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My 2.5 year old son says the basic words like Mum, Dad, hello, bye, norner (water), pease (please), tank you (thank you) but he doesn’t string words together, when should I be worried and should he see someone about it?


Posted by kjgarner, 10th August 2018


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  • When my son was 2,5yrs old he only spoke 5 words. I wasn’t really concerned and time has shown there was no reason to be concerned. They’ll talk when they’re ready and most of all when they realize they get heard and understood better when they talk. However when you feel concerned you could talk with the health care nurse


  • I’d wait till he’s three – if he’s still delayed then I’d definitely seek help then.


  • If you’re concerned see your gp and ask for the Medicare chronic health plan to access 6 speech therapy sessions


  • It’s pretty unusual at his age. I’d suggest both a hearing test and maybe an assessment visit to a speech therapist.


  • 1 year ago, I felt the same as you. My daughter didn’t seem to say many words and trying to get her to say some she knew was a struggle. If you are concerned, go speak to your child health services or pediatrician. I talked to my Dr and found her advice very unhelpful. Honestly though, most kids will catch up, especially if you have them in social situations. My now 3.5yr old still mumbles stuff thats not legible, but she talks a lot and just needs help sometimes with the words she doesn’t know yet


  • Good to see you are being proactive with your son’s talking, good luck. I have 3 daughters and they never seem to stop!


  • They will talk when they are ready


  • Thank you for all your comments, really good reading and listening to other’s who are going through similar experiences as my child. We have put in a referral to a speech therapist which they say would take about 6 months to get into and he’ll be 3 ish by then and they said we can always cancel if we don’t need it then.


  • You’ve got some great advice here in these answers. I understand your worry. Sounds like your boy has a few words which is great! I’d ask your GP or child nurse if worried and encourage lots of talking to him – kids pick up way more than we realise!!! Even if they don’t talk back they still get to learn and process and see how words are used. Talking doing everyday things is a great way to build up your child’s vocabulary


  • My son wasn’t talking much either. I had his hearing checked, developmental paediatrician and speech therapist. They were all clear. At age 3 he simply started talking and has hardly stopped since. He is very smart and was tested with a high IQ at age 8.


  • My son spoke with 2,5 years 5 words. The health visitor suggested speech therapy which I did briefly, but actually I didn’t see the problem as there was enough natural progress at that time. There are kids who speak early and kids who speak late, just the same as there are kids who walk early and kids who walk late, toilet train early or late., in which case we also don’t directly seak the help of therapists. Just give it a little time and see how it develops. In the mean time you can do some prompting yourself.


  • My eldest boy started seeing a speech pathologist around the 2.5 year mark because he was very unclear and I was often responding to his gestures and pointing rather than encouraging him to talk about what he wants. Have you had your son’s hearing checked? It is important to do this prior to seeing a speech pathologist as he may have a hearing problem. Boys do tend to be slightly delayed in speech than girls but it’s very important to have him assessed just in case plus it’s good to work with him now because before you know it he’ll be in school and may feel overwhelmed by other kids knowing/communicating more. At first my son was seeing his pathologist once a week but now he’s going once a fortnight (he’s almost 4 now). I also learnt that I need to work on talking out loud more often so he can learn words and how to string them all together.


  • Some kids start to talk later , but a visit to the GP wouldn’t hurt.


  • Have a full medical check done, then see a speech pathologist. In the mean time check out http://www.fedup.com.au take some time to read.


  • I was in a similar situation several years ago when my son was the same age. I would definitely take him and get him assessed. He might just need a little push to start stringing sentences together. But you don’t want to wait until he is starting kindy or school before checking things out, you have nothing to lose and your son has everything to gain and don’t worry until there is something to worry about.


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