn’t catch I had a speech issue, unless you were around to hear me talk long enough. There are some words I could say in my head, but a lot of words I try to say out loud and my tongue just doesn’t work with me. lol So, I try to read the word out loud, I am visual and have to see it, sometimes write it, to remember, but if I say it repeatedly… then I could say it and I love that. I grew up in Montreal, but Im an Anglophone and my family is from Nova Scotia. Both side, the native from my dad and the Scottish- Irish from my mom. So, when I speak I have to remember to stop and take a breath and sometimes reformat the sentence and how I said it. Im 36 years old but at this point in my life, I conquered my fears and when I was young, we weren’t really allowed a voice. Kids were meant to be quite and work. So, I challenged myself and wrote a series, a testimony but in fiction, to play around and achieve something fro myself. I have been writing logs in a journal since I was 16 and that also helped me with my writing and vocabulary. Both my sons were late talkers. My first born is seventeen and he spoke late and now he is like me and we talk a lot lol but I always encourage for him to have a voice. My second son is 3 and is high functioning autistic, but he also had to get his ears done and glasses. So he is delayed, but as suborn as I was and his brother, I hope he too will learn the benefits of speech. I know he understands me. Maybe one day if he gets uncomfortable with his peers or sees an interest it may spark him to want to speak and I hope and pray he forms his own voice. Amen

  9. Nora

    I have 4 yrs & 6m daughter. she was talking when she was 2 – 3 years. however she stop talking and expressing her feeling when growing. now she never talk. she just grab our hand when she want something. please help me.

  10. Alex

    My Son is 3 years and 3 months, he can say his ABC’s to Z and count to 10. We says weewee when he has to urinate and poopoo when he needs to. He understands some instructions but he doesn’t speak like other kids. He has never formed a sentence. He’ld rather take you by the hand to the kitchen and point to what he wants. Recently he started saying ‘Eat’ when he is hungry.

    We live in Nigeria and i am worried there are no Speech therapists here. He knows how to respond to so many things like “how are you” but he only responds once in about 10 times you ask.

    We are worried.

    • Comment by post author

      Hi Alex,
      We have a speech therapist who offers online consultations if you are interested. Feel free to contact us.

      • Brit

        Woowwwwww my son is would be three in one month and he doesn’t say those things…he says things like good job…stop…he is potty trained but he does say if he has to potty..he just goes…he understands commands and everything we say to him he just wont talk back to us im so sad hes about to be three and he doesn’t express him self…how can he go to school

      • Bhakti

        How to start online SLP?

      • Im interested to the speech therapist who do online consultations….please help,my son is 3 years

      • Aza

        Hi Alex- my daughter didn’t even call us Mom or Dad when she was three , now she is 7 and she talks a lot -it’s important that he gets to spend time with his peers and hire a teacher who can read books with him- because kids are too comfortable with their parents. Also reduce screen time and give multivitamins. He will defn speak at age 5 but won’t have the vocab like other kids but as he is growing he will catch up and talk like others. Reading has to become a habit 🙂 hope this helps

      • Kate Donohoe

        I’d love the details for your online SLT. Thank you.

      • Mariah

        Hi my name is Mariah my son is 2 and 6 months he doesn’t talk but understands some words you say come sit he understands some things.I don’t know what to do,please help.

    • Thomas

      How are you how has the progress been?

    • Hope

      Something with mine am really worried

    • Sarah Hussein

      Same to my son …exactly how have u gone about it am worried

    • Mark

      This is exactly what my son goes through. I never knew this is common. He seems to be be improving but It is worrisome, I hope he catches up soon. I am also in Nigeria.

  11. My daughter is going to be 5years may 14th and never speak only to mimicking asking to drink water she understand every words speak to if you tell her to bring something she does but I’m scared and shy of her please I need help

    • Suzy

      Keep talking and go out play parks and lots of books different foods every child different

    • God is there for her. u aren’t alone…my daughter is 2.5 yrs & she neither talks nor walks & have visited diff hospitals all they say is that she is okey. her father once he realised such challenges neglected her.

    • My son is 3 years 6 months not talking yet but if I tell him to do anything he does but he never form a sentence am really worried now plz help me

  12. Mimi

    Please help, my son is 3+, he says giberrish but can’t communicate,he doesn’t respond to his name ,he identifies numbers and reads numbers and repeat single words from cartoons. He goes to toilet himself, drinks water himself , most times goes behind close doors and wants to be alone, but I am so worried.

