My 3-Year-Old Nephew Doesn’t Talk: Should We Be Concerned?

This question was submitted to our community via our Facebook page and/or our Answers forum. Responses are also taken from the community. If you have your own parenting or relationship question you would like answers to, submit on Facebook or Answers.

QUESTION: Should I Be Concerned About My 3-Year-Old Nephew Who Doesn’t Talk?

“My nephew is three-and-a-half, and he still doesn’t talk. He is a healthy baby, very active and playful…

Should we be concerned and take him to a doctor? Or will he start talking once he joins school? Did anyone experience this before? Please advise. TIA.”

RELATED: My Two-Year-Old Barely Talks: Is It Possible She Has a Speech Delay?

My 3-Year-Old Nephew Doesn't Talk: Should We Be Concerned?

Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“He should have been seeing a speech therapist, and what is his doctor saying about this? If this is not a concern for his doctor, I would look for another pediatrician because he should have been getting help.”

“Some autistic children are nonverbal. This is something that needs to be caught early on so the child can get the help he/she needs. Not every child is the same!”

“Hasn’t he had physicals? They usually ask about it. My boys were 3.5 years old when they started talking my daughter on the other hand is 2 and talks full sentences. Some kids just talk later than others. I would speak to the doctor just to be on the safe side.”

“They should have noticed this at his wellness checkups around 1 1/2. Something needs to be done immediately.”

“Many children develop at their own pace but 3 1/2 is long for not talking. How does your child respond when spoken to?”

“Are you one of his primary caregivers? Do you have knowledge that this isn’t being addressed with his parents and pediatrician? Because there are sometimes reasons that kids don’t bother talking as early as others. My second son never had to because his older brother never STOPPED talking. Either what he wanted was interpreted and vocalized for him or he never had a chance to get a word in edgewise…

… Either way, he had said a few words and proved that he could, he just didn’t want to for whatever reason. At 4 he started talking and at 8 it hard to get him to stop talking. If you aren’t around 24/7, you may not have the whole story. Just because he doesn’t talk while you are around doesn’t mean he can’t.”

“My sister is 20 now but didn’t speak til she was 4 and just randomly decided to start. Everyone thought she was mute but I guess she just didn’t have anything to say lol. She’s never had any issues with her pronunciation and is actually the smartest and most level headed out of my moms 5 kids.”

“I would talk with your doctor but that was a sign for us to have my son tested and he was diagnosed with autism. There were other factors as well, this was just one of them. He didn’t really start talking until he was around 5.”

“My son didn’t talk, and when he did it was completely unintelligible, aside from mom, dad, and Nana. We took him in several times and our pediatrician kept saying he would talk when he was ready. At 3 he started head start (pre-school); they did hearing tests and he failed twice…

… Then they did a tympanic movement test. They put a tiny puff of air in the ear to see if the eardrum moves. He had zero movement in his left ear and very little in his right. We then took those results to his doctor who gave us a referral to an ENT. He was in surgery the following week having tubes put in his ears to drain fluid. It took about 3 years of very intense speech therapy. He’s now 15. He still has a slight speech impediment and has 75% hearing loss in his left ear and 35 to 40% in his right ear. Trust your gut. If you feel something isn’t right it’s probably not.”

“Lots of times kids don’t talk because the parents do all the talking for them. The kid points at something and the parent jumps to get it instead of taking the time to say what it is multiple times and encourage the child to mimic what the word was.”

Have a parenting, relationship, or other family-related question? Submit it on Facebook or Answers!

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.