Home > Science > My Five-Year-Old Child Does Not Talk … Will He Ever?

My Five-Year-Old Child Does Not Talk … Will He Ever?

This guest post is  by Connie Kasari, Ph.D., a Professor of Education and Psychiatry and the Center for Autism Research at UCLA.

This is the question and the worry for a quarter to about half of all parents of children with autism.  Research studies tell us that children who can talk by the time they turn five years old have better outcomes.  But is this age marker meaningful, and what does it mean exactly?

The extraordinary success of early intervention programs has been shrinking the numbers of children who remain nonverbal.  Still many children develop slowly, becoming late speakers if at all.   What do we know that helps these children?

Late speaking children were the subject of a recent review paper, which was selected as one of Autism Speaks’ Top 10 Scientific Achievements in 2009 (Pickett, Pullara, O’Grady & Gordon, 2009).  The authors found 64 studies involving 167 children who learned to speak after age five.  Several important observations were noted.  First, the authors found that while most children who learned to speak were between five and seven years some children learned to speak for the first time at age 13 years!  The majority of children learned single words, but some were able to speak in sentences.  Finally, the numbers they report are probably an underestimate of actual cases since researchers often exclude children who are nonverbal, or under-report late speaking children.  Therefore, it may be harder to learn to speak after age five, but it is clearly not impossible.

What types of interventions are helping children to speak? Several approaches look promising.  Both behavioral interventions and ones using augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) seem to work.  AAC approaches (examples include PECS, sign language and speech generating devices) do not seem to inhibit the development of spoken language (Schlosser & Wendt, 2008); however, for many children the use of AAC allows them to become communicators without reliance on spoken language.  Thus, AAC interventions need to be adopted more often and studied.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the most common approach to teaching children with autism; however, the results of intensive training have not always improved spoken language.  A promising hybrid behavioral and developmental intervention focuses on ‘joint attention’, nonverbal gestures that develop before children learn to speak with words, and involve the sharing of attention between a person and an object or event.  Preschool aged children who received a joint attention intervention made greater language gains than children receiving traditional applied behavior analysis interventions (Kasari et al, 2008) but it is not clear if similar interventions will work with older children.

At UCLA we are beginning to test out whether a joint attention intervention will be effective for children who are nonverbal and older than five years. The study is an Autism Speaks funded High Risk, High Impact study for Characterizing Cognition in Nonverbal Individuals with Autism (CCNIA).  This multi-site study involves researchers from UCLA, (Connie Kasari) Kennedy Kreiger Institute (Rebecca Landa) and Vanderbilt University (Ann Kaiser).  We are comparing our joint attention intervention with a focus on spoken language (using Enhanced Milieu Training; Kaiser, Hancock & Nietfeld, 2000) to an intervention involving the use of a speech -generating device.  A unique aspect of this study is the use of an alternating treatment design, recognizing that children may need a sequence of treatments for best response, or may respond better with one treatment versus another.  This design is called a SMART design (sequential multiple assignment randomization trial –SMART; Murphy, 2005).  Our goal is to determine the most effective intervention for increasing communication competence of children who are nonverbal, recognizing the variability in characteristics of these children, and the individualized nature of their response to treatment.

So the good news is that language development CAN progress after age five, but stay tuned for more research!

Kaiser, A. P., Hancock, T. B., & Nietfeld, J. P. (2000). The effects of parent-implemented enhanced milieu teaching on the social communication of children who have autism. Journal of Early Education and Development [Special Issue], 11(4), 423-446.

Kasari, C., Paparella, T, Freeman, S.N., & Jahromi, L (2008).  Language outcome in autism: Randomized comparison of joint attention and play interventions.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 125-137.

Murphy SA. (2005) An Experimental Design for the Development of Adaptive Treatment Strategies. Statistics in Medicine. 24:1455-1481.

Pickett, E., Pullara, O, O’Grady, J., & Gordon, B. (2009).  Speech acquisition in older nonverbal individuals with autism: A review of features, methods and prognosis. Cognitive Behavior Neurology, 22 1-21.

