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How LATE can a child start talking?

I was wondering why so many moms get worried when the child is two and yet not talking. I was late talker as well as my father. My father started talking around his fifth birthday.

If any of you have met or know a late talker please post your comment. It will easy the minds of many moms concern about it.


Asked by Anonymous at 12:25 PM on Sep. 21, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Communication is more than just words, it is also facial expressions & body language. These are called pragmatics. About 90% of what we say is communicated through pragmatics, not words. Children who have not gained functional language by the expected ages may never gain the skills necessary for appropriate social interaction b/c they may be unable to understand pragmatics. Yes, they can become functional adults, but usually awkward functional adults b/c they do not have a complete set of social skills. Lacking these skills can keep them from fully exploring life's possibilities b/c they are uncomfortable or feel socially awkward in group situations, yet may not know why. Why would you limit your child in this way when it is so easy to get them help while they are young & receptive to the teaching?

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 2:39 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My ds is almost 2.6 years old and only says Mama, go, bath, kitty, ball and few other words. He signs more and please.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:29 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Because not speaking before the age of 2 is a sign of autism.

    Because there are now more services available so a parent doesn't have to play the "wait and see if they catch up" game.

    My son didn't say a word at 2, until after a month of therapy. About a year later he is now AHEAD of his peers in word usage and vocabulary with only a mild delay in articulation.

    My nieces didn't speak until after they were two. They are now 13 and are very difficult to understand. My nephew was almost three before he spoke and my speech delayed kid is easier to understand than my 8 year old nephew.

    My husband's grandfather didn't speak until he was 5 and always sounded like he had a mouth full of cotton.

    My mother didn't speak until she was 5, had several years of therapy once in school, and had horrible articulation problems.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:43 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • OK so for all you guys with late talkers do they also do the following
    Fall alot at 2.3 years
    not know how to answer yes to a question by shaking head or whatever and answer it right like "is your name ____" and just says ya to it and its not thier name or if you ask a question like do you wanna eat dirt? the child says ya but then say you ask if they wanna go to time out they say "nu"
    don't really like to play just sit around
    Don't know how to point to things where is the dog? cat? where is mommy? where are you?? and they do their hands like they don't know

    Do they do them things too????

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:50 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My son wouldn't speak a word. When he turned 2 I put him into speech therapy, and he started talking, but omitting all consonant sounds. If you've ever tried to understand a child who only speaks in vowel sounds, you can't! After a year and a half of speech therapy he is finally using most consonant sounds, he only has trouble blending some sounds; like sp for spider. The speech therapy made all the difference, and I don't think he would be talking, even now, without it!

    When I was a child I would talk, but could not be understood. I had a condition called apraxia, and it took nearly 8 years worth of speech therapy for me to get passed it. Now you would never even know there had ever been a problem.

    Yes, some children will eventually start talking on their own, but I would never encourage women to take a wait and see stance on this issue. Communication is an important skill, and early intervention is key!

    Answer by my2.5boys at 12:51 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • My cousin was a very late talker. When he was 4 they figured out he was profoundly nearsighted. He couldn't see the shapes of mouths to mimic them so all that ever came out was baby talk. They got him glasses and within a few months they couldn't shut him up.

    Sometimes, people have a reason to be concerned, they just may not know why.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:55 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Deafness is the real concern. Although Late Talking is one symptom of Autism, the first thing check is hearing ability or lack of.   Also, remember there are things inside the baby's head that may need to be checked (as well as eyes, throat, stomach, etc).

    Emotional Disturbances are also another cause, but that is usually later in life (usually as Selective Mutism; which also can cause communication difficulties as adults).


    Answer by ironkitten at 1:37 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Yes, some children just start talking late, but for the majority of children that aren't talking at 2, there is a reason. Why would you ignore what could potentially be a problem and NOT have your child evaluated?
    My first and second children were diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2 and 18 months. My younger son is in 4th grade now, classified AG, and has several friends - if you saw him in a group of kids you would have no clue he has ASD. My daughter was speech delayed at 15 months, I had her evaluated due to the concerns about my sons, she received speech therapy and by the time she was 3 she had more and clearer speech than most 5 year olds.
    I am glad I had all 3 of them evaluated, it was not traumatic - it identified the area(s) of concern so we would know how to help them.

    Answer by missanc at 2:03 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • both of my sons were late talkers. they both said their first words before one year, but didn't really talk until 3 or 4. they are almost 16 and 11 years old now- both at well above average reading level, and will talk your ears off if you let them.

    Answer by ranedare at 2:09 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Also because it causes a lot of communication problems between child and parents/adults. My middle daughter was a late talker. She didn't say her first word until 16 months old and at 18 months only said mama and dada. She didn't start adding more words until 22 months. I wasn't particularly worried because she could hear and understand complex directions (like go to your room and find the blue socks and bring them back, etc). But she could effectively tell us what she wanted or needed. It caused a lot of stress for a long time. She would throw tantrums over stuff and we had no clue what she wanted because she either had no words for it or couldn't effectively communicate (once she started talking). She's almost 7 now and never had speech therapy and, although she talks constantly now, she is still very hard to understand and has carried on some of those toddler habits (baby words, making up words).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 4:22 PM on Sep. 21, 2009

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