My 3yr old boy does not talk or understand what we say?

My son has been in speech therapy for a couple months to no improvement, I'm not sure if going to speech therapy again will be any help. I have no idea what may be the problem, I'm waiting to get him to preschool in September so I hope that will help. What can I do to help him talk or find out what is the problem? He doesn't understand when we tell him no, or simple instructions.

4 Answers

  • PR
    Lv 7
    4 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. Speak with the pediatrician.

    2. Have his hearing checked.

    3. Buy "picture dictionary" books and look at them each day or night before bed with him. Do not specifically expect him to repeat the words, but if he can get excited and praise him.

    4. Name and label things in your home or anywhere you happen to be.

    5. Give him choices in his life and enunciate VERY CLEARLY:

    Do you want the RED cup or the BLUE cup?

    Look at that RED truck.

    Let's go to the store.

    6. Engage in play with him and talk to him in ways he can repeat.

    Be sure you are speaking to your son in manageable sentences. Children do not learn to speak simply by listening to normal adult conversation, but in having the adult model "bite-sized" phrases for them to mimic. This will likely do as much as speech therapy, although if you are gone too much of the day then it might help, as well as help you model your communications with him.

    In preschool, the hope is that he won't feel left out, if he is not communicating. Watch him and if he doesn't seem to behave well or doesn't want to go too many times, either reconsider, or observe him from a private area, or ask the preschool manager how he is doing. Be sure the preschool knows he is not fully communicating. They may also have some ideas in how to help him gain more ability to communicate.

    How do you know what he wants for a snack? For lunch? Does he communicate in any manner? Give him choices and in some way expect a response. If he is simply pointing, then say the words (red cup/blue cup, etc) very clearly. Hold the cup up: "Red cup, nice red cup. Ethan wants the red cup". Or similar communications until he listens well enough to repeat. I suppose the speech therapy will do many of these things and others, and then help you to do this at home, as well.

    Do not just let your son allow everyone else to do the communicating, and do things for him. This may be happening especially if he has older siblings and perhaps he is a quieter child. Give him plenty of opportunities to mimic, communicate, and express himself and be sure you are not just giving him what he needs without, at least sometimes, asking from you in some way.

    He may be a quiet child who doesn't have many needs - at this point. A lot of children do not understand, "no" because they don't want to. He needs tools. Give those to him.

  • 4 months ago

    Have you tried having a psychiatric evaluation? Sometimes some children may not be able to speak or refuse to speak due to an anxiety issue. Some children may have mild autism which may delay their understanding and response rate while some may actually have Auditory Processing Disorders which may lead to problems in decoding speech sounds.

    But every child has his own learning curve. Prematurely born children often have developmental delays. So do not panic. Visit a good paediatrician and explore all the possible reasons that could hamper speech development in toddlers and see which matches your child's condition to the max.

    We wish you and your child a happy healthy life,


    • Tomalochk
      Lv 6
      4 months agoReport

      Spanking the child probably won't help at all .

  • 4 months ago

    I speak not as a professional but as a parent of children who had similar concerns at that age. No matter his diagnosis as this may well just be a delay, keep talking to your child as you would any other, including him in conversations, naming and labelling things, and immersing him in social situations, visits to the shops, friends, the playground etc although he may not be responding it is very likely he is still very aware of it all and taking it in.

    If you are concerned and you can not have him professionally assessed at this point, there are other signs that may indicate whether or not it is more likely to be a developmental delay, or a neurological condition (autism). Questions to ask yourself include: Is he communicating or responding appropriately at all? Or does it seem more selective? Does he play appropriately (for example, pretend to drive cars on a play mat, or make the dinosaurs roar at each other, rather than just explore or investigate his toys with minimal social interaction)? It is good to bear in mind that most behaviour is a form of communication.

    If he continues to struggle after assessment etc I would recommend you learning something like Makaton which makes communication much easier for those with difficulties by using signs and symbols, creating a foundation for understanding speech and communication, which is then usually dropped by the child as their speech emerges when they are developmentally capable

    For now I would keep up with the speech therapy for as long as it is not extremely stressful for him. A few months is not long to have made a noticeable impact, and he should be learning from it even if it is not evidenced yet. Importantly, try not to let the anxiety or stress of the situation influence his emotional wellbeing, try and provide a nurturing and positive environment for him :) Stress and anxiety have a big impact on a child's development and early learning, and can go on to affect their future outcomes. Don't lose focus on keeping everything else normal in his life while you look to support his speech. All the best.

  • 4 months ago

    Have you had his hearing checked?

    • Gianna Lee4 months agoReport

      Yes we did, twice. First it came back inconclusive then second time his hearing is fine in both ears.

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