Do I need to be concerned about my 2yo?

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  1. Specialk3749 profile image60
    Specialk3749posted 13 years ago

    My son's doctor wants me to send him to speach therapy because he isn't saying many words.  I kinda disagree.  He is only saying a few words, and once in awhile he will say a new word, but I can't get him to repeat it.  His favorite words are up, more, and mom.  I am also getting him to try and say sounds of animals.  That is about it.

    The reason I am not that concerned is because I went through this with my older son.  He was the exact same way and just before the age of 3 he started talking all at once.  So much that I had to have him slow down so that I could understand him. He is now 10 and can speak very well and has no other problems.

    I am not sure if the doctor is worried about autism or not.  I do not know much about it, but I don't think he is displaying any other signs of it.  He seems like a very normal 2yo whose speach development is slow. 

    Any advice?

    1. pinkboxer profile image61
      pinkboxerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Please be concerned. I went through this also as a mother. All of our children grow on seperate developmental levels. The speech therapy will help your son. God bless!

      1. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you!  I guess I am afraid of them "labeling" him, etc..  I have never been to a speech therapist and do not know what to expect.

    2. profile image0
      cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      every child is different. i am sure this doctor means well, but he doesn't know your son as well as you do. he is a clinician making a judgment from a chart and an examination.

      you said you are "not sure" and draw on your own experience with your other children as a yardstick for measuring this child's development, and i see nothing wrong with that.

      my son started reading at 18 months and his pediatrician wanted him to go to a child psychologist to get his IQ measured and put him in an accellerated learning program, but we didn't want that. he was happy just being a little baby.

      several times we didn't take doctors' advice on other matters, which proved to be very wise.

      encourage play and activities to simulate your child's vocabulary. yes, they say children should have a certain number of words in both their passive and active vocabularies by certain ages, but i don't know, i think a loving, involved parent can do just as much towards helping their child flourish as a so-called expert. if you do take your child to a speech therapist, ask them pointed questions about what they would teach him, etc.

      did your doctor use the word "autism"? if he did, ask him why he suspects that. they can't just toss out words like that and not take the time to explain it.

      good luck with your little one. smile

      1. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        The doctor didn't use the word autism, but I was thinking that he might and didn't say anything.  Your advice is what I did with my older son.  The doctor (a different one) recommend therapy, but I waited and he did it on his own.  I just don't think there is anything a professional can do that I am not doing or can't learn to do for him.

    3. profile image0
      Twenty One Daysposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      My son just passed 19 months and says about 5 words.
      He can identify animals, pictures, etc. even picks the book he wants us to read with him. So don't be concerned.

      Children grow at different paces.
      Try more social interaction with children his age.
      Even if he just observes at first, one day it will all come together and he'll surprise you. I know mine did.


      1. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        That is what my 10yo did!  I tried to tell the doctor that, but he still acted concerned which made me doubt myself.  :-)

    4. Debbiemazz profile image61
      Debbiemazzposted 13 years agoin reply to this


      My son just turned two and he finally is repeating words saying them himself when he sees an object.  My doctor told me boys are totally different than girls.  We just had my sons two year check up and there was a list of at least 12 to 15 questions on a form that I completed that indicate if there is a potential for autism.  Did you have a questions like that?  Did your doctor tell you why he was concerned?  I would give it a couple of months and see how he is doing. Good luck!

    5. Lisa HW profile image63
      Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I think you should just ask the doctor outright, "Are you concerned that he's showing signs of Autism, or are you only concerned about his vocabulary?"  If you haven't done this already, bring up the points about your older child and any other points you want/need addressed by the doctor.

      If it's at all Autism he has in mind, it would important to get even mild Autism diagnosed as early as possible; because therapy can make a huge difference in helping a child. 

      If the doctor makes it clear that all he's thinking about is "plain, old, speech-development" - I wouldn't be all that quick to follow his suggestion about therapy.  (You're right about different developmental levels, and that's something all experts and most parents are aware of.) 

      Then again, though, since your son isn't yet in school, I don't know if there would be too many negative consequences from just letting a speech therapist just see him.   Lots of times people bring their little folks for a visit to someone like a speech therapist (or some other specialist), only to have the person see there's no reason for concern.

