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3 year old who doesnt speak words....


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my newphew just turned 3. he still has no words. he babble, and sounds like he is talking. he recieves ABA and other therapy....and he isnt autistic. so, my question, did anyone ever have a child turn 3 still with no words, none at all....and then begin to speak? hearing is good, vision, and he does go get his shoes if you ask ext. but doesnt talk english or anything we understnad....

 

thanks from the concerned aunt :)

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My now 12 yods had no words at three. Well, I should clarify that he had a few words that those of us in his immediate family could recognize but no one else could understand anything he said. We started him in speech therapy at about 4 but he honestly made no progress until I started teaching him with Phonics Pathways. For some reason, everything clicked together at that point and he basically learned to talk and read at the same time. When he was tested at about the age of 4, he was in the fourth or fifth percentile as far as talking ability. Hearing was normal - but he had several ear infections during the time between 9 months - 18 months and the theory is that his hearing was inhibited during that time and delayed his speech abilities.

 

The only sound he still has difficulty with is "r".

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interesting about the phonics pathways. but, how do you teach a child to read that cant talk or say they sounds or words your asking them to?like if i tell my 2 yea old aaa or shshshsh he can do it. this child cant. he would make anotehr noise and go on about his buisness

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Does he communicate? My son had had a couple words at 3 but chose not to use them. Once he heard me in the kitchen, ran in, planted himself in front of the couter and vigorously pointed up at what I was doing and then at his open mouth. He usually did not care what anyone else was doing, and really was very content to do his own thing, but when he wanted something, he was able to communicate.

 

So I guess a child of three that did not have words but still engaged and communicated when needed would not concern me.

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My 8 yo had less than 10 intelligible words at age 3. She "talked" constantly, but no-one could understand her. If her sisters had been interpreting for her, I would not have been concerned, but they couldn't understand her either. She was diagnosed with articulation below the 1st percentile for girls her age and had 3 years of speech therapy. She just started speech therapy again because her scores have dropped below the normal range (18th percentile). She still has a hard time putting multisyllabic words together and her grammar is sometimes pretty bad.

 

Speech problems are sometimes the first sign of dyslexia; my daughter is dyslexic and has a couple other diagnoses as well.

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My son who is now 7 didn't speak until he was almost four. He communicated, and "talked" like another poster stated, but his speech was unintelligible until he was 6 1/2. I would highly recommend speech therapy. The earlier the better. It takes a lot of hard work and my 7 yo is still having issues learning to read. It also took him an entire year to learn the alphabet and it's sounds. Early intervention is key in these issues or at least that's my opinion. HTH

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Princess has a limited vocabulary, and just turned 3. I put it down to 'Youngest Child Syndrome' as she will talk, just not clearly. With her louder, more talkative older sibs, its not a big shock.

 

She understands everything though, so no issues there.

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You said he is not autistic. I assume that means he's been evaluated by a professional.

 

Many people with children who are late talkers find it beneficial to use baby sign language to communicate. It builds reception and expressive language skills even if the child is not vocalizing. It doesn't delay talking. It is relatively easy to do. you can do it in conjunction with language development ie you do the sign while saying the word. Try to get the child to at least make the first sound of the the would while doing the sound.

 

Make the airplane sign when outside and a plane flies over and make the "pah pah pah plane" Make the sign for car (it is like using a steering wheel) and say "Let's go get in the car. Can you say kah? Car."

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He could have a major auditory processing delay - and his hearing tests would still be fine. He would need to be seen by an audiologist who specializes in testing for auditory processing problems, as it is more complex than the simple hearing tests most kids (mine included) get. Been there, done that. An auditory processing delay can severely affect how well a kid communicates.

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You said he is not autistic. I assume that means he's been evaluated by a professional.

 

Many people with children who are late talkers find it beneficial to use baby sign language to communicate. It builds reception and expressive language skills even if the child is not vocalizing. It doesn't delay talking. It is relatively easy to do. you can do it in conjunction with language development ie you do the sign while saying the word. Try to get the child to at least make the first sound of the the would while doing the sound.

 

Make the airplane sign when outside and a plane flies over and make the "pah pah pah plane" Make the sign for car (it is like using a steering wheel) and say "Let's go get in the car. Can you say kah? Car."

 

This child needs Speech Language therapy. If he/she is unintelligible then he/she needs intensive phonological therapy. The big question is; Is this child frustrated by the inability to communicate? If so, get him/her therapy right away! If not, the question is why not? Either way, "Baby Signs" is a great bridge to oral communication as stated above. There is a GREAT program called "Signing Time" that has a series of 10 DVD's. I three year old could quickly pick up on many signs after watching them a few times.

 

I understand many kids speech can be delayed and eventually do fine. However, if there are underlying problems, these need to be addressed now before behavior problems develop (due to the inability to be understood). At three, a child should be speaking in 3 word utterances and intelligible at LEAST 50% of the time.

