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No one understands my (almost) 4 year old's speech

I can understand him most of the time, but other people have a really hard time understanding what he says. Some one the other day said I need to get him speech therapy because he talks like a baby. Our baby sitter has been watching him for over a year and she can understand about half of what he says.

All kids develop at thier own rate and he is very smart, he just can't talk very well. I think when he goes to pre-K in the fall, he will catch up with the other kids. But, how can I tell the other kids not to make fun of him because he is hard to understand? He will be 4 next month.

Anyone else having to defend thier child over something like this? I mean it is normal for kids to "develop at thier own rate", right?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:37 PM on Mar. 10, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I have worked in Childcare for 8 years and in my experience all children develop very differently. Some talk early, others late. He may just need more time. Being around other kids may help and at 4 they usually don't seem to tease a whole lot so I wouldn't worry about much. If the teacher senses a problem she will discuss it with you. Do not make him take speech therapy or anything like that unless you are sure he needs it. My SS had been in speech therapy off and on the last year, turns out he develops slower and his guardian never actually taught him how to talk. The speech therapy just discouraged him and slowed his development even more. He got so fed up with it all he did was play and ignore his therapist and guardian. IMO, unless he has signs for other delays in development, just keep working with him a little longer 4 is still early to have problems. Good Luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:39 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • My daughter had speach problems when she started Kindergarten. She was never teased and had lots of friends. If he needs speach therapy, your son's teacher will help you get the help he needs.
    Yes, kids do develope at their own rates. Albert Einstien has speach problems too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:42 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • *had

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • We have a little boy in our preschool ( I teach) who is 4 and you can not understand but maybe 10 % of what he says. The kids love him and protect him. In fact he has one little boy who understands him and interprets for him. ;) I have never seen any of the kids make fun of him.

    But my dd has been in speech since she was 18 months old and it has helped her a LOT. She has gotten so much better. You are right, school will help him too. But sometimes he may need a little direction from a professional. No biggie! Tell your Dr that you are concerned and they will point you to the correct therapy. Most of the time its free, which is a great plus! ;)

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 1:45 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • My son is difficult to understand and he is four as well. I am not concerned because he has no motor function issues or signs of developmental delay. Although, I did take him in and make sure that his hearing was good. Have you had your child's hearing checked? Just a thought...

    Answer by littlebehr1 at 1:47 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I can't understand MOST 4 year olds. In fact, there's a fair amount of boys over 4 that I can't understand.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:50 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I can understand most 4 year olds. At 3 years old, about 90 percent of speech should be understood be strangers. Getting help earlier rather than later is probably a good idea.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:02 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • MY best friend has this issue with her 4 children. They were (and 2 still are) hard to understand. She understood them perfectly fine because she was around them every day. Her oldest went to speech therapy in kindergarten,her 2nd went during preschool and by this time they were well associated with the school and its staff so they started the 2 younger ones in speech therapy earlier...the 3rd when she was 3 and just started her youngest at 2 1/2. It's nothing to be ashamed of and it is completley reversable. The younger you start them, the easier it will be. As for other kids not making fun...well, I think that will be mostly up to the adults to intervene. You never know though..could get a class of very understanding and sweet, none judgmental little kids...but that might be tough,lol. Good Luck ma! :)

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 2:04 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • i do believe kids develop at their own rate. but at some point it becomes delayed. dd is turning 3 on monday and she has been talking since she was 18 mts. everyone can understand her and she speaks very welll. my nephew was 4 and no one could understand him and he was in daycare since 6 wks old. he ended up having to get speech therapy. he is 9 now and no problem

    Answer by piwife at 2:32 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • my son is difficult to understand === i have taken him to the pedi to get her to recommend an eval. she had speech and hearing and they said he was a "lazy talker" he could make all the sounds. had nothing wrong with his mouth, he just spoke that way and should grow outta it... so yes some therapist will tell you that with some kids. my son right now does not qualify for speech therapy because his delay isnt big enough... which is really annoying to me... like he doesnt have a big enough problem so you cant help him?? oh well... you should get your doc to recommend an eval --- just see what they say...

    Answer by AmaliaD at 2:43 PM on Mar. 10, 2010