      One problem with living in the US ("land of the free") is that if a doctor suggests something to "help" your child, and you don't go with it, there's always the chance the doctor may "hint" at negligence if you ignore the recommendation.  Whether that kind of thing could potentially turn into a "can of worms" can depend on the doctor and the issue and how good an argument/"defense" the parent(s) have.

      Another aspect to that, though, may be that it would be viewed more negatively if you brought your child to a specialist, had therapy recommended, and then refused it.  At least now, it's only the doctor "being concerned".  If a specialist (even an incompetent one) writes something up about what your child needs - refusing that could look worse.

      One of the things with Autism is children don't "cooperate" when someone tries to get them to say something; but two-year-olds are often independent and "stubborn" and not about to do what someone else wants them to do - so that may be a point to bring up too. 

      In fairness to the doctor, in this day and age, with so much Autism around, he may just be trying to "err on the side of caution" just to be safe.

  2. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    every child is different, so you might not want to assume your second son will follow with first son's speech development.

    can he follow 2 step instructions?  like, 'walk to the toy box and put your toy away.' 

    does he listen well or seem to have a hearing problem?

    do you speak in complete sentences with him? some parents use only one or few words when communicating with their toddlers instead of using sentences.

    I found this that may be helpful also.

    Seek an evaluation if a child over 2 years old:

        * can only imitate speech or actions and doesn't produce words or phrases spontaneously
        * says only certain sounds or words repeatedly and can't use oral language to communicate more than his or her immediate needs
        * can't follow simple directions
        * has an unusual tone of voice (such as raspy or nasal sounding)
        * is more difficult to understand than expected for his or her age. Parents and regular caregivers should understand about half of a child's speech at 2 years and about three quarters at 3 years. By 4 years old, a child should be mostly understood, even by people who don't know the child.

    don't force him to speak, but you can play word games with him while playing. playing with little animals, use words to describe the bear as he's walking across the floor, look at your child and use a 3 or 4 word sentence, the bear is walking.
    then ask him, what is walking?  playing games like this is fun for him and helping him at the same time.

    I would ask your doctor what his concerns may be. I have really not known many doctors to prescribe speech therapy at two, so I would try to find out more what his real concerns are. best to you and your little guy! smile

    I found this link that may be helpful. … talk.html#

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      My son is very quiet when it comes to speech.  He communicates with grunts, pointing, etc..  I have finally got him to stop screaming!  He realizes he doesn't get what he wants when he screams. :-) What words he does use, is very understandable.  He can follow directions well.  I had him potty trained at 20 months.
      Thanks for your advice!

  3. alternate poet profile image67
    alternate poetposted 13 years ago

    I wouldn't  be so quick to call in the therapists - there is every chance that nothing is wrong, calling in the therapists ensures that there will be a problem.

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the advice.  Why do you think that it esures a problem?  I think that is what I am worried about.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image85
        rebekahELLEposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        the speech pathologist will give a thorough assessment and evaluation. your child may not need therapy, but an evaluation can help you make a final decision.  he or she would also be able to give very helpful advice. there's no harm in finding out.

        I inserted a link for you in my previous response. it could help you decide.

        1. myownworld profile image72
          myownworldposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I agree completely. I went through the same problem with my own child, though it was her teacher who pointed out the problem. My first reaction was the same as yours: I didn't want my child 'labeled'. But I still got an appointment with a speech therapist to evaluate my child, and as it turned out, she was perfectly alright. Now she speaks Urdu, English, Spanish and is learning French too! smile

          Wishing you all the best with this... it's a difficult thing for any parent, but stay strong and I'm sure you'll be able to make the best decision for your child.

      2. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks RebekahELLE!  I missed the link the first time around.

      3. alternate poet profile image67
        alternate poetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It is about the definition of normal really I guess - I could read by the time I was four, I remember finishing Wstward Ho in the same infant class that other kids were chanting a - apple. Was I in a class of morons or was I a freak ?

        Speech therapists like psychiatrists, and every other - ist, up to and including government, see through their profession and justify their existence first.  If they were all good and  professional I might agree with Donotfear except that my experience of all these 'professionals' is that they are rather like prolific hub writers, they talk a good talk and look good but actually they do not know any of the subjects very deeply.

        2 year olds are only on the edge of talking - give the kid a chance first, with normal family encouragement and other kid mixing as you are doing, before you give up on him and create a problem.