Schlosser, RW, & Wendt O (2008).  Effects of augmentative and alternative communication intervention on speech production in children with autism: A systematic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology • Vol. 17 • 212–230.

  1. brooke wood
    May 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I have two non verbal autistic children….one is 6 and one is 4 1/2 so this news is very exciting to me. I am still wondering and hoping that my precious son and daughter will be able to tell me they love me someday.

    • nilema
      November 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      believe in god and give them black seed oil evryday by the will of god they mite never give up hope

    • February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I cant imagine having two that are autistic. My husband and I have a son who is non-verbal autistic. He is 51/2.

  2. Maria
    May 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I have a non verbal daughter who is 3. This is very promising and I am looking forward to the day she can speak.

    • Judy
      September 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Maria,
      Just a note of encouragement, muy little guy started speaking right after 3yrs old. God will make a way, hang in there!

      • Valerie Abbo
        November 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm

        Hi Judy,
        Was your son just speech delayed or does he have autism? Thanks!

  3. Andrea Pianga
    May 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I am so thrilled to read about this research. I am the grandmother to two boy’s 6 and 4 who are autistic and do not speak. We all know what they want and we can communicate with them, but we can see the frustration especially the 6 year old trying to tell us something and can’t. I hold my breath every day in anticipation of what Austism Speaks has to say. I am so grateful for this website. I forward everything to my son that I read, as I know it makes him feel better to know there is help and hope. He and my daughter in law are wonderful parents. Thanks again…..Andrea

  4. Colleen
    May 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I am the mother of a 4 1/2 year old boy who is Autistic and has only, in the last six months starting talking and stringing more than two words together. What is interesting is that from the age of 9months to 2 1/2 years old I had employed the services of a childminder, with a very strong accent, to look after him. Although she hasn’t featured in his life for over two years (we now live in another country), his accent is identical to hers! This tells me that although he was completely non-verbal during all that time with her he was obviously still taking a lot in (listening to her words when she read him books etc). And to add to the article, I have a friend whose son was completely non-verbal up until the age of 11 years old, he is now 14 and his speech has come along in leaps and bounds! Never give up hope, we have no idea what goes on in their wonderful minds.

    • kal
      February 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      OK .. i need help with this .. i have a 5 year old boy i believe he is autistic ..he has a vocabulary of over 500 words but only uses one word sentences .. when pushed he will use 2 or 3 poor eye contact knows all the shapes letters numbers in 2 languages does not point .. does not know how to kiss can count to 10 he has done all of that since he was 4 .. he now mimics elaborate motions he can read all the letters and numbers in 2 languages but the main thing is he is overly independent , will not speak unless is is detrimental and only in one word sentences if possible he has had extensive speech therapy for the past 8 months at that time he would not verbalize anything except songs and such .. was bathroom trained at age 3 and a half not a single mistake since has anyone been in a similar scenario with his or her child oh .. he goes to school with a shadow teacher and is following instructions much better his social skills are almost non exestent

  5. Katie wright
    May 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    It concerns me that only psychiatrists/ psychologists are involved in this study. If good behavioral interventions was all speaking required thousands of these children would be speaking now.

    We need to take a step forward from all the early intervention studies. Clearly gaining speech is much more complex than EI. My sons school is filled with kids dx at 18months. Pecs, dynavox, everything has been tried.

    This isn’t working because asd is not just a speech or communication disorder. Many of our kids need new biomedical interventions, not more EI or behavioral programs.

