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When does a toddler's speech usually become clear enough to be well understood by strangers?

(11 Posts)
2point4kids Wed 20-Aug-08 19:35:00

DS1 is 3 at the beginning of October.

He speaks very well in that he can explain himself well and can make up long sentences.
His speech is still pretty unclear though.

I can understand more or less everything he says. Most other people cant though.
I was quite sad to discover recently (when I went away for 2 days) that I didnt understand half of what he said when I spoke to DS on the phone (as its not in context because I'm not beside him seeing what he is pointing at etc I guess)
Most things are pronounced with a 'b'. For example drink is bink, swimming is bimmin, fish is bish, crawling is bawlin etc.

DS2 is called Teddy and I just cant distinguish between DS1 saying Teddy and Daddy so Ds1 has started calling him 'Edward Teddy' instead so I know who he means bless him.

DH mentioned to me the other day that he is slightly concerned about his speech and I brushed it off, but it has now made me think.

Does this all sound on target for his age or only slightly behind? Or should I be going to see the HV and mentioning it to her?

liath Wed 20-Aug-08 19:38:36

Dd is 3.5 and it's only in the last few months that I've stopped being her "interpreter". I spoke to her on the phone last weekend for the first time ever and was really taken aback at how bad her speech seemed compared to when I speak to her face to face. HTH

mankymummy Wed 20-Aug-08 19:40:46

My DS is very clear in his speech at 3 (almost). My friends' little one, (now 5) at 3 said almost nothing at all.

but she did catch up and now is "normal", i hate that word but...

in answer to your question, it may be a bit behind but honestly there is no guide and im sure he'll catch up.

if you are really worried, go see your gp...

one other thing... boys are meant to be less advanced than girls speechwise, apparently its because they spend so much time running around and being physical, so if your Ds is particularly physical then this is probably why he's not so interested in conversing.

2point4kids Wed 20-Aug-08 19:40:49

Yes I think that is what threw me too. I have never spoken to Ds on the phone before either.

It sounds like its quite normal the stage he is at then, thats good to know, thanks.

My friends with children of a similar age are all little chatterboxes that speak as well as me!! Its a bit disheartening sometimes!

2point4kids Wed 20-Aug-08 19:42:25

mm - yes, he is very very active so that could be agood explanation!

Do they do 3 year checks like they do 2 year checks? If so, I could perhaps mention it then...

jellyrolly Wed 20-Aug-08 19:42:54

I don't think you need to worry, he's only 2. Some 2 year olds aren't in the business of speaking at all. He's obviously bright as he can explain himself well. It sounds to me like your DH has maybe got you thinking, that's all. What does your HV say?

soph28 Wed 20-Aug-08 19:44:47

Sounds a bit behind to me but I know they are all different and it can just take time. ds who is almost 3.5 was an early talker and always very clear

dd1 who has just turned 2 didn't say a word till 20mths but can now say a lot. Most people can make out what she is saying but there are still times when even I am not sure what she means- tho sometimes that is because she can't explain herself fully.

What does your HV say?

Also, is he starting nursery soon? If so maybe they will let you know if they are concerned.

Miaou Wed 20-Aug-08 19:54:04

Well - my 3 year old ds does not speak clearly enough to be understood by anyone except close family. Not only could I not understand him on the phone, but the situation would never arise, he wouldn't speak into it anyway grin. Unlike your ds he can't speak in long sentences and often can't express himself.

He starts nursery on Friday but I'm not worried - he is a confident and outgoing child and I don't think it will take long for people to pick up on the way he speaks, plus he will probably improve fairly quickly.

If you are at all concerned then do speak to your HV smile

chipmunkswhereareyou Wed 20-Aug-08 20:13:06

ds at the same age as yours OP was quite unclear and missed off a lot of endings too. He has made huge improvements over the last three months and is much clearer - I've even been told his speech is quite ahead now. Possibly still worth talking to your hv for reassurance but just wanted to say it can all change quite quickly.

Manky - I'm going to turn your theory upside down as ds isn't at all the typical run around crazily type of boy yet he isn't that chatty either. Not all boys are like that!

HoneySocks Thu 21-Aug-08 21:12:39

Hi there
My DD1 is just 3 and sounds similar to your boy - clear enough to me but probably not to others abd on phone etc. She has never been fast with her speech and refused to copy words i say - my DD2 is now 1 and her speech is fab, she copies what i say and always tries to make a sound for a word.
my friend is a salt and basically said that prob all is ok as they are all different but to get her checked out as there can be long waiting lists - she is now on the waiting list, i dont think there is much of a problem to be honest!

beautifulgirls Thu 21-Aug-08 21:40:47

I would ask for a speech referral personally. If they find a problem then you will be in the system to get some help, and if they say it is all ok you will feel reassured. I have been down this route with DD#1 who has had a lot of speech issues. This time last year as we approaced her third birthday she said every word with a "d" at the start. No lip movements at all and lacking many sounds. We have worked hard and can see the improvements though we still have a way to go. My thinking is that I would prefer she can be understood if at all possible by the time she starts school in a year. Thankfully she has that extra year.
Good luck - hopefully you have not too much if anything to worry about.

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