My 3 year old does not talk, nor is he potty trained.
05/21/2010 at 16:00 PM

My son milestoned late. So sometimes I think "Maybe his speech is just another milestone that is going to come late" He has passed multiple hearing tests, he doesn't have middle ear infection. He just wont talk. He grunts, and sometimes he will just babble, but look so serious like he is really saying something, and meaning it. He completely understands me, and what is asked of him. He qualified for a program in our school district, PPCD, he is in a classroom with 2 teachers to 5-6 students. I am in the process of getting a referral sent out to the Texas Children's Meyer Center for Pediatric Development, only its going to take months to get approved, and even longer to get an appointment. I'm at a loss. My husband gets frustrated because he isn't potty trained, but he doesn't see me working with him during the day because he is at work, and doesn't get home until my son is already in bed. His previous doctor thought that he would be a kid who would wake up one day and just talk. That didn't sit right with me, and thats when I switched doctors. I don't want to shrug it off and come off as a careless parent, so I don't know if I should just sit back and wait for him to talk, or if I should be worried, or what. I just don't know what to do anymore. Can some one please, give me advice

What does your pediatrician say about the potty training? It is quite common now to see kids in diapers until age 3. The usual marker of being potty trained and able to speak, doesn't seem like it's going to be useful for you...or maybe it is?

My kids were all pretty normal, so the only advice I have is--try to keep it positive. Perhaps your husband could do some research and see if he can find some alternative strategies for potty training. Give him ownership of the problem1


I haven't gotten any advice on potty training from his pediatrician only because I know what she is going to tell me. I try everything, but it never seems to help. And I really really appreciate the positive feed back! :) It makes things seem like its all going to be ok, instead of someone pointing fingers and telling me what I'm doing wrong. Thank you!


I would talk to the pediatrician anyway. It could be a developmental problem linked to delayed speech, or it could be a separate problem.


Get your son help ASAP. Don't wait. I was one of those parents who was layed back about my son not talking at 2 yrs old. It was his dr. who recommended early intervention for him. Now that your son is 3, look into your insurance. See if they will cover speech therapy until you can get your son in to see a developmental specialist. We did this b/c my son was put on a waiting list for the dr as well.
It's good news that your son completely understands you. How is he otherwise? Does he eat well and tolerate different textured foods? Can he follow multi-step instructions? Are there any other concerns you have?
As for being potty trained, there may be a connection to the delay, there may not. My son still wets the bed at night on occasion, but the dr said many kids who aren't delayed still have this problem. The best thing that worked for my son during the day was to put him on the potty every hr on the hr. This is a pain, but if you can make the time, do it. We tried to make it fun, and we learned not to push the issue. If you push potty training, it'll make things worse. As long as your son is not in a school that requires him to be out of diapers, you have some time. Just be consistent and follow through. Big boy underwear is often a good incentive. Also, now that the summer is approaching, try the no clothes approach. The advantage to training a boy is that he can stand up at the potty and see what he's doing.
Although it's said that boys often take longer to mature, every child is different. Your son may just be delayed or there may be more to it. Whatever the case, don't hold off getting help. There are many things you can do from home as well to encourage your child to start talking. Give him lots of choices (i.e.--Do you want milk or juice?). Encourage your son to respond (I want....) Play games with him, talk, talk, talk to him, read books, do picture naming.... Speak slowly and clearly, and repeat words and phrases. All these exercises can be very helpful in getting children to talk. Overall, though, be patient. If you see your son is getting frustrated, take a step back. The last thing you want is for him to shut down. It all takes time, but it sounds like you're on the right path. Keep doing what you're doing. Things will get better. Best of luck to you and your son.


Hi this sounds alot like my son he just turned 3 in September and he has his 3 year checkup tomorrow I wanted to know if you had any tips on this. My son is not potty trained also and im worried there might be something wrong...


My grandson turned 3 years old two weeks ago. He also doesn't speak, nor is he potty trained. Both, my daughter and grandson, live with my husband and I so when he didn't speak at two, we contacted the early education department in our county for an assessment with a referral from his doctor. He is such a joy...understands everything we say, just doesn't speak. He also qualified for PPCD and is in a class with 4 teachers, and with 5 students. My daughter is in the process of switching doctors, so we will see where that leads them. My grandson uses sign language now, so we can communicate with him. Before ECD, we had no idea what he wanted or where he hurt. He also now points to objects, or takes us by the hands to what he wants. I understand your frustration, as my husband was where your husband is. Not anymore. I told him we were doing everything we could to help and that he needed to be supportive, and not negative. If that wasn't something he could do then he would just have to back off, and let us do our job. We were frustrated, but he needed to think how frustrated our grandson was. He could either be a part, or keep his negativity to himself. You must understand my husband adores his grandson. Soon he helped us practice signing, and he hasn't said a word about the potty training since.


Just a note--using both uppercase and lower case letters is more polite than all uppercase. You bring up some interesting points. I like your last couple of ideas a lot.