  13. FRANK

    Reading all your comments, I wish I had a magic wand to wish all your kids to speak. I have a 4year old who only speaks gibberish. Funny thing is, he can recite alphabets, count from 1 to 30, Identify body parts, colors and even mimics cartoon characters like Simba and Mufasa on TV but still cannot obey one simple instruction like close the door or Get me the pencil. In my part of the world, speech therapists are very scarce and even diagnosing developmental challenges requires a lot money and seeing a lot of people as we don’t have many child developmental therapists. Sometimes, my wife and I get so frustrated we wish we at least lived in a country with many options. Since this is a common problem among kids, I wonder why there’s not been any advancement in research towards treatment. I say this because anytime I Google why 4 year old is not talking, the information I get from all different sites is the same. What is it, why, etc with no new information. I have hope my son will speak, and I pray every parent here gets to experience the joy of hearing their child interact with them.

    • Nicole

      I have a four year old and it’s the same with her… I snap her out of talking “gibberish” by tell her “use your words you know how to talk” then she jumps to saying words she knows but doesn’t apply to what we were initially talking about! It’s frustrating I hope your son and my daughter speaks soon I honestly love her little voice!

      • Winzey Bain

        Hi, I have a 4 year old son, he is very bright but he dont speak in sentences, his hearing is very good he say”s his alphabet in a not so proper way but he knows it, same thing with counting, wondering what to do.

    • Birungi hadijah

      My son is 4 years but he can’t talk too, am so worried. Praying for him every day.

    • Adejoke

      I don’t know what to say, because you described the challenge I am facing with my almost five year old son. Can’t get help where I live and everything is just frustrating. I keep hoping and praying for a miracle!

    • Bhivor Lama

      My nephew is 4 yrs old.he have a twin sister.his sister my niece can hear and speak but my nephew can’t hear clearly and even can’t speak single word..what can we do to make Him speak fluently.

  14. Madoda Masina

    Hello. My daughter is almost 4 and her comprehension is ok, if we ask her to get something or take something, she does.
    Her expression though is poor, the only word she can say is ‘mama’.
    She’s been the a speech therapist, and the doctor said she’s alright, she’ll eventually speak.
    Naturally we’re worried.
    She’s the happiest child ever though, laughs so much it’s just a pleasure seeing her laugh, makes us laugh too, we can’t help it.
    We’re hopefully that she’ll turn the corner.
    I wish we could form a group of parents who are experiencing this late talking, because it unfortunately helps talking about it and hearing others tell their stories too.

    Thank you.

    • Testimony

      Hello thanks for the tips I’m a father of 5years girl her mother left her and marred another man it take my girl three years to walk on her legs now she can hear word clearly and ask for water like mimicking please I’m scared I need help and advice cuz have being through this all alone I’m confused

    • Sonali

      My 4 year old is just the same. He knows a few word which he says once in a while but doesn’t talk. I would also love to have a group where parents like us can support each other

  15. Sana rasul

    My child is 3 years old but cant speech with sentences he just says mama papa and a few words for what he needs.plz help me what i should do..im so much worried about him.

  16. Cheri Gehle

    My daughter didn’t talk until she was 3… then it was non-stop. She was an excellent student and expressed herself very well. Now her 17 month old son isn’t talking. Have faith… it all works out.

    • Madoda Masina

      That’s what I’m talking about, happy for you

    • Nomaswazi Ndlovu

      Thanks for giving me comfort. I’m getting worried.

    • Karla

      I am very happy to had read this

    • shereika Chin

      Thanks for that I needed to hear that.. my daughter is almost 2.5 she doesn’t speak except to say bye bye mama every once in a while.. she doesn’t understand commands like get your shoes. I’m starting a hanen class soon hopefully she starts speaking soon..

  17. Anna

    Thanks for helpfull informations

  18. Allison

    My neice is 2 years and 7 months. She can’t string sentences together. She can say certain words, and her word vocabulary has increased, but to put them together? She seems to have issues doing that. What’s crazy is that she understands what you are saying!! She knows to get her coat, when to sit etc..She doesn’t seem to be interested in reading or me or her mother reading to her. Her attention just doesn’t seem to be their. If we try to understand what she wants , she gets frustrated and starts to cry. She tends to cry a lot. I’m scared for her. It broke my heart to see her play with a little girl who was more advanced than she was. It just highlighted how behind she is. I’m worried for her.

