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Not talking at age 3
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Not talking at age 3

Hello, my grandson will be 3 on Oct 4th and is still talking gibberish where no one can understand him. He has been known to sound out the very rare word, but even then it isn't clear, for example "go" would be gwoooooooo or "engarde" would be ngaaaa. These soundings are not used often and are not becoming clearer. There is also very few of them where it seems he is trying to repeat what we are saying. I would estimate his actual library of words to where we can somewhat understand him to be no more than 8-10 words. 2 days ago when we were leaving somewhere, for the first time he actually said "bye" where we all understood him, but has not repeated it since as clear. He will carry on a full conversation with himself, or talk to a family member quite a bit, even though we cannot understand him. My son in law sees this as no problem what so ever and that my grandson should be allowed to learn at his own pace, no matter what that is. My daughter has said she would consider getting him checked if he isn't "talking" by his 3rd Birthday. I know it isn't my place but I am very concerned and would at least appreciate knowing if my concerns are warranted and if so, what should be their first step in getting my grandson the help he needs? Also, is this common, or a possible sign of something inheritant? My youngest son has severe Cerebral Palsy, and also my childrens father has another son with minor CP and other disabilities. Please, any advice would be so helpful and welcome. Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
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Hello,
   I share your concern as well as your sense of urgency. What you are describing is not typical child language acquisition, and does need professional attention sooner rather than later. My first stop would be to the pediatrician, however many pediatricians only have about 15 min to examine a child, and may take the parent's word for it that everything is fine. I would make a specific appointment to discuss these issues and any medical reasons that may explain this significant delay in expressive language.

  Your pediatrician can refer your grandson to a developmental pediatrician, psychologist, speech language pathologist or developmental evaluation clinic at a local hospital. I would strongly recommend that one such professional evaluate this child as soon as you can get an appointment. The urgency in this matter comes from the research. Our current understanding of developmental delays is that they respond best to early, intensive therapies. Speech language therapy can have the most significant impact the earlier ti begins. Waiting costs such precious time, and sets a child up for possible failure in school (which is not far off!).  

Sometimes parents stall because they are afraid of what they will hear, so you will have to be sensitive to their fears. The good news is that your local county will have an early childhood intervention program that can provide therapies for free through the public school system. You can also check out my Medhelp article about developmental assessments so you will know what to expect and how they can help.

Best Wishes
Rebecca Resnik
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Pediatrician is a good idea.. We just found out that our five year old nephew is deaf in one ear. We do not know why. My oldest child did not speak until he was three. I removed his pacifier and threw it away and he started talking. I felt so sad that we did not catch Adams problem sooner.. May turn out to be nothing, but thinking back, and I babysat him quiet a bit.. he rarely answered me when I called him in a normal tone. I wish the best for you and your Grandchild.
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