    2. donotfear profile image84
      donotfearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        What?  It can only help the child to have some speech therapy. Sending a child for some early childhood development isn't labeling.  It's a plus.  Even if there is no problem there, which there probably is not, he can only benefit from it.
      I say go to the speech therapist for a whole round.

      1. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks!  I will try it if they ever call me back!  I called them last week to make the appointment and they called back saying they were working on it, but I haven't heard from them since. :-(

    3. TheGlassSpider profile image65
      TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I wouldn't be so quick to call the therapists on this one either.

      However, I find your comment, AP, to be quite a sweeping generalization and rather insulting to the many therapists who've worked hard through years of schooling and training and internship in order to serve others and assist in the alleviation of suffering. In just another year, I will be one of them.

      I know not everyone has wonderful experiences with therapy, but that does not discount the many, many people who have benefited from a good, kind therapist - including myself.

      1. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone.  I think my fear is more of the unknown rather than "against" anyone in particular.  I have never been to any kind of  therapist and do not know what to expect if I do decide to take my son to one.

        1. TheGlassSpider profile image65
          TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I apologize for the misunderstanding. My comment was not directed at you, but at "AP" Alternate Poet, who stated that bringing in a therapist "would ensure a problem." That's why I quoted him above my statement.

          I wish you the best with your son. I don't see any reason that an evaluation, or appointment with a specialist, wouldn't be indicated (or any reason it would be harmful). There's no obligation to accept any treatment - perhaps you could just see what a specialist thinks, and either figure out if something IS going on, or assuage your fears.

          Perhaps a second opinion is in order; if I may, it sounds as though your doctor is pushing you to do something you are hesitant about. While I understand that the doctor may be looking out for what he thinks are your son's best interests, it is also clear to me that he/she has not informed you very well of what, exactly, he/she wants done and why. I'm not comfortable with that, nor should you be.

          1. Specialk3749 profile image60
            Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I agree with you!  I am not comfortable with this doctor either.  Unfortunately, my insurance will not cover another "well" visit this year.  So, I will have to go see the therapist to find out anything...which might be better because they would know more about speech than the doctor anyway. 

            I didn't realize you were speaking to AP. :-)

  4. Anolinde profile image81
    Anolindeposted 13 years ago

    Some great advice here, especially from cosette and RebekahELLE.

    Also, how old of a 2 year old is your son?  I think there's a big difference between 26 months and say, 33 months.

    My daughter started speaking relatively early, but girls are supposedly more verbal than boys and they tend to speak earlier, so that might be a factor.  Also, maybe your son doesn't feel the need to use words at this point because you tend to all his needs without him having to ask for it?  It can happen to parents who have older kids because they are more experienced and can tell what their baby needs before the baby asks for it.

    So, spend your time talking with your son.  Read lots of books together.  Narrate the things you're doing together. 

    By the way, didn't Einstein start speaking at 4 years old or something? wink  So, as long as your son can follow simple instructions and doesn't appear to having hearing problems (and other things Rebekah outlined), I wouldn't worry too much about it!  Not sure if this made sense, but I hope it helps some! smile

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, that makes a lot of sense!  I have made sure that my older kids do not cater to him.  As a matter of fact, they are more harsh with him than I tend to be.  I will let him use his pointing, and grunting, etc.. where they won't. 

      He loves for me to read to him.  He asks for a book so often that I have to tell him to wait. 

      My older son is VERY smart.  Sometimes too smart for his own good.  I tell him he is like my Einstein.  :-)

      1. Specialk3749 profile image60
        Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Also, my son just turned 2 on May 9th.

  5. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    this does help.
    I don't know if he is in a preschool setting or not, but even being around little friends or a playgroup can help the child begin talking more because they want to communicate.

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      We don't do preschool, but I have a friend with kids the same age and we get together a lot.

  6. prettydarkhorse profile image56
    prettydarkhorseposted 13 years ago

    my daughter is two and half and she can only say mommy, day for daddy and yes she can follow simple instructions, my other children are different.
    You should wait for a year and see if she can speak better, or is developing like speaking more and improving.

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This was my first response too.  Especially since I did it with my older son.  But, this doctor that I am seeing now was insistant that I needed to do this now.  I don't want to miss something, but I also don't want to do anything in haste either.

