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2 yr old boy still won't talk!

Posted by Dominique on July 24, 1999 at 17:19:22
My two year old son won't talk. He understands everyword I say and follows directions fantastic! He grunts and points to things or drags and pushes me. He laughs when I correctly say what he wants. He makes noises like Fire Engines, dogs, birds, cars etc. but he won't say the words for those objects. I rarely even hear a mama or a dada and those sounds are not even directed toward us but just as a passing babble.
Sometimes it is very frustrating, as there are times I don't understand what he wants and we both end up very upset.
I've heard of children not talking till their 4 years old. I don't think I could wait that long to hear just one clear word, even if it were just "No".

Posted by HVMA Ph.D. - KDK on July 26, 1999 at 08:53:46
Dear Dominique,
There certainly is great variation in children's acquisition of speech. On the average, the two-year-old in this country may have quite a number of words in his vocabualry, while not using many of them on a regular basis. The child at two will be forming two-three word phrases, focusing mostly on words that name persons, things and actions. The two-year-old loves books, pointing to pictures and naming them. There is still reliance on facial expressions, gestures and body movement for communication, but a growing adaptation to spoken language.
Now, some children by the age of two are, developmentally, at the slower end of the spectrum. This may not be a sign of any abnormality. However, it may also signify a disability or a problem with the oral motor apparatus. It bears discussion with your son's pediatrician and perhaps evaluation by a Speech and Language specialist. So don't be alarmed, but don't sit idly by, either.
And, as a practical matter, try not to reinforce your son's communicating by gestures, grunts, etc. Encourage him to put into a word what he is trying to communicate. Give him the challenge, in a playful and patient way, to use his voice via words. Generally, once toddlers start this process, it quickly develops some momentum.
The information in this forum is intended for purposes of general education. Always address questions about your or your family's health directly to your physician.
*Keyword: Speech, Language, Toddler, Talking

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