  6. Lisa K
    May 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for this article. I am the mother of a 6 year old boy, who is non-verbal. We recently started using an ACC device. It is refreshing to know we’re not alone, researchers are hard at work on the topic and there is hope :)

  7. Tammie Baca
    May 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    My son was diagnosed when he was 3, he is now 5. This news is inspiring because this year he is finally talking a little bit and will repeat anything said to him!! He has great therapists but I wish we had ABA in this area because unfortunately he has behavior problems which I feel are holding him back a little in speaking. =-(

  8. Truly
    May 13, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    My daughter is 8 years old and did not speak until she was 5. Her first sentence was “Trick or Treat” and was on Halloween (What gave you the clue?).
    Angelia has come a long way since than and now speaks in sentences. She does attend speech therapy twice a week in addition to her daily sessions in school. There is hope so all of you that are going through this must be patient! Every child with Autism is different from the other. That is what they say and that is what I have seen! Our children are extra special and we are extra special people to have them as our children. PATIENCE!! That is the key!!

    • Ed
      April 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      “Our children are extra special and we are extra special people to have them as our children.”

      I like it :-)

    • munira
      April 7, 2011 at 6:15 am

      hey i lve that about special kids..yes they are indeed. i know a five year old girl who just says her name and no and sleep but no sentences though she has not been diagnosed with autism. but yes there is hope and this article is refreshing..thank you

  9. Lynda Cooley
    May 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    My son began talking after 5. I was told that if he didn’t talk by 5 he would never do so. Well, they were wrong. He is now 40 years old and speaks very well. He had speech therapy from the age of 18 months at a center for children with behavior disorders. This was in the days of Freudian psychology. I was told that I was a refrigerator mother who had subconsciously rejected my child enutero, so he had rejected the world. Trust your instincts. Don’t take everything the “experts” say as the gospel truth. Things are better now but they are still often wrong and sometimes very insensitive to the parents. I have been on panels with othet parents of children with various disabilities and its amazing how horrible some of their stories are about their dealing with “professionals”.. The so called experts are sometimes just plain cruel. Get in a support group with other parents. They will understand where you are coming from.

    • jana
      October 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      totally agree. Thank you.

    • Valerie Abbo
      November 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      Hi Lynda, was your son who is 40 years old now autistic or was just a late speaker? Thanks!

    • nagendra
      January 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      how can possible please tell me, for my doughter she is 4 years old she can not talk anything please advoice me

      • January 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

        hi nagendra,i can suggest using pictures and sing to her. play music for her and give her a small piano(keyboard). they have started a new program using pictures with game systems. good luck

  10. Darlene
    May 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I just visited this site today,and has a 6 year old grandson whom i worry about alot.It’s so hard when my grandson go to up to other kids wanting to play, or when he’s trying to talk,not being understood.It is good to read positive information,instead of just reading something that makes me feel worse.God is good and we all have each other.

  11. Denise Kauyedauty
    May 14, 2010 at 4:13 am

    My son is going to be 9 in June, and he was diagnosed later than most, when he was 5. He started Kindergarten later that summer when he was 6. He only spoke a handful of words then, and didn’t respond to much of anything we said to him.He’s been doing PECS and the speech machine at school. At home, he he gets constant ‘normal’ conversation from everybody, including his 4 older brothers and sisters, and Nani and Bampo who are here almost everyday.He can say alot more words now, and he fills in the rest of his sentences with his own languauge. He understands everything we say to him,is very responsive, and does what he’s told (most of the time!). It doesn’t make alot of sense that if he does understand…

  12. Denise Kauyedauty
    May 14, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Why can’t he speak, if he understands all the words? He even understands some basic Spanish, which is amazing in itself, because he remembers alot of the basic Spanish phrases that I taught all my kids when they were little. How can he understand 2 different languages, but have so much trouble trying to speak just one? He didn’t get early intervention, but he’s come so far-I have no doubt that somebody will find a breakthrough, eventually.I hope Kyle doesn’t have to wait for that. I used to wonder what his voice was gonna sound like,but now I know. He has a deeper voice than his 10 year old brother!Have faith, and enjoy the miracles that happen everyday !

