Speech Delay (Part 2)

By William's Dad
Posted January 10, 2014

My son William is 3 years old and he has a speech delay. He can count from 1-25 and knows his ABC's and the sounds for each letter. He can repeat sentences and tries to talk on his own but in baby language. He seems to be able to read words he sees often and sings TV commercials and slogans. He doesn't play with other kids often because he is an only child and hasn't started pre-school. I do have a caregiver who comes and watches him during the day. Should I be concern or is he delayed due to lack of contact with kids?


Answered:  January 10, 2014 by Dr. Sidney Baker

I think you are right in implying that his speech may be delayed without raising concern as to William's overall development. Many normal and very bright people started life with delayed speech. You may find good answers to your questions by reading Louise Bates Ames book, Your Three Year-Old.  Or you might simply look at a Denver Developmental Screening Test and at least develop a vocabulary to help you communicate with a developmental specialist about your concerns. My concern is aroused by your mention of TV and a caregiver. TV is likely to retard language learning whereas reading to William and talking with him about everything he sees will advance his language skills. Other children are helpful but a talkative, literate, and loving grownup is the key.


Question# 2 Submitted by Sylvia Reddan 

"Hi.  I have 2 1/2 year old boy who has no speech whatsoever.  He was developing words at around 18 months but have all disappeared.  We got his hearing checked but all results came back clear.  We are seeing a speech therapist once a week and are waiting to be seen by an early intervention team.  He is with a child-minder 3 days a week but does not interact with the other kids there....he also does not like the park or playing outside which is a worry, can we do anything to encourage him as he gets very upset when he is out of his routine??"

Answered:  January 10, 2014 by Dr. Sidney Baker

This is a somewhat different story than that of William. The regression and the failure to interact with other toddlers puts him closer to the spectrum that you worry about. These details call more clearly for a look at his other developmental landmarks and strengths. Even if these details fail to give him a label, it would be worth considering some of the interventions that you may find from the experience of other children in his cluster. 
For more information, please see our previous posting on Speech Delay.


Even for William, I would be significantly concerned. Our son was 2 year old and he could do the same (repeat sentences, sing entire nursery rhymes, count to 20, knew his ABC phonics, shape, colors, etc.) but these were all labels and he could label anything easily (even had 200 words). But he didn't use any words for meaningful communication with us or his peers. I would highly recommend getting the child screened. Our son was diagnosed on the spectrum around 2 years and he has come a long way with biomed and intensive therapy and he does have more advance language now (though still delayed) but social impairment is still there.

My Son just turned 3 years old in April 2014... And he know how to count he knows his abc's...He knows how to say thank you.. bye bye... oh no... what happen..are you okay... I'm sorry...Im hungry...and so many more...But when it comes to talking he just repeat what I say. For example...Hey buddy are you hungry..He goes "hungry".... I read to him...Color,draw,write I even got him saying eyes, nose, mouth, ears, teeth, and tongue...But when it's time to chatting...Nothing

I have a 3 year old daughter. Last February (2014) a development pediatrician diagnosed her having autism. I am so worried even now..but she said my daughter is stimulate-able. What must I do now? My child has speech delay.