  7. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    it's understandable to have some fear or apprehension when you don't know what it all means, but I would try to talk with your doctor again to see exactly what concerns prompted him to refer you to a speech pathologist.
    did he see an oral problem?  I would ask him to clarify for your own understanding.
    also, did he refer you from his office or do you need to find your own? it may take longer if they have to refer back to the doctor for your child's files.

    this is what you could expect from some info I found online;
    In conducting an evaluation, a speech-language pathologist will look at a child's speech and language skills within the context of total development. Besides observing your child, the speech-language pathologist will conduct standardized tests and scales, and look for milestones in speech and language development.

    The speech-language pathologist will also assess:

        * what your child understands (called receptive language)
        * what your child can say (called expressive language)
        * if your child is attempting to communicate in other ways, such as pointing, head shaking, gesturing, etc.
        * sound development and clarity of speech.
        * your child's oral-motor status (how a child's mouth, tongue, palate, etc., work together for speech as well as eating and swallowing)

    If the speech-language pathologist finds that your child needs speech therapy, your involvement will be very important. You can observe therapy sessions and learn to participate in the process. The speech therapist will show you how you can work with your child at home to improve speech and language skills.

    often knowledge dispels fear. an evaluation may be able to ease your concerns. I hope you will pursue something, and encourage him when he does use words.  smile

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      My husband and I have decided to go ahead and see the therapist...but, they still have not gotten back with me.  Maybe it is because they are getting records like you said?  I will give it till the end of the week and see if they call back. 

      I went to the site you recommended and it did ease my "fears".  Thanks!

  8. Polly C profile image89
    Polly Cposted 13 years ago

    My son is 2 yrs 2 months. He is a good talker, but as everyone has said, children develop in different areas at different times. 

    I have a friend who has three children,ages 10, 5 and 4. She worried a lot about the youngest one, as from aged 2 through to 3 he did not speak at all. I think he only said one word 'juice', to communicate when he was thirsty. The things was, he didn't really need to talk because the middle boy could understand all of his grunts and upsets. My friend said the house was deathly silent when the older two were at school and nursery. But now that child has just turned four and he talks a lot and very well. He did not have speech therapy.

    Doctors do not always get things right. My oldest son once had a really dark rash on both feet, but nowhere else. He had had a flu type virus, but had recovered, and the rash shot up from nowhere. I had it checked out, and ended up spending overnight in hospital while they tested him for menigitis. (He wasn't even ill). Then they said his blood was not clotting properly. We were really worried, but to cut a long story short it turned out to be nothing at all, only a reaction to a virus. And the wrong colour for meningitis - which they did not tell us at the time. Sorry for going a bit off topic - if you think your son is fine then he probably is.

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      My oldest son was just like the 4yo you mentioned.  That is one of the reasons why I am not concerned about my 2yo.  I don't see any other slow development that would make me concerned.  Yes, doctors can make mistakes!  They are human too!  I learned that a long time ago when I had a sick baby.  I learned how to be her voice.  That is what I am doing with my son now, but this doctor really put a doubt in my mind.  I really do not belive there is anything wrong, but when you have a doctor telling you "how concerned" he is, it is hard not to doubt.

  9. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 13 years ago

    Yep, as many say - leave the kid alone, he is most likely OK. If he is not OK you will deal with it when it becomes obvious. My middle one did not speak till almost three, and now at six he is probably the most talkative kid around - in two languages.

    One of observations that I made is that kids at that age don't talk if they don't need to. In other words if you understand their sounds and signs and satisfy their needs without them having to talk - they won't talk. They just don't feel the need for it. smile

    So I would advise not to push him to talk, but to create for him frequent situations when he feels the need to talk to explain what he needs/wants. smile

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That is good advice, Misha!  I have been making more of an effort to sit down with him with good books.  I have been pointing out pictures and having him do sounds of animals, etc..  He has really been enjoying it. 

      I really do understand his grunts and points!  He is actually funny when he does them because he can communicate so well.  Maybe it is kinda my fault that he isn't talking.  :-)

  10. Sue Adams profile image95
    Sue Adamsposted 13 years ago

    Hello Misha, as usual, I completely agree with what you are saying. When my daughter was 3 the doctor said she had a hearing problem. I never noticed that she had and ignored him. She doesn't. A mother's knowledge and instinct works wonders. Especially an experienced mum like yourself Specialk. Enjoy the peace while it lasts. Your boy will soon be a chatterbox like all the kids on the block.

