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BJMsMom
BJMsMom asks:
Q:

Does my almost 3-yr old have a speech problem?

My son says lots of words quite well, but others not so well.  He does alot of babbling, too.  He's not able to put sentences together all that well, and when he wants something or sees something he says that one singular word.  I've also noticed within the past few weeks, before he says what he's going to say, he starts his sentence off with an "er" or "rer" sound, like he's not sure what he's going to say.  Example:  "Er.. ball" or "Rer... puppy".  I'm wondering if this is a form of stuttering.  Sometimes when he's pointing out different objects or people, he doesn't say "There's daddy" or "There's a puppy", he adds a "tuh" to beginning of the word he's saying.  Example:  When he sees daddy, it's not "There's daddy", it's "Tuhdaddy" or "Tuhpuppy".  And furthermore, it's often "Er.. tuhdaddy" and "Rer... tuhpuppy"  Lots of times when he says words that end with "S", he exaggerates the "S" sound... often times repeating the "Ssss" sound 1 or 2 times after the word.  Words that begin with "F" are pronounced with a "B".  "Feet" is "beet", "Fall" is "ball".  And some words are just so far off from what they're supposed to be that I don't even know what he's saying unless he points out the object.  Any advice would be much appreciated!
In Topics: Speech and language issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ChildSpeechLanguage
Apr 19, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

First of all, you should be commended for being so in tune with what your child is doing from a communicative standpoint.  Although children do vary in terms of their overall language and speech development, if your child is almost 3, what you've described does not seem to be, in general, typical.

A full speech and language evaluation is recommended.  Make sure the evaluation is done by a speech-language pathologist who is state-licensed (from your state) and ASHA certified.

In addition, please see the following resources from ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).
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Additional Answers (6)

eliad
eliad , Parent writes:
Most important is you should speak with the family pediatrician.

I don't remember exactly my sons speech at this age, but many of the things you describe seem familiar.

Different kids develop in different paste it's important not to compare to other kids around (I know it's hard...)

This is a great article: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Ed_Does_Your_Child_Need/

and you may find a lot more useful information on this topic here:
http://www.education.com/topic/speech-disorder/

I wish you all the best.
> 60 days ago

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Dr.Monika
Dr.Monika , Child Professional writes:
Children develop at own rates, and boys tend to be just a little behind girls in that respect.  However, at 3 years of age, children should be able to speak in short sentences and more than 50% of their speech should be understandable to strangers.

Make an appointment with your son's health care provider for an evaluation.  The first thing to check is hearing.  If it is abnormal, your son should see an ENT (ear-nose-throat doctor).  If his hearing is intact, he should get intensive speech therapy.

Best regards.
> 60 days ago

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MrsReading
MrsReading , Child Professional, Teacher, Parent writes:
Be very careful to model correct speech for him! It easy for the people around him to assume his speech is "cute" and begin speaking to him using his speech errors. EX: "You want to go for a ride in the tar?" If you catch adults doing this ask them to please refrain from doing so.
> 60 days ago

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sirenssong
sirenssong writes:
your state offers free assessments for children both below and above the age of 3.  Early childhood intervention (usually under the state health department) covers the children under three, and the speech therapy (if needed) is completely free.  If above the age of 3, the school district in which you live will provide the testing.  Call the district office and request a test.  A diagnostician will test your child and determine the best course of action. A pediatrician might be a resource, but my experience is that they see the child so little, our pediatrician told me there was "nothing to worry about."  If I had followed that advice, my child would have struggled for years in forming words, sounds and in receptive and expressive language.  So use your judgement...trust your instincts.  They seem to be on target.
> 60 days ago

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smartchickspeech
smartchicks... writes:
It's great that you are aware of what your little one is saying! I would recommend that you have your child evaluated by a speech and language pathologist through your local school district or ChildFind, or ask  your pediatrician for their recommendation. Developmentally the first sounds children typically produce are p, m, h, w, and b around the ages of 1 to 3 years. Your child may or may not be substituting production of the "f" sound for example with "b".  It would be best to have your child evaluated by a professional.
> 60 days ago

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Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
Hi BJMsMom,

My son does some of the same things you have mentioned here.  During his yearly exam with his pediatrician, I mentioned my concerns and she was able to arrange an appointment with a pathologist for a speech evaluation.  He had the evaluation and I was contacted by the pathologist to tell me that he did not need speech therapy and that all was age appropriate.  Mostly this type of speech issues are only developmental and will improve with age.  The pathologist mailed me some information with tips on how to help him improve in the areas that needed attention.  So most likely this is the case with your son too.  Don't hesitate to have the evaluation done by a pathologist because they will be able to assist you and remove some of your worry and when he is in school, if the teacher notices that there is a problem, he will be referred to a speech pathologist at the school that will perform an evaluation and give therapy if necessary.  

Best Wishes!
> 60 days ago

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