    • Comment by post author

      Hi Allison,
      Your little one is still quite young. Please remember that all children develop differently so it may be that she needs a little more time.
      If you are really concerned I would suggest you speak with a speech therapist who can help you.

    • Kelsie

      Hi ! My daughter is 19 months and says zero words. Everything is “eh” “ah” . She has said mama and dada a couple times but never again… she comprehends EVERYTHING I say to her. Her 5 yr old brother was speaking in sentences at 1 and so it just seems a little strange to me that “uh oh” and “mama” and “dada” aren’t even close to being said. Any advice? Should I wait on a speech pathologist ?

    • Arwa

      my son is 3 years old he doesn’t say a lot of words. And when he is sad he doesn’t speak at all or trying to. But what worries me the most that he seems to say some words then forget them after or say them in another way. Not all words but some like ‘mil’ for milk then ‘ik’ for the same word. Is that normal?

    • Rabiya akhund

      My son is 2 years old and he can’t speak a word only say car which he tries , otherwise he play , shout and when he needs something he cling to you . He bring the book and hold my finger and bring my finger to point at pictures and looks at me , I start saying out loud like where he takes my finger to that picture . He watch cartoon laughs and smile . Need help .

  19. Jane

    My son is almost 6years but is not talking much. He responds to command, says his rhymes. Any advice on how to get him to talk with the family

  20. Odette

    My grandson 4 years old and one of a twin only says 5 words. Have been seeing a speech therapist for 10 months. Had all tests done. Really worried. Any advice

  21. Terrie

    Late talking is one of the many signs of dyslexia. Some others are mixing up syllables in the same word (aminal), can’t recall words, directionality challenged, can’t rhyme…eventually can’t read and spell. Dyslexia is also hereditary so if there are other family members with reading and spelling issues, it might be dyslexia.

  22. I have a grandson that will be turning 3 in 2 weeks. He does not talk at all. He points and grunts and appears to hear well. He does not say anything but gampa and his grandfather passed away 9 months ago, so I don’t know who he’s talking to. No mom, dad, grandma, doggie or anything. Just grunts noises. I have been very worried about him for about a year but like the others, the doctors say he will talk when he’s ready. I am having his parents fill out papers to have him evaluated by the school as he is too old for the state to have him evaluated. He gets very frustrated and throws things and terrorizes the dog. I’m glad we’re not alone, but I still don’t know what steps to take to help him. I’m hoping the schools will have some answers.

  23. Roya

    Hello guys is there any one who had a kid that is not talking and now they grow and they, my daughter is nearly 4 years and she is dont talking i am worrying qlot

    • Bongeka patience

      My son is 3years bt he struggled to talk bt cn hear everything thing

    • Loga

      Yah me too. My mother some at 4. Now I am suffocating with my son who is 4, saying things like all a, apps, but no sentences are spoken. He is good at solving puzzles and love technical gadgets like phone, laptops etc.. late potty trained and is very affectionate. He is going for the regular therapy for speech. Doctor advices not to give him electronic gadgets. For about two months of time there’s a great improvement in his eye contact and tried to mimic up to a certain extent. We are very worried.

  24. LaDawn

    I’m in the same boat , my son is 2 years 4 months only baby babbles, says no clearly. Da da sometimes and mum only when something upsets him. He knows his colors and all his body parts understands everything just wont talk I and considering going to the Doctor to get his assessed. I don’t no what else to do. I read to him got flash cards, he just doesn’t care or seem interested unless its a digger. He just say oooh –deee. over and over or Da. Da for everything he said Thank you 1 time never again and said Ball a couple times. Everything is point and Da.
    He also will wave and say dye dye. Thats all I’m concerned. Very concerned. Any help would be very appreciated.

    • Sofia

      Hi, my son is 27 months old and says the same things as your child. But he is always asking us to label things repeatedly, he attempts to make sounds when he wants to but not on our command. He is in speech therapy and she thinks that he is just a late talker since he has an excellent comprehension. Good luck and I do hope that our little ones start talking soon ?

    • Jaya

      A ray of hope, thank you. Just wanted to hear something positive.

    • Amanda

      My daughter is the same age she has the same sounds interesting I wonder why we go to a speech therapist also but still nothing has changed

  25. Sherri

    My daughter is turning 3 and only says momma and dadda burgets us mixed up. When i try to teach her sounds or ask her to say a word she shakes her head no and totally ignors me by looking away. She has accidently said a few words like boy you and balloon a couple times. Everyone says she will talk she will talk…shes late talker but im sure she has some issue.making dr. Appointment tomorrow after reading this stuff online. I feel like a bad parent not addressing this earlier.