  13. Denise Kauyedauty
    May 14, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Why can’t he speak, if he understands all the words? He even understands some basic Spanish, which is amazing in itself, because he remembers alot of the basic Spanish phrases that I taught all my kids when they were little. How can he understand 2 different languages, but have so much trouble trying to speak just one? He didn’t get early intervention, but he’s come so far-I have no doubt that somebody will find a breakthrough, eventually.I hope Kyle doesn’t have to wait for that. I used to wonder what his voice was gonna sound like,but now I know. He has a deeper voice than his 10 year old brother!

  14. Juan Navarro
    May 14, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Many a times we overlook neurological cause for the lack of speech. You may do ABA until the whenever but if the left side of the brain, which deals with language, is not making the necessary connections then speech will not develop. Is my believe that speech is more than just speech therapy, ABA, and others.

  15. Linda C
    May 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    It is heartbreaking to see my grandson trying and my daughter at her wits end (she is a school teacher)–seems like a place like Reno just doesn’t have the necessary programs. Help.

  16. Jen Cicalese
    May 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

    My daughter is 13 and she just started talking a few years ago, so don’t give up hope! She’s had many wonderful speech therapists, starting at age 2, who gradually coaxed sounds and then words out of her. She was diagnosed at 18 months with PDD-NOS, and VERBAL APRAXIA is how her therapist describes her speech issues(poor motor planning of her mouth basically). After Kate started talking some, her speech therapist realized that many of the sounds she was having problems with were high frequency sounds. So we had her hearing tested and she did have mild HIGH FREQUENCY HEARING LOSS, she now wears hearing aids and her speech has made great strides. She talks in wonderful sentence now and remembers words she heard years before. (We had had her hearing tested when she was 2 yr. old but no problem was found at that time.) We never really know what our kids are going to accomplish, so my philosophy is relish every small accomplishment.

    • Valerie Abbo
      November 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Jen,
      I’m curious to know does your daughter still have PDD-NOS and verbal Apraxia? Thanks!

  17. Richard H.
    May 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I have two autistic children, a girl who is 7, and a boy who is 3. My daughter remained non-verbal until she was 5, but slowly began dropping words here and there. Then suddenly one day it ceased to be a challenge to get her to talk, and more a challenge to get her to stop talking long enough to eat. It seemed literally to be almost over-night. She still has some difficulties, but she works with a speech therapist and is making improvement. When she gets excited she’ll begin talking so fast that she’ll stop talking and start humming instead, at which point we tell her to slow down and she’s normally fine afterwards. Our son, who is 3, while he’s not totally non-verbal, his style is a bit different. His personal vocabulary that he’ll use on his own is relatively limited. His mimic skills however are amazing. He can literally repeat anything you say to him, just don’t expect him to say it 2 minutes later. So every new word he says on his own is a praise worthy achievement. It was a great celebration when I stopped being Mom and got to be Dad finally. Both children attended or are still attending the Stride Learning Center in Wyoming, and I honestly believe my children have gotten to where they are because of the early intervention program Stride has. But one thing I have noticed, especially having two autistic children living together, they seem to learn from each other more than anything or anyone else. Most of my sons vocabulary, he’s picked up from his sister. They have a saying, “the blind leading the blind” perhaps the best course of action is to learn from someone who is walking in your shoes? Who knows. We can study and learn hundreds of things from books and from watching, but who truly understands someone with autism, better, than someone who is autistic?

  18. June 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

    My son is 6 yrs old and has just started repeating words after me. I have no douts about him talking very well soon.

  19. Leesa
    July 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Lisa Bracamontes :
    Thank you, Lynda for your comments on this website. I strongly agree with what you say and how insensitive these “professionals” can be. Just had a horrible experience recently and I too, was told my son would never talk and he is only 2 years old. They wanted to throw him under the bus so quickly. Of course, I have not and will not give up and now that he has been enrolled in preschool, he is gabbing all around the house and beyond! He is picking up his speech so quickly and I am so happy with his progress in all areas that the “professionals” said he needed help. Although I may not be a “professional” in their area of so-called expertise I am certainly a professional mother when it comes to my children. So, I agree the “experts” don’t always speak the gospel truth. Thank you.