 

Julie in Monterey

Speech-Language Pathologist

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My mother says my oldest sister did not speak at all until she was four, and then began speaking in complete sentences. She is a very eloquent, intelligent, educated adult.

 

My youngest daughter did not speak until she was almost four. She babbled and her brother (only 9 months older) would interpret for her. Sometimes she would just make eye contact with him, and he would tell us, "Olivia wants so-and-so." She ended up in speech therapy for a couple of years. We also had to tell our son that he could not speak for her, she had to speak for herself. She is 10yo now and has NO trouble talking. She is reading above grade level.

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I have a son who will be four in November. Just this summer he began to put 2 words together and began to call his siblings by name. He is the fourth child out of six children..his older siblings were extremely verbal from an early age. My son always made noises but mainly an ahh ahh sounds. One day when he was desperate to reach a toy he said "help" very clearly..my husband and I were floored he was 2 1/2. At the time we were living in Maryland and his Dr. (Johns Hopkins) thought he should begin speech therapy at around 15 mos. After discussing our options with our Dr. we declined. To be honest I feel it was a mother's intuition. I felt strongly against speech therapy for him. I am grateful our Dr. trusted me. As a side note NO our son is not autistic. We knew that. We had a very clever, athletic little boy that didn't miss a beat however, there were mabe 2-3 words he used on a regular basis. Communication has never been a problem though. He is very expressive with his face and hands. At times he has even acted out a scenario for us. He is a very strong willed, independent child and I learned very quickly that asking him to say anything or repeat would only set him back. He was very self-concious and would simply ignore us. At this time we were moving to Ft. Campbell. I also started to research online to see if I could find other children like my son. That is where I came across Natural Late Talkers (Einstein Syndrome)...and the Camaratas at Vanderbilt. I cried this was my son. We had decided to let Jack be Jack and just love him and provide him with a natural learning environment but nothing was forced. To make a long story short we were able to meet with the Camaratas at the beginning of this year. They evaluated him and gave us lots of ideas to help along his speech. For example when he is trying to tell us something simply summarize what he is saying back with one word. For example this summer he came up to me after playing in the sprinkler and was trying to tell me his swimming trunks were wet. I simply stated "wet"? Than proceeded to say "Yes your swimming trunks are wet". This is just one example of how we have helped him along. It was good to know that we did everything right by NOT putting him in speech therapy. In fact with children like Jack it can either set them backwards where they refuse to respond or makes no difference to the progression of their speech. His words are coming but it will take a lot of patience. Because he is not talking other areas of his development are more advanced. I am sorry for rambling a bit. This is simply our story. Mabe it can be of some help or encouragement to you. :)

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I have 2 sons who can not talk ages 3&4.They have Verbal Apraxia. I have soon to be 10 children and everyone would say " They don't need to talk with the other siblings" or they are going to be late talkers. But by the age of 2 they should have some basic vocab.They tested my children for austism but I knew that wasn't it. I would research verbal apraxia and talk to your Dr.

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Has the child been evaluated? I ask because I have two children on the spectrum. One of them was not diagnosed upon the initial evaluation because he is extremely high functioning, and quite frankly, the professionals are not always as knowing as you would hope they would be. I have even talked to parents of children that were not so high functioning, yet the medical professionals totally missed the obvious. My other question, if there is not the suspicion of autism, then why is ABA being used? I am sure that this methodology would work with many types of children, but it is primarily used as a means of teaching children with autism. So, I'm just curious. Our ds 16 has been doing Applied Behavior Analysis since he was 3. Like I said, I am sure that it could work with other children, but the data on this method is for working with autistic children, and that is the primary usage.

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My son did not start talking until he was over 3. His first words were, "I can talk". My husband and I were stunned, said, "what?" and he repeated, "I can talk". Then he walked out of the room and did not talk for another month.

 

The second time he talked he handed me a balloon to blow up. I was writing a check and told him to wait a minute. He kept handing it to me, I kept saying wait and finally in frustration he said, "but it's empty".

 

He is now 16, reads Latin and Greek and is bugging me to let him learn Japanese. He is so far ahead in every subject that I have enrolled him in the local college for some of his subjects.

 

It sounds like his parents are being proactive in seeking professional help, so I would suggest being an encourager.

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Brinkseven, I enjoyed reading your story. I recognized my own daughter, who's now 12, in Dr. Thomas Sowell's books "Late-Talking Children" and "The Einstein Syndrome." She would only talk in two- or three-word utterances for many years, and most of the time she didn't talk at all. She didn't speak in sentences until long past her fifth birthday. However, I just knew...I just had a feeling...that nothing was wrong with her.