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Mother's instinct is very real!  I have used it several times and I always tell other mothers to use it.  I guess I should listen to my own advice.  LOL

  11. Rafini profile image69
    Rafiniposted 13 years ago

    If you do decide to go for speech therapy, don't worry about it.  It's quite painless. smile

    My son was in speech therapy from the time he was 3 until the age of 19 when he graduated from high school.  Not only was his vocabulary limited but he mispronounced many words and sounds (he still has difficulty with R at the beginning of some words) and he struggled with (I think this is right) pronouns.  He would say things like  "Wait me"  "Me ike iyneappa oo" (me like pineapple too).  The speech therapists took the time to correct all the mistakes and taught him to listen to himself speak so he could catch his own mistakes and correct himself.

    Early intervention is key to success.  Good luck! smile

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Rafini!  That eases my mind as we will be seeing a therapist...I just really believe that they will see him and then tell us we don't have a problem.  Maybe give me some tips on what to do with him, etc..  I will be very surprised if they do anything more.  Again thanks!

  12. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    parents do this often, especially when you are home with your child most of the time. in the classroom, when children point, I simply say, I'm not sure what you're pointing at, can you tell me?

    sometimes 2's grunt because they don't have the language abilities yet. if he's responding to someone or something, at least you know there's some form of comprehension.

    reading books can help so much. I can't emphasize enough how daily reading to your young child will help them not only with language and speech, but with comprehension and focus and his attention span. if you have a library near by, frequent it often and make friends with whoever runs the preschool story hour.

    both pointing and grunting are precursors to talking. I'm glad you have an appointment. early intervention can and does help and often catches a problem before your child enters school. be sure to let us know how it goes. smile  you're being pro-active and that's a win-win for all involved!

  13. Aficionada profile image80
    Aficionadaposted 13 years ago

    There are some great suggestions and insights here.  I want to add a few more things.

    You wrote that your son turned two on May 9.  That means he is a very young two-year-old.  Two's go through enormous changes in just a few months, and it's quite possible that in three or six months this story will be turned completely on its head.  (I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I did work with two-year-olds for several years, and I was always amazed at the difference between a child of two years  +three months and a child of two years +nine months - like night and day.)

    It would also be interesting to note the age of the doctor, how long he has been in practice, and his specialty. An older, more mature doctor who has been in practice for a longer time would probably have better insight into child development and the wide range of norms than a younger, less experienced one would.  Also, a pediatrician (still, one with more experience) would likely know more about the significance of developmental milestones than a GP of lesser experience would.

    Even if your insurance doesn't cover another "well visit," it might possibly be worthwhile to pay full price for another visit, if you need to talk with the doctor again about the reason for his concerns.  Compare that cost to the cost of the therapy.  (I realize it depends on the cost of the doctor's visit.  For us the full price of a family doctor's visit is in the $60-$70 range, vs. a $20 co-pay, but elsewhere it may be much more.)

    Finally, as you work at helping the child to be more verbal, turn it into a pleasant game, rather than a chore. He will probably respond to a fun and playful, "What's the word/name for that?" better than to a stern "I'm not giving it to you until you say the right word"-type of statement. (I mean that as an attitude, not as a literal quotation.)

    1. Specialk3749 profile image60
      Specialk3749posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The doctor is fairly young.  I would say early to mid 30's and he only has one child a 4yo daughter.  He even told me once that I should be the one giving him advice!  lol 

      My insurance covers one well visit 100% a year.  After that I am on my own and I just can't afford it right now.  I think I would rather talk with the therapist and see what he/she thinks before spending the money on another well visit with "this" doctor.

      I have been doing more word games with him.  He doesn't respond to a being "harsh".  He would ignore me if I did that!  lol  But, a game he loves!!  Thanks for all the suggestions!!

      1. profile image50
        secondimpressionsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        A good parent knows their kids. If you question the doctor/suggestion then you care enough to be a good parent. Think about it for a while and see if you seriously think something could be wrong or if you could just be denying it. Could just be that there are so many people in the family talking for him that he just doesn't think he needs to, been there done that!  You could try having him help you put up signs for words and make him work for it. Ask questions and give choices and make him answer if he wants something. Kids who are fine WILL talk when they are ready. I would think if your doc thought there was autism then he would have said it. If not then I would find another doctor who will be honest. You can also try calling the clinic and asking to discuss the problems and what he feels could be issues. You SHOULD NOT be charged for a consultation to discuss this as it should have been made plain and clear at the last visit.


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