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chinchin31's avatar

My 2.5 year old can but is not interested in talking? What to do ?

Asked by chinchin31 (1748points) April 5th, 2019

I know he can say words because he says Mama alot but compared to kids his age his speech is very limited. I try to encourage him but he is just not interested. I can tell he understands everything so he does not lack comprehension. He also makes alot of normal kid noises so he is not a mute either. The doctor and his carers at school mention it. What do you do if your child is just not interested in talking. I am thinking maybe he is just an introvert or just lazy.

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23 Answers

chyna's avatar

I am not a parent. But I remember my mom saying my older brother refused to talk until he was almost 4. He got what he wanted by pointing at it. He was just kinda lazy at the time. No learning disability at all.

zenvelo's avatar

The important thing is you talking to him, and reading to him. Those two things will increase his vocabulary more than anything else.

My youngest nephew did n’t talk much until he was four and went away for the weekend with his parents while his older brothers stayed home with a sitter. Then he never stopped talking. turned out he couldn’t get a word in around his brothers.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Wait. He’ll talk when he is ready, or when he has something to say.

Not to worry.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Do nothing except converse with him. As soon as he figures out the he gets faster results using words instead of grunts and gestures he’ll start talking.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Please please don’t compare him to other kids.

jca2's avatar

If you are in the United States, your County health department will evaluate him for free. Call your County health department for an intake appointment.

kritiper's avatar

“Still water runs deep.” Leave him alone. When he has something to say, you may not be able to shut him up.

Inspired_2write's avatar

At age 14 yrs old I babysat a two year old that had pointed and uttered childish names for water etc.

In one day I taught him to say the correct words by giving him a cup of water and saying the word water to him..and he repeated it etc

I did this all day long with other words for things in the apartment.

By the end of the day he was talking perfectly.

I went again to babysit and the mother was upset?

Turned out that “SHE” spoke baby speak to him!

She was crying because he had grown up!

Gawd, she was keeping him babyish because she liked him like a baby only.

Eventually he spoke very well and the woman had another child and she felt better.

The older child taught the 2nd child to speak as well.

Kids learn the language of the parents “IF” they speak and teach it to them in the first place.

Years later my 4yr old and her friend were talking babyish to me and I told them that I could not understand them and it they wanted something ( cookie etc) they had to speak normal…in two seconds they went back to speaking normal ..LOL. It was a game for them.

janbb's avatar

As others have said, just expose him to language by talking and reading to him. I had a child with delayed speech who also obviously understood everything. He didn’t talk much until three or four and is now a Director of IoS Development at Pandora. Don’t worry about him but as @jca says you can request an evaluation from a county of school child development team. If you are still worried, you could have a speech therapist work one one one with him. I don’t knowthat it made much difference but he liked Miss Annie so it certainly didn’t hurt. Never criticize him or try to force him to speak and please never call him lazy. If there are no physical or mental impediments, he will speak in time.

josie's avatar

A kid never speaks from birth to 10 years.
At his tenth birthday party dinner, he says “The peas are cold!”
After the shock the wears off, his parents say “But, why haven’t you spoken in ten years?”
The kid says “Because up to now everything was OK!”

LadyMarissa's avatar

NO 2 children are alike!!! You are doing your child a disservice by expecting him to be in line with others his age. If you speak using adult words & read to him often, he will talk when he is ready & very possibly not before. He’s showing no interest; so, give him a reason to be interested!!!

When my cousin was about 3, he did much the same. When he wanted something, he grunted & pointed at what he wanted; so his Mother got up & handed it to him. When she took him to the doctor, the doc said that the child was capable of talking & was just lazy. The cure..NEVER give him anything that he doesn’t ask for. When he grunted & pointed, his Mom was instructed to reply “I can’t give it to you until you ask for it” & then go back to what she was doing ignoring his grunts. Whrn he screamed because he wasn’t getting his way, she was to reply “You can stop screaming because I’m not giving it to you until you tell me what you want. Grunting is NOT asking.” She told the dr that she couldn’t do that because he’d never eat. The dr told her that when he got hungry enough that he’d ask for what he wanted to eat. Then he explained to her that she could have a son who grunted for the rest of his life or she could follow the instruction & have a son who would be talking within the next month. He said that was the child’s way of controlling mommy by making her figutre out what he wanted. My Aunt left the office crying but my uncle insisted that she follow the doctor’s instructions. The rest of the family was instructed to NOT give him anything he didn’t ASK for & there was a LOT of screaming & crying on his part. Within 2 weeks, he was asking for what he wanted. His words weren’t always perfect but we just kept insisting that he tell us what he wanted & his speech did improve. Within the month, he was speaking well & asking for everything. The drawback was that once he started talking, he never shut up. LoL

I’m sure your son has a way of telling you what he wants; so, switch it up to where he doesn’t get it until he asks for it. It’s really hard to do at first but the reward could be a son that starts talking!!!