  20. Laura
    September 9, 2010 at 1:08 am

    My little boy turned 7 years old yesterday. He had 30 words as a toddler and lost them at 16 mos. The loss of words started after his 12 mos MMR and a flu shot he got at 14 mos. I just am reading all your comments in hope of finding out how many children talk later like hopefully my son will. He tries to talk, but he just can’t get the word out properly. However, he can make gutteral sounds from his throat and follow the melodies perfectly with music on his DVD’s. Any comments or anyone out there like my son? Looking for inspiration and hope. Feeling very down lately about his lack speech. Thank you.

  21. Shannon
    October 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Laura,
    My little girl is 5 1/2. Non-Verbal. But, understands almost everything! It is so easy to get to (feeling down). Today at school she said two words. And just this evening, while I was on this web site, she said two more words. There is probably not a day that goes by, that I don’t cry and pray for her. But I dry my eyes, and get over it. Because I’m her Mom and I have to keep moving on for her.

  22. Cody
    November 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I have a 6 year old autistic child.He is one of the sweetest kid in the world.I am a single father just trying to get him help talking.I have him week to week but he needs to be with me to get the help.I pray everyday that he will speak but i am kinda lost on what to do to get help.He goes to school and he does pretty good.He doesnt get much help on the speech therapy.He makes noises but no words he use to talk when he was 2 but something happened and he just stopped talking.He use to say daddy,outside,today and some other things.

    • Anthony
      November 22, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Hey Cody, My son is 6 years old also and we are also working hard on his speech. Do you have health insurance? If so, you might want to look up some speach therapists. Insurers can no longer refuse to cover pre-existing conditions. I have united healthcare and was looking up a specialist for an unrelated issue and came across speech therapists. I contacted them over a year ago and the insurer rejected the initial claims. Now they have to cover it and so he is getting 2 half hours per week. Also check with his school. We need to push and get as much as we can for them now. Hang in there bro!

  23. sal
    November 27, 2010 at 4:02 am

    i have a 6 year old son with a development delay. he cant walk or talk yet, he makes lots of noises but no words yet :'( can any1 help???? or advise me what else i can do to help if so please email me craddocksally@yahoo.com, i really need advise, help and more idea’s i just wanna hear my son say he loves me 1 day

    • November 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      does he try to stand? does he make any type of sounds.my daughter is 22 now. she was so severe i never thought i would here her say anything. she babbles and is now trying to put sounds together so that i do understand sometimes. at sixteen she was still just starting to push a button at school for cause and effect. i pulled her out for other reasons. i just kept talking to her and i keep trying to walk her everyday a little or they will loose muscle strength to walk. she has flat feet that the doctors never caught because her being non-verbal. she hums i love you and that’s when my heart sings and the tears fly. but every little thing is a big step. she now looks right at me and eats everything. she has grown with love and perseverance. when she banged her head on the wall was cause we didn’t understand her. she is one of my miracles. i also have a brain injured child that has showed me much strength in his determination. it’s amazing what we can get through. to you and all here go to the beware for parents by tim in autism speaks. has great sayings for families and friends and strangers. just believe and read my other posts on here. Be Aware – For Families and Friends
      by TIM on APRIL 2, 2010
      [This is Part II of today’s three-part series, along with Be Aware – For Parents and Be Aware – For Everyone, for World Autism Awareness Day.]

    • nagendra
      January 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Hi my friend

      I have read your ploblem for your son so
      now what is condition i want to knwon?
      Because my doughter is 4 years old she can’t eat and, talk any words, but she can understand all thing, and ago 6 month she is starts walking
      so please tell me what i do? May be your son is now good.
      so i request to you please advoice me.