  26. Sheila

    My son he is 3 years and 10 moths old but he cannot talk,how can I help him?I have gone to a doctor and speech therapy they say no problem, he will talk by I’m worried

  27. Sara

    My son almost 5 he doesn’t talk at all. He can’t take any orders or response for any thing. His hearing is good but I don’t know what the problem is. 🙁


  28. Karyn Akpene Aheto

    My girl is 4-5 yes now but can’t talk but shout a lot and say I beat you,no but shout a lot but the younger sis 2yrs understand everything well and talks well too but senior one can’t do anything still she is using pamper still

    • Victoria E

      Same here my son is almost 4 doesn’t say mom or dad only says Ruby (sister name ) or Papa he say phrases he picks up from tv but that’s all doesn’t tell me wen he wants anything and isn’t potty trained

  29. Same here, my boy is three, not talking. Can’t even pronounce his name.

    • Johanna

      My boy is 3 years 8 months, he can’t formulate a sentence.
      I am so worried about him.

  30. Destiny

    My baby sis shes 3 and she cant even say yes or okay..all she says is no no no..and shaking her head we are all worried.

  31. KUI



  32. cam

    My grandson is going to be 3 end of november. He only says a couple words. If you enunciated well he still won’t talk. He comprehends everything but we all get frustrated including him. We finally started teaching baby sign language and he picks up on that extremely quick. At the same time we say the word repeatedly but he still won’t talk. In baby sign language, he knows shoes, socks, drink, eat, please, thank you, you’re welcome, help and many more. He will say nana, papa, momma, buts that’s about it. We don’t sign the words he will say. I’m not sure if we’re doing the right thing to do but it does reduces the temper tandems because we know what he wants and it reduces our frustration.

    • Bojana Vracaric

      I have the same problem my son is over 2 and he say few words but not making any phrases but he understands everything that i tell him.

    • Hey guy’s I thought I was alone in this whole confusing predicament… My son is 4 years and six months but is not speaking in full sentences as yet.As a parent its so heartbreaking because I’ve exhausted myself trying to get help for him but nothing seems to help.he is very smart and attentive but seems to be struggling with forming sentences.

      • Tumi

        Am in a simialr situation, my son 3 years 4 months but still can’t put a senetnce together. His still in therapy (both speech and occupational) but just not seeing results. He follows instructions though at times i need to point to the object am referring to. Am just so worried and i don’t know what to do, i know his intelligent as he says his alphabets, sings and sings along to rhymes, counts from 1-10 ect. However, when he wants something he grabs my hand and points to what he wants, says pee-pee now and then and not always; his father and i have to always take him to the bathroom to either pee or poo else he will cause an accident on himself.

        He is diagnosed with isolated speech delay and we doing everything we can to help him but i find myself sometimes defeated as if am not breaking through with my son. Its so heartbreaking, his cousins who are younger than him speak and there’s a barrier to which he would rather sit next to me at all times when we go visit…. i cry alone at times, praying and hoping to hear him talk to me and saying what he wants instead of crying when we can’t understand his needs or wants.

        I truly wish there was something more that we can do

  33. DEDE

    my son is now 48 months and still not able to talk. he understands some of the things he is asked to do, but still not able to talk. he is being going through speech therapy and Occupational therapy since 06 months now but no real improvement…I was worried because we originally speak French but the therapist confirms that there is no problem having more than one language.

  34. tony

    Hi Everyone-
    My son is 2 yrs and 4 mos. Hes been seeing a speech therapist for about 8 weeks now and is slowly progressing with one words like, HI, Bye Bye, Daddy, Momma. He too, understands everything you say to him. Go get your shoes and socks. Take this to the trash, but when he tries to speak to you, he typically grunts and points. Its only really when we ask him to repeat a word that he does.
    Its very frustrating and scary at the same time. Hes now in Pre School and its tough for him to communicate with other kids. Were hoping for a break thru soon.
    Any other parents have kids going thru similar problems?
    Suggestions welcome!

    • kojo

      My son is 3yrs 10 months has similar problem. He recites the alphabets and can count 1 to 25 and sometimes 30. He knows body parts like Head, Nose, mouth, teeth etc and recently tries to sing but grunts and cries at everything. For me this is progress but at the same time, i get worried and scared every time i see his younger sister who is just 1yr 4months follow instructions and do other things much much better than him. What causes these delays?

