Pediatrics | Developmental ? Behavioral Pediatrics Questions Speech problems

When should I worry about my child not talking?

My son is 15 months old and still hasn't said a word. He's barely even making sounds. Both me and my husband try our best to talk to him, but it doesn't seem to be working. When should we worry about my child not talking?

14 Answers

Some kids don't talk until they are a little bit older, but if he isn't making many sound, you might want to start the process of a setting up a speech-language evaluation and maybe getting a little therapy to jump start the speech development. Go to for more information and have your pediatrician help you get a referral for an evaluation.
By 15 months old he should be saying 3 to 10 words consistently coupled with gestures.
You should have your child evaluated now. There may be many reasons for the delay and a speech language pathologist would be able to determine the next steps. A hearing screening from an audiologist may also be warranted.
Has he had a recent hearing screen? Does he respond to environmental
sounds? If concern always a good idea to get a checkup with a Pediatrician
or a developmental specialist
I would advise seeking out a speech and language evaluation. Since he is only 15 months old, you can look up your local early intervention agency. They will evaluate his skills and determine if he is eligible for services. Or, you can find private speech language clinics in your area to complete the evaluation. Most children should have words by 15 months, however more concerning is your comment that he barely makes any sounds. I never advise families to wait and see. Instead, get the eval and have the peace of mind knowing he is developing language as expected or he is truly in need of services, which you can start quickly.
Some boys don’t start speaking some semblance of words until almost 2, but he should be pointing at things he wants by now. Then you should say that word. His hearing is good? If you have any doubts at all, a hearing test would be in order. If in a few more months he is still not speaking, get an evaluation from a speech pathologist.
Good luck.
A child starts babbling around 6 months age. If your child is not making any sounds and producing some early sounds - e.g., Baba, mama, dada, etc. - you should get the child evaluated by a speech language pathologist or contact your school district's Early Childhood Intervention Program. Early identification of speech language delay is very important.
Hello, thanks for reaching out to me with your concerns.

According to the language acquisition chart, expressively, at 7 months he should have started requesting objects using hands, from 9-11 months he should have had babbles, from 9m to 11 months he should have been vocalizing to toys and pets, at 12 months imitating and naming words via approximations, such as, dada, tete, mama, tata, ba for ball , and preferred objects. And by 15 months he should be using gestures plus word combination and exclamations, i.e., "uh-oh"

Please express your concerns to your pediatrician and request an early intervention Speech- Language evaluation. Many pediatricians opt to wait until the kid is older, but honestly, you will continue to be concern and the sooner he is given the help he needs the sooner he will meet his overall language milestones.
I recommend to go ahead and get a speech-language evaluation. Early intervention is key!
I think a referral would be good now for speech therapy based on the fact that he is not making many sounds or babbling. I also recommend using “baby” signs with him for “more”, “please”, “all done”, “drink” and “eat”.
I would recommend having your son receive a speech-language evaluation. Children should say 1-word by the time they are 1 and then by the time they are 2 they should have at least 60 words in their vocabulary as well as stringing 2-words together.
Every child develops different BUT by 15 months, I expect to hear about 10 different words from children. I would make sure he gets a hearing test immediately to make certain he does not have a hearing loss. So first stop is to consult a pediatric audiologist. Next, have him evaluated by a speech language pathologist.
The first thing you should do is have his hearing tested. Even if he is responding to sounds in the environment, he could still have a hearing loss that would affect his speech production. By 12 months, most children are babbling and have speech production that sounds like adult speech even if it isn't understood. Usually, they will have a few words by this age that they use consistently to name familiar objects or people. For example, "daw" for dog, or "ba" for bottle, etc. By 2 years of age, a child should be putting 2 words together and you should understand between 50%-75% of their speech. If your child's hearing is not impaired, you should consider having him tested if he is not speaking at all by 2 years of age. There are other factors to consider as well, but those can be addressed by a qualified speech-language pathologist. Your pediatrician can make a referral for you.
Typically, children should be using single words around 12 months of age. I would seek out a speech and language evaluation.

Ali Matisse, MS CCC-SLP