  24. March 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

    pls i need urgent help.My son will turn 5 years on 14th-May-2011 and still cant talk.Iam resident in Accra Ghana

  25. Leslie Clark
    March 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Just stumbled across this article actually looking for stories of older autistic children who start speaking and wanted to put a note for any future parents reading this. My son is 9 years old, he has never said a single word outside of babbling as an infant that eventually disappeared. A week ago I decided that since his communication device was broke and we were waiting for a replacement, I would try some verbal speech. He is picking it up – fast. It is hoarse, distorted, and broken, but you can understand most of it. And he is communicating unprompted, something he has never done even with his communication device. He responds to questions and says hello when he meets people. I think we have a real shot of basic verbal speech. It’s never too late.

    • January 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

      I wanted to post an update about my son that I mentioned back in March. I spent a good portion of the summer working with him on individual phonics sounds and blending. His verbal speech is coming along slowly, but he has about two dozen words that he says clearly enough to be understood, and he tries to say a lot more but unfortunately it is so distorted only his dad and I can really make it out. The school hasn’t shown an interest in developing his speech (they have a hard time understanding him and really don’t have qualified speech pathologists to work with him) so he still uses his iPod at school as an augmentative device but we use only verbal speech at home – he LOVES to talk to us! I am hoping to gather some funds this summer and hire a true professional to help his progress.

      • January 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm

        leslie,every little progress is a big step. some autistic people change. try to look into a.i.t. dr. rimland has been getting progress with speaking in autistic and others who don’t speak. have hearing tests done and you would be amazed about the hearing of your autistic child. they hear more than we think. they just cannot process it. there are grants for this process of using music to change the sound in ones ears to learn to process words.good luck and read my other posts

  26. April 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I encourage you to visit http://www.globalaugmentative.com. Great resource for parents to learn more about augmentative and alternative communication and educational apps for autism.

  27. samson
    April 29, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I have 4 & 1/2 years old he maeks a lots of words but never speak a single word yet he talks sometime after a wille disapears i don’t know what i have to do i’m really hopping God help all this kids one day i love my child more than anything in this world. many people stearing at my son because he look like normal and older people expect him to act as his age i’m exuseted using puplic transport,church,widding and so on i wish one day to see my son caling me dady

  28. Bairavi
    May 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I was feeling depressed wondering whether my child will ever speak. I was googling and came across this site. Its like God answered my prayer telling me to hang on and not lose hope.

    • Chandra Reed
      October 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

      I feel the same way

  29. ehizogie asemota
    May 22, 2011 at 5:06 am

    every situation thank GOD pls advise where l can get a speech therapy who
    can handle a child of 5years who cannot talk clearly

  30. ehizogie asemota
    May 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

    every situation thank GOD pls advise where l can get a speech therapy who
    can handle a child of 5years who cannot talk clearly .l am in lagos/nigeria

  31. mother on a mission
    June 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Hello everybody! It was a true blessing to stumble across this website.I have a 4yr old daughter and she isn’t able to fully speak/make a complete sentence yet.I was told by a professional that my sweet blessing from God lacks intelligence and my jaw just dropped.I cried because I couldn’t understand how a human being could say something so cruel.My daughter is able to recite her abcs,count up to 20,has a joy for books and the list goes on.My daughter also goes to school 7 days a week for 8hrs and speech/ot once a week.It’s a blessing to have her and I will always go to bat for her to get her the things that she needs. I know that she and God alone will decide when she will speak and make sentences. I never knew that children couldn’t just grow and be themselves and do what God intended for them to do.Everyday,she makes attempts at using her words and adding new words.Thank all of you for sharing your stories! It really makes me feel better to know that I’m not by myself.Peace and Blessings to all

    Mother on a Mission

    • Valerie Abbo
      November 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      Hi mother on a mission, :)

      I’m so sorry that you had to go through that horrible experience. How is your daughter doing now? What is she diagnosed with, if any? Thanks!