    • Lauren Bertsch

      Yes my 24m only says a handful of words a few names Nd some approximations…. put him in nursery school still not much improvement going for eval soon

    • Bhoobala Krishnan

      My Son exactly same as yours, he tries to speak but cant able to express and he is not listening and thinking to any object he saw. After taking him to speech therapy he is now quiet listening to our words and doings small activity.

      He too in pre-school , as he cant able to communicate he beating other kids.

    • Carly

      Hello, My son is nearly 3 and he is exactly the same, points and makes throat noises. He understands whats being said to him though…Had his hearing checked and thats all fine and he is developed in other ways, walked at the right timing etc big for his age! He doesn’t repeat words or even talk words. I think the most we have had is “yeah”. We had ga ga, da da and mum when he was younger but he doesn’t say them anymore 🙁

  35. It got my attention when you suggested reserving at least30 minutes a day in talking to the child if ever the parent thinks that the kid is a late talker. My sister already did that, and although it helped a bit, my nephew still did not speak entirely. I have a feeling that he needs a speech therapist now.

  36. George

    My boy is 3 years 9 months now.l say a word then stop.the doctors said everything is fine.is he going to talk

    • My daughter the same age. I’m having the same issue. My doctor says nothing. My second child was like this too. So very comforting to know I’m not the only one with a child having this issue. ?

    • Msizi

      Hi George
      I have the same problem with my boy , he is now 4 and he still can talk but he understands everything said to him and he does everything asked to do but no words from him the only thing he does is gyblish

      • Luis

        This drives me crazy. My son of 4 years and 8 months old has never pronounced a single word. He has been going thru speech therapy for almost 2 years. He understands everything we tell him but appears to struggle to mimic words, like something is holding him back. The scary part is learning that the older they get the harder it’ll be for them to ever speak.

      • ngehu

        i have the same issue ,and honestly i am frustruated

        • Sophiat

          My boy is 26month he doesn’t talk and he does not respond to anything not even his name he only makes some sounds and his hearing was fine we are worried

      • khalid

        my daughter is almost 9 years old but she cant speaks clearly. some words are very clear but some are not.
        she has a right brain sist and took almost 4 years epilepsy medicine but now she is ok no more fits. but speech problem still exist

      • Priscilla Mummy

        My daughter was having the same issue never talks till 4 around 5 she started talking but when she talk her words are very clear today she is 8 and she learning new language is perfectly fine .. don’t worry too much as long they don’t have hearing problem they will speak soon … worrying makes things worst not only to yourself but your child just remember to talk to them more and never give them something if they show hand expressions ask them to say out the word slowly your child will get there .. I truly know how it feels . I have a son who is 2 still haven’t speak too …

        • makhosi

          Hi Priscilla
          im touched by your story . my son is 7 years he is in grade 1 and his speech not good at all he cant say a full sentence when he tries you will hear something you don’t understand and I’ve tried almost everything speech therapy, audologist, educational sychologist , he will do same grade with his sister next year because there is no way he can go to grade 2

          at this point I don’t know what to do anymore sometimes I get angry at him of which I know is wrong I cried asking god why this is happening to me ..

    • kibi

      My daughter is 3 years 4 months also only say few words, She can say things like her name, mom’s name, sister, aunty, age, etc and sing well the nursery rhymes if you ask her to and understands if you command her but she is not back chat if you chat with her

  37. Ankita

    Totally agree with you. Very informative article.

  38. Julie

    These posts have been very helpful. I waited too late to get help for my 3 year old. She just had her evaluation recently and they haven’t contacted me yet for her next appointments. I knew for a while she needed help but I kept thinking she would outgrow it and catch up. We speak English, French, and Spanish at home. I can see progress and she’s finally saying full sentences but I have switched so much more to English than French to get her there. I don’t like reading that she may have compromised vocabulary as a teen as a result of being a late bloomer and that I am partly to blame because I should have gotten her help sooner.

    • Natalia

      Don’t blame yourself you didn’t have this information earlier, because as you said If you would read it before you would take her to Speech therapy.

      I have my 25 month old girl that’s she speaks just 40 words (between English and Spanish) and it’s not combining words, we are taking to a speech therapist; we hope that with God blessing, she will catch up.

      And, I agree with you, this is a great article for parents who are raising bilingual kids.

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