2 l/2 yr old boy talks "gibberish".

 My adult son reported to me last week (from SoCal) that his grandson--- my GREAT-grandson-- speaks only "gibberish". (Son calls me every Thursday.)   The child's mother (my grand-daughter--born with her mother was barely 18)  led me to believe, all this time, that 2 l/2 year old Joe, was mute. We even talked about 'selective mutism'.  Gawd!  Why such a story was invented is troubling...but not to waste time/energy on.  The well-being of my great grandson is my concern.   Joe doesn't even say 'mama' or 'daddy' reports my son.  Will it all be ok when Joe turns 3 or even 3 l/2 ?  That's when my ex- husband began to speak ---and now goes non-stop; ditto for my step-son.   About 10 days ago, in an email, I did ask my daughter-in-law, Keira, if Jack's hearing had been professionally tested.  She hasn't answered...and I have to assume she doesn't want to answer...she has been becoming more distance in the last couple of years (I also know she's under a lot of pressure these days: both of her sons are home, doing college work--with their girlfriends living there too....6 adults living under one roof -------- I have another son, who lives 6 mins away us.  Bryan has seizures,  learning -disabilities and is bipolar; I understand the SHAME one can take up because your child/grandchild isn't perfect; I did a version of that for a while.--- so maybe that's what my daughter-in-law and her daughter are into- for the time being---.    I do feel that ultimately, if Joe continues with gibberish, past 3 l/2, then son/daughter-in-law will look for professional care for their grandchild--- they have the $ to pay for it, as well.  Regional Center, in SoCal, however, has a special program for children up to age 3, who aren't speaking.  It includes testing, feedback, references, list of books, even training for parents---all for free, but--it's my understanding--that it ends when the child is 3 years old.  PS: Joe's sister Lizzie, age 16 months, is talking-- yes, I'm aware that girls tend to excel in this area.  ---We haven't been with that part of the family for over a year because we moved to a smaller place---gawd! what an undertaking--then I was ill for a few months and then the lockdown came. --- I'm the only driver for myself and elderly husband.  (I cannot leave elderly husband at home, alone, to fly to SoCal--something I'd do in a minute if he wasn't frail and prone to falls...husband won't fly)  So I canNOT be there to seek a place in a conversation for me to say anything.) What I seek here on BPN are your suggestions, based on what you did, or what a friend did about a gibberish-speaking child--- including 'just wait and see'.  I want to have a toolbox of things one can do, when and IF someone wants my input and/or something that advocates my doing nothing.  Thanks so much!

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I'm sorry to hear about this and I can tell you care about your family. Based on what you are describing though I don't think you are in the position to offer help if it's not wanted and you may not have the whole picture. It's also possible she is getting help for her child but does not want to discuss. I'd defer to the pediatrician who would refer them to speech therapy, hearing testing etc. Instead, you can offer your support in other ways since as you say she's under a lot of pressure. Maybe a gift card for food delivery services if you have the means or just reaching out to tell her that you are thinking of her, without offering advice or asking questions, but leaving open the opportunity for her to share what she feels comfortable with. 

I absolutely recommend getting the child help as soon as possible. After a child turns 3 years old, they should contact their local school district and have an assessment done.  There are lots of free resources out there, they just need to get the child into the system. Also, do they have a pediatrician that can advise them?  

before my son could speak we used sign language. He used about a dozen words regularly for about six months before he started talking. There’s a great series you can buy on Amazon prime videos called baby signing time. I highly recommend it! Signing actually help him talk as well. 

My nephew talked gibberish until he was about three, and emerged speaking almost fluent English when he was ready. You may very well have nothing to worry about.  But I am not a pediatrician!

Hello, I’m a Pediatric Audiologist...0-3 years is the critical age of learning language, communication. If he truly has zero words at age 2.5 years and speaking “gibberish” its essential that he follows up with his pediatrician, hearing test and speech evaluation to assess where he is at and what services he may potentially need. Given that you are not the direct parent/guardian of this child, it is up to them. Perhaps you can kindly discuss with them, you can also refer them to the American Speech, Language, Hearing Association (ASHA) for guidelines for speech at each age group. Obviously, if there is neglect by the parents/guardian that is a separate issue...but you didn’t mention that. Best of luck

Hi. I am sorry to hear about your great grandson. My son was just shy of two years old and we noticed he wasn't speaking very well compared to his older sibling. If your great grandson was under 3 years old, you could go to the region to have him tested. Over 3 years old, you have to go through the school district. They will do an assessment and test his hearing and vision as well. I recommend getting an assessment sooner versus later as there are lots of children who suffer from speech delays who do well once they are diagnosed and the district provides them speech therapy. Good luck to you.