  32. mother on a mission
    June 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    mother on a mission :Hello everybody! It was a true blessing to stumble across this website.I have a 4yr old daughter and she isn’t able to fully speak/make a complete sentence yet.I was told by a professional that my sweet blessing from God lacks intelligence and my jaw just dropped.I cried because I couldn’t understand how a human being could say something so cruel.My daughter is able to recite her abcs,count up to 20,has a joy for books and the list goes on.My daughter also goes to school 6 days a week for 8hrs and speech/ot once a week.It’s a blessing to have her and I will always go to bat for her to get her the things that she needs. I know that she and God alone will decide when she will speak and make sentences. I never knew that children couldn’t just grow and be themselves and do what God intended for them to do.Everyday,she makes attempts at using her words and adding new words.Thank all of you for sharing your stories! It really makes me feel better to know that I’m not by myself.Peace and Blessings to all
    Sincerely,Mother on a Mission

  33. mother on a mission
    June 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    mother on a mission :Hello everybody! It was a true blessing to stumble across this website.I have a 4yr old daughter and she isn’t able to fully speak/make a complete sentence yet.I was told by a professional that my sweet blessing from God lacks intelligence and my jaw just dropped.I cried because I couldn’t understand how a human being could say something so cruel.My daughter is able to recite her abcs,count up to 20,has a joy for books and the list goes on.My daughter also goes to school 5 days a week for 8hrs and speech/ot once a week.It’s a blessing to have her and I will always go to bat for her to get her the things that she needs. I know that she and God alone will decide when she will speak and make sentences. I never knew that children couldn’t just grow and be themselves and do what God intended for them to do.Everyday,she makes attempts at using her words and adding new words.Thank all of you for sharing your stories! It really makes me feel better to know that I’m not by myself.Peace and Blessings to all
    Sincerely,Mother on a Mission

    I’m sorry! It’s soo………….late and I can’t get my days right(having a brain fart)

  34. Jeanette
    July 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

    TO laura .
    I have a daughter who spoke at 12months and stoped when she was 2. she was diagnosed with Autisn at age 2 . She is very smart. She knows how to work the computer and go online to play dora games and watch videos she repeats everything lately and responds yes. Or no she is turning 6 soon and she hasn’t spoken a complete sentence yet . she has behaving problems and at times she gets frustrated when we dnt understand what she is saying :( I love her so much and I hope one day she can tell me she loves and really truly understand she is a gift from god that I will always love forever and ever ..

  35. Marie
    August 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I just needed to write somewhere that my son has autism and i am so sad. I have been a mess for the last year and i just cant stop being upset about it. I seem to feel even worse now that I found out that me taking Zoloft while I was pregnant might have caused it. I dont know what to do. Thank you

    • Rebekah Helton
      August 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      HI- “Marie” I 2 took Zoloft while pregnant and I wonder if that is why my boy is also autistic- he hasnt been diagnosed yet but I know in my heart that he is. He was 2 in May and he doesnt communicate or speak. However. his father’s brother also has a severely autistic son- I believe it may be genetics

    • SLindholm
      September 17, 2011 at 12:16 am

      The best advice I have ever been given, since the day my son was diagnosed, was to realize he or she has not changed by the diagnosis. Your child is still the same loveable, wonderful individual he or she has always been in your eyes and in the eyes of many others. My son was diagnosed eight years ago, and I wouldn’t change him for the world, even if medication could change him around completely. He is a much happier individual than my normally developing daughter who feels the constraints of the drama of growing up around manipulative environments. This is not to say that he doesn’t get mad and have moments of sudden crying (or laughing), but that in the overall, he seems content with most of his life and surroundings.

  36. rachel
    August 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

    me too, I cant help it, I just need to say, to scream out that it is just so confusing and sad for me at the moment, all the comments however are wonderful and give me hope.

    • SLindholm
      September 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

      If you haven’t been looking, I want you to see the same response I sent to Rebekah. Take a look and take it to heart. The man who gave me the advice is now my husband and loves my child as much as I do.

  37. Bharat Kumar
    August 25, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Hi, I have a daughter exactly 2 years and 3 months old, she loves watching television, takes partial commands, but does not speaks a single sentence or word. what should I do.