 

I did take her to an auditory processing specialist clinic to be evaluated, and they said she was fine. I taught her to read before her fifth birthday (thinking that the world would make more sense to her if she could read), and she caught on instantly. It was only a few weeks before she could read the King James Bible.

 

She has been diagnosed with ADD. She stutters when she's nervous. However, she's a classic example of one of Dr. Camarata's late-talking children: Her dad has degrees in electrical and computer engineering and was a nuclear engineer for the Navy. Her older brother was a very talented pianist at an early age (however, he opted to quit lessons at age 12) and a naturally gifted composer. He (her brother) has always been "into" computers and understands them thoroughly. Her uncle is a doctor. She is extremely good in math and logic and has an amazing memory. She's an all-around good student who is into ballet, knitting, crocheting, sewing, animals, and piano (which she hates but she's amazingly good at).

 

(Just wanted to add: I'm making her sound extremely boring, but there's a whole other side to her. She's really funny -- like a comedian. Even when she was tiny, she would think of the craziest get-ups to wear, or the silliest little things to say that made the rest of us laugh ourselves sick. She acts like a ditzy blonde. I don't know if Dr. Camarata has any children like *that* in his practice.)

 

I am so thankful that Dr. Sowell wrote his books. I think they have given relief to many, many moms who have perfectly wonderful children who just happen to talk late. I know there are some children who do have issues that need to be addressed, but other kids just develop on their own timetable, and they don't need to be pressured.

Edited by Rebecca VA
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My daughter, who is now 15, "talked" but I could only understand some of what she said maybe 75%, my m-i-l could get abut 50% and dh about 25% the rest of the world it was at most like my dh. She went to speech therapy and we discovered her problem was she hadn't developed her facial muscles as she had failure to thrive (she's adopted btw) and gave up the bottle at about 11 months. But she also talked backwards, saying things like pack back and pud muddle and there hi and so forth. She is dyslexic, but very smart. She reads well above grade level now thanks to Sing, Spell, Read and Write. She can learn anything if it is put to music! She ADHD and OCD with auditory processing problems. But almost savant when it comes to music and art. Her first oil painting was as good as the teacher's.

 

BTW Einstein did not talk until he was four. Edison was three. Both were sent home from school because they were too dumb. Their mother's taught them at home!

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my newphew just turned 3. he still has no words. he babble, and sounds like he is talking. he recieves ABA and other therapy....and he isnt autistic. so, my question, did anyone ever have a child turn 3 still with no words, none at all....and then begin to speak? hearing is good, vision, and he does go get his shoes if you ask ext. but doesnt talk english or anything we understnad....

 

thanks from the concerned aunt :)

__________________

 

Actually, sounds like he IS autistic - otherwise why in heck would anyone do ABA (we did it for a few years so I know how time and money-consuming it is when done right!!!!) but not every kid will present as the classic "autism" as folks might expect - most do have varying degrees of eye contact, social ability, humor, etc.

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My dd did not speak until after age 3. She was diagnosed with a central auditory processing disorder. Not sure if she really has/had that disorder, though. She is very bright and loves to read and do math problems. She learned to speak from learning to read with Phonics Pathways. She was about 4 yrs old when she was able to read fluently. She was only understood about 50-60% of the time at 4 yrs old. That was a huge improvement and I was glad to see her make progress with her speech. Now, at 6 yrs old she is understood almost 100% of the time. Fish oil (omega 3's) can be very beneficial to those with speech problems. It definitely helped my dd.

 

BTW at age 3- I was very, very concerned.

 

Susan

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I haven't read all the responses, but my dad didnt' say anything (no sounds - they thought he might be mute) until he was three. The family was bilingual. When he was three they switched to using just English. He started speaking in complete sentences.

 

Another boy I know didn't talk until he was 4. His mom had to really work with him when he started school because he was a late bloomer in language, but he is doing great now.

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Sure - after 4 years of intensive speech therapy 2-3 times a week.

 

People who don't take speech problems seriously really anger me. Speech problems will plague a person for their entire lives.

 

The little boy next door is just a couple years younger than my ds. They both have verbal apraxia. My son got intensive therapy with an expert over the course of 4 years. We all learned to sign, to cue his speech exc. Now no one meeting him would notice an issue at all.

 

I can barely understand the neighbor boy, and I am use to hearing around speech issues. He got sparatic group and individual therapies but not the recommend intensity, frequency or type for this speech condition. There are so many things that will be cut off for him because he is not able to communicate effectively. It is tragic.

I'm just going to answer for me.

 

I went through the exact.same.thing. with Diva that I'm now going through with Princess. I had Diva assessed, and since she would make the effort to be understood when she *wanted* to, they said she's fine.

 

I'm keeping an eye on Princess. She goes through spurts of adding words, being more clear. With her, its clipping the last letter off of her words, and having older siblings (and Daddy) that will interpret pointing, etc.

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