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think above all you should first run the boy past someone who specializes in child development with an emphasis on speech.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Suggestions of a speech therapist makes me uncomfortable when there is absolutely no reason to think he’s delayed. They can do more harm than good.
I have a grandson who will be 4 in May. He just really started talking in the last few months. With him the biggest problem was that mom talks baby talk to him. She also talks loudly to him as if he’s deaf. She also screams a lot. She never reads to him. But she became convinced that he has hearing and speech disabilities. They had him tested. He’s fine. He just ignores her!

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_lll The right speech therapist can be very useful. The one I used specialized in children, came to the house and played with my son for a half hour every week. They can also make suggestions to the parent such as not using baby talk. It may not be warranted but there is no reason to dismiss the idea out of hand.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course there are variables—neurotic parents, incompetent therapists—what matters with a child exhibiting irregularities around vocalization is that he be looked at by someone trained to recognize problems. And of course with children (like anything else) the sooner the better.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_lll: There might be a delay. Who knows. Sometimes there’s something physical going on. Therapy is not a bad thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Back at my desk top.

My concern comes in when you have parents, like my DIL, who has some emotional and mental issues herself, who are convinced that their perfectly normal kid ALSO have mental issues or hearing issues or vision issues or speech issues. The problem isn’t the therapists so much as it’s the insistence that there is something wrong with the child and he or she needs help / drugs / whatever. That’‘s damaging.
Her oldest, who was 3 before she and my son got together, was sent to speech therapy and it caused him to have a very stranger, stilted way of talking. He’s going on 12, and to this day every last word in his sentences end in “Uh.”
“I went to bed-uh.”
“I had pancakes-uh.”
“We went to the store-uh.”
It’s annoying AF and I refuse to talk to him until he stops, which he does, at least for the time he’s with me. Then he goes right back to those speech patterns around his family, probably to get a rise out of them.

All I’m saying is be careful what you might convey to the child as far as what is normal and what is not.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I have seen children whose parents talk about them, and at them, but not with them.
I suppose it is mostly unintentional, but it does participate in delayed talking.

Perhaps you do this, perhaps not.
If you speak with your child in such a way that they understand a verbal response is expected, it makes a keen difference.

There is a fun way to work with this, and that is books. Don’t just read the words. Read in such a way that you pause before certain fun parts. For instance; “Today I am not a little girl. Today I am… a PRINCESS.” Try to always pause in the same spots. Most kids, after becoming familiar with the story, will try to beat you to it. If not, look at the child as if you are waiting for them. Keep it simple. Don’t try to switch around on the books too much.

Try not to pressure him. Encourage him, but keep in mind kids are pressured into quite a lot. Let him feel comfortable about talking.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I have seen children whose parents talk about them, and at them, but not with them.” Exactly @Patty_Melt. My grandson and I have the most hilarious conversations that….well. Anyway.

Pinguidchance's avatar

@chinchin31 “My 2.5 year old can but is not interested in talking? What to do ?”

Point to the screen and get him to log on to .

Failing that, try try talking with him.

Darth_Algar's avatar

My nephew didn’t really talk until he was 4 (and he hasn’t shut up since).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Since Coopy started talking just 4 months ago, he’s just exploding. The excitement of being able to communicate is so new that it’s overwhelming.
The last time he was here he wanted to watch a movie “Upstairs,” and he wanted ”POPCORN UPSTAIRS! That’s just one of their routines when they stay the night. They hang out upstairs and eat popcorn and watch movies. He wanted to recreate that.

One thing you could do, if you really think it’s a problem, is be a little slow to react when he indicates he wants something. If he indicates he wants “a drink,” say “You want a drink?”
If he nods say, “A drink? Can you say ‘drink’?”
If he nods, then stretch and yawn and take your sweet time getting a “drink,” saying the word several times in the process.
At some point in the future he’ll say the word “Drink,” and when he does, move at the speed of light!!! Instant gratification.

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