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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Boy That Does Not Talk

So I have a question. How old was your child when he or she started talking? I mean properly talking, like more than yes, no, mum and dad.

My son Will is turning three in February and he still does not speak. I cannot tell you how heartbreaking and frustrating this is for me and for him. He can express himself quite well through animated grunts and finger pointing. He understands basic instructions, and gets the general gist of whatever it is you are saying. We were initially concerned that he may have had some sort of hearing damage but all the tests show perfect hearing. We have been seeing a speech therapist for the past few months and to be honest there has been little to no progress. In fact not even ONE word. I must admit he is not throwing as many tantrums, and he is able to express himself more than in the past. But I do feel as though I want to throw the towel in, a little bit deflated and over it, I was hoping for some kind of result by now.

I feel as though I have done something wrong. I know it is TOTALLY STUIPD of me to even think that but I cannot help it, I do. Maybe I didn't read enough books to him, maybe I didn't talk to him enough, maybe I was far to focussed on myself and my issues to get down on the floor and interact with him. Just a weeny part of me feels to blame. I feel as though lack of speech is holding him back from new things like toilet training, friendships and independence. I guess I have to remember that he is not even three yet, maybe I am putting too much pressure on him, maybe I am putting too much pressure on myself. I just wish I could hear his little voice.

Tell me, do you have any suggestions or stories to share?


  1. I know that Rob did not speak a word until he was 3.5 or something like that. He had his adnoids taken out and then bam! He could talk. I think if you are seeing people about it, and no one seems too concerned then just hang in there. It will happen. Eventually. Promise.

  2. I have a boy that didn't talk. He talks now, but there was a diagnosis along the way. Will may just be a late talker, but it may be something else. If you a concerned, take him to a developmental paediatrician to see what they think. My son was seeing a speechie prior to seeing a paediatrician, and as good as the speechie was, she didn't pick up on the cause of the lack of speech. A good paediatrician should be able to pick up whether Will is just a late talker, or if there is something else behind the lack of speech. Hopefully it is the former.

  3. My son didnt really talk until he was about 3 1/2. I was sent to a speech pathologist t have his speech assessed and they said they couldn't assess him because he didnt say enough words for them to do so!

    One day he just started talking.

    I hope Will will be like that : )

  4. I have no experience so can't really offer an words of advice (although I wish I could!). But damn, he's gorgeous! x

  5. My little man will be two next month and says only 3 or 4 recognisable words (mummy, diddy, water, more) plus animal sounds.. I understand your frustration and worry, especially as we have a very very talkative (and bilingual!) daughter who was speaking in full sentences by this age. I can't see Tate speaking by the time he is 3 either, and I also am wondering how it will affect toilet training.
    But I have been told so so many times not to worry about it (by friends, doctors and family), and that his Dad didn't say a word until he was three and started pre-school, then he just started talking all of a sudden (peer pressure? having to answer teachers?). Now he speaks 3 languages fluently and you'd never guess he was such a late starter.
    I am sure if Will's ears are OK and he is making himself understood, he will finally just start talking one day and suprise you all. All kids are just so different.
    Have you read the book "Chatterbox" to him, by Margaret West?

  6. I've only just found your blog so feel a bit uppity to even offer a comment, but i would suggest reading, reading & more reading with him, to him, get him to point to the words as you read. It might assist him in sentance structure.
    My children were probably 18 months old with full sentances, they were forward & i spent all day chattering to them, reading, down on the floor with the Lego & playdough, it was something i really enjoyed. I'd offer them those hard card books (no pages to tear) & by 2 they could chat to other people very clearly. That was my girls, my boy, at the end, probably less has he had all those big sisters talking for him, but it was all inside of him & he was very vocal when they were at preschool.
    All i can say is EVERY child is different, plenty of people will say their child didn't speak until they were 4 or 5 & they were full perfectly structured sentances, it's all in there & they're just waiting for the right audience.
    I wonder if the old "shopping list" for children might work, where you give them like one major item to find in each aisle at the supermarket, with their own list & pen to make them off, he'll be reading & you can suggest he tells you with words what item is next or which one he's currently searching for. Baby steps.
    All i can say is they all seem to be able to talk, read & write just fine by Kindergarten, it's a level playing field again. Pushing never works, it only makes them resent you, just offer up the opportunities & gently gently. Good luck, lovely to find your blog, love Posie

  7. My three-in-january son was an early talker and talks constantly but I don't think it was/is anything we did/do. I rarely read to him and forgot to talk to him when he was a baby. I don't know that what we do necessarily influences as much as we think. Kids will do what they do when they're ready to do it. If the people you're seeing are not concerned then just go with it. He'll get there.

    Love love LOVE your wedding pics, and was captivated reading your love story over at BabyMac.

    Wishing you happiest of days.

  8. I heard that Einstein didn't utter a word until he was four and then he spoke in complete sentences.
    I had one early talker, one later and one in between. This is probably no help to you but I guess every child is different.

  9. My cousin didn't talk until she was about 3 1/2. My aunt was beside herself with worry, and took the little one to speech therapists and specialists.

    Elise just didn't want to. She wasn't ready.

    She had an amazingly detailed sign language of her own creation that she used very effectively and then one day just decided to start using her voice.

    And the lovely thing about that was her speech progressed quite quickly, plus she spoke English (only) with a French accent. (Her dad's French.)

    Hopefully it's just that your boy isn't ready yet, and he'll break out into words and sentences when he is.

  10. My son is only 12 months, so I have no idea what is slow or advanced speech.

    But I do know that they do what they want to do, when they're ready to do it.

    If you're doing the specialist thing & they don't seem so concerned, maybe it will come, when he's ready :)

    Don't be hard on yourself at all though, you seem like a wonderful mother & I just don't believe there is such a thing as textbook anything.

    One day he'll catch you unawares, & hit you with "mama" right out of the blue. And it'll be the sweetest words you ever heard :)



Thank you so much for your comments. I am touched by every single one of them :)