Speech therapy is not helping my toddler, what should I do?

My son is 31 months old and doesnt say or understand any words. He's been with early intervention and a speech therapist, and it didnt seem to help at all, EI came to our house and they just sit and play with him on the floor and speech therapy was the exact same thing. Both showed no improvement at all and we kept spending money for these visits which added up so we stopped. I'm really at a lost and dont know who to turn to, can anyone give some advice?


I'm no expert but i would suggest you seek a consultation about autism. Some autistic children are non-verbal.


You are trying to treat the wrong thing. Your child has autism

Jimmy C

Apart from all the expert evaluations etc mentioned here, as somebody who is not medically trained but knows something about children, I suggest singing. Sing nursery rhymes and see if you can get him to join in. Singing uses other parts of the brain as well as the speech part, so that may help.


If you stopped the therapy then of course it's not working, because you didn't give it much of a chance. The son of a friend of mine was a little speech delayed because chronic ear infections affected his hearing (he was treated and hears fine now), and at almost 5 years old he's still taking special classes for speech therapy. He started 2 years ago. He's fully verbal now and will likely be able to stop the classes when he starts Kindergarten, but the improvement didn't happen overnight.


How many times has he had the therapy? If you're basing this on a handful of visits, you're jumping the gun by a lot.

Suzy Q

Speech therapy needs to be tailored to the problem. Have you had your son evaluated? Your pediatrician should be able to refer you. Usually the first step is to get his hearing tested, then they should check things like his ability to understand language, his non-verbal intelligence, the way he interacts with people etc. Just playing with your child on the floor may seem like nothing, but can be incredibly valuable for non-verbal children if the speech therapist uses the opportunity to offer language the right way, even if it takes long to see results. Playing is an excellent way to keep a child engaged. Two things I can recommend looking into are baby sign language (not just for babies) and the Hanen Centre. Their book It Takes Two To Talk is very useful even if you don't take the classes.