My grandson is almost 3 years old next week and he is not talking in full sentences. Most of his sentences are short and choppy. Sometimes he may say something in a sentence but most of the time he is babbling. He also not potty trained. In his short life he has had many ear infections. What type of specialist can help with his speech, someone that insurance will pay for. My 1.5 year old cousin is talking in more sentences than he is.
Person's Gender: Male
Hi there I can talk with you about your grandson
You are right to be concerned as this qualifies for a speech delay. A 3 year old should really be talking in complete (although not totally gramatically correct), sentences.
There are many things to watch out and think of before looking for treatment from a qualified speech therapist (a must).
One thing to think of is a developmental concern that includes speech delay as part of the syndrome such as autism spectrum disorders or other genetic disorders that cause delayed development.
Generally these kids have other delays not just speech. If your grandson is normal socially and plays well with other kids and can really tear up a playroom...he is likely not suffering from a global problem affecting his development.
With many ear infections in the past he needs his hearing tested as he may not hear well. This needs to be done at the audiologist's office almost always when referred this is covered by insurance.
The potty training is not too unusual as he is not quite 3 and a boy. Boys tend to train later and really the norm in the US is close the 3 for a boy.
Depending on which state you live in he may qualify for state services through head start that can provide speech therapy at no cost to you as most insurance doesn't tend to cover full speech therapy costs when you get them in a private setting.
If he won't be 3 for a few months you also may have a birth to 3 program in place in your state that provides speech therapy as well free to you. As you can imagine theses services have been cut recently but most are still accessible.
I recommend speech therapy as soon as a delay is identified as I like kids to get the help they need ASAP and avoid reaching kindergarden with anything that distinguishes them from their peers speech wise!
Another thought is placing him in preschool/childcare. This tends to quickly help children with isolated speech delay as in the school environment they are forced to use their speech to communicate with others. Parents and other family members often don't require full sentences to understand all his needs...they just know what he wants even before he says anything.
In terms of other things a family can do...limit TV, sing songs, encourage more books, and talk all the time to him...even without anything meaningful to say. Talk and repeat yourself again and again. When he says something repeat it back to him and make sure you got it right.
Please respond when you get the notification of my answer as I want to make sure you have all of the information you feel you need. Thanks!
This is very good information. I would say some of his delay is he's not very sociable. He tends to be shy and because he is so big for his age other kids tend to fight him like he is 4 or 5. He does play okay with kids he knows but some things he is just fearful of. He tends to suffer with asthma and takes steroid breathing treatment. He loves basketball and tries to shoot in a hoop because his daddy plays basketball all the time.
As long as he can socialize... I wouldn't think of autism. He can be shy and your are right this can limit how much he tried at speech and also may make him more shy if he knows that he doesn't sound like other kids his age. Fears at his age are as well totally common...the dark, strangers, you name it. 3 year olds don't listen that well to logic and reason and can develop a fear that seems pretty ridiculous to us adults but very real to them.
The asthma and his treatment shouldn't limit his speech at all.
If he can shoot a basketball into the hoop his motor coordinaton is better than mine.
He was in daycare for awhile but had to be taken out because his parents could not afford it. Daycare did make a comment that they thought he was ADHD (or slow). I see my grandson just needing help but since I don't have authority to take him anywhere that's why I am searching for other advice. Actually he can shoot in a child's hoop but he looks at the grown up basketball hoop and makes motion to throw the ball up there but it only tumbles on the ground.
When he's around me I have to always ask him what did he say. He babbles something that I can't understand.
It really is too early to tell ADHD at his age and you already know he has speech delay...it is also too early really to tell about mild intellectual delays as there is so much a huge range of normal and each child learns differently. A public preschool program if they qualify may be the answer. Headstart which is subsidized and if they can't afford daycare they may qualify for. These programs are excellant and in many states the place that speech therapy is provided after birth to 3 runs out when a child turns 3.
Each state as well has programs to evaluate kids for learning issues once they enter school...even preschool. In CA for example any parent could request to the "regional centers" the places that did the evals and coordinated kids who needed help, that their child be evaluated. Of course the wait was really long.
You can gently suggest that you are not understanding him when he talks to you and ask if they have considered starting speech therapy. I had to do this for my sister and really they must be a bit worried in the back of their own minds even though they don't admit it.
If he turns out to have a medical diagnosis that makes him slower to talk for example autism (just an example) the sooner he gets into therapies the better the outcome hands down!
I live in Virginia and I am pretty sure he qualifies for head start but will they take him if he is not potty trained.
Well I encourage people to work on it and really not mention it...give him lots of changes and let him learn quickly there!
If he can sit on the toilet this qualifies for "working on it" but has frequent accidents....most 3 year olds do have accidents!
Don't tell them I said that though :)
Most kids learn pretty quick when the rest of the kids go every 2 hours in a line
He wears pull-ups and he can sit on a toilet although I don't know how fearful he is of it because he gets down too fast to do anything.
Keep him out of pullups for a while for pee and let him stand. You can start the prize/reward thing as he is 3 and stickers/charts/lots of positive encouragement will help.
Give him lots of fluids and take him to try every hr.
Should I use a child's toilet or a regular bathroom toilet.
Pooping can come later once peeing happens as it tends to be harder for most kids. Whatever he likes you can try a potty chair but he is a bit big...but if this is what he wants go for it...also there are inserts for the adult toilet...and stools to stand on to aim better...boys tend to like the standing...there are even targets to shoot for or just cheerios
You have given me some great advice. Thank you so much.
you are welcome! I wish you and him the best of luck. He is lucky to have such a caring and attentive grandparent!
US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad
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