    • SLindholm
      September 17, 2011 at 12:11 am

      It can never hurt to ask you pediatrician to set up an evaluation. In the meantime, pay attention to behaviors (likes/dislikes, reactions to stimuli both preferred and repulsed). As a parent, it is sometimes necessary to have another set of eyes and another impression. This could be nothing or something. Do not stress too much. That is my best advice. If you are concerned, definitely take the initiative to have a second opinion. It can’t hurt your child.

  38. August 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Hi, everyone. My daughter didn’t start speaking until she was 7. She actually recited a poem for her class for the first time last spring. I know some of you who just started down this road are sad and worried to death, but it gets better. It truly does. We started my daughter on a
    Tango machine and it has helped her as she tries to get better and better with her speech. She is now singing songs and doing poems with me, reading 100s of flash cards, etc… Don’t give up hope, people! However, the right speech therapist to help them work on each individual sound can be very important. I couldn’t get there by myself. Bug your school district, bug your insurance company, bug whoever you need to to get your kid enough speech therapy.

    • October 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      so good to hear that she is speaking. yes you are right. keep fighting for what your child needs. i like most was afraid to push. I was scolded and was not allowed to just walk in my child’s class unannounced after a state educational personnel noticed my child was not getting her therapy but consultation. the state worker found it but i was the one they didn’t want to see what they were doing. it’s amazing what good and bad i’ve seen from professionals. the best help i had was in florida. they cared to get her the help she needed but was too late at 16 for her somewhat. she has done better in the last 6 years at home for some reason. so much more for autism now than it was back then.

  39. LaShawn
    September 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I have a son that is 4 and autistic, he is my joy and i learn so much from him. In the begining it was very hard for me, but I thank GOD everyday that he gave me my son. To all the parents that are in the emotional stage, gather the strength and your faith. My advice is keep teaching and pushing your child to do more and do better because the learning starts with you.

  40. Michele Henderson
    September 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I was told when my son was three he would stop developing at any time. Well he is now 30 and I am still waiting for him to stop developing. He taught himself to read by following along in books with auditory tapes or cds after he gradusted from high school. He has many skills and humor is where he shines. We were told not to expect anything from him but he gave his sister the gift of being around all these people with diabilties and now she works for our local ARC with teens and families. She has embraced a world where everyone is different. Never believe in medicine only as it is only an educated guess. Nothing is impossible. My son also had langauge problems and we pushed and fought to try all means of communcation from augmentive devices to sign language but he has made his own words at times but his speech continues to grow. Just use every day as a teaching moment as you never know when it will click for these kids.

  41. Mallory Hill
    September 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    My grandson will be nine year old in Feb. and he is non-verbal, very strong and a big boy. He has disciplinary problems and I’m just so sad that I have no ideal what to do for him. He goes to a private school and I know they do a great job with him. God looks over my big boy but I so want him to know that he is loved unconditionally and yes as so many of you have mentioned we so want him to talk to us so that we can understand his needs and wants. My son and his wife have divorced and this also puts a huge strain on the problem as this child has no discipline at one house and to much at the other. Please pray for all of us.

    • October 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      my god rain down on your grandson and give him the tools he needs to be a man one day and bless the people around him so they can help in any and all ways that will see this through..amen

  42. Mallory Hill
    September 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I have three other grandchildren and they also embrace the love and caring of children with autism and other special needs children. God knows exactly what we need in life and life is for sure a lesson to be learned throughout our lives.

  43. SLindholm
    September 17, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I am the parent of an autistic pre-adolescent boy and a normally developing girl, and as I see him grow and use any other avenue to express himself rather than self-initiated (non-echoic) speech to express himself, I have found that paying attention to the very choices of echoic speech to illustrate his feelings at the moment of expression. By watching the movies of choice with him, I have learned the complexity presented and begun to realize the reality of emotions he does know how to reveal. Though I would love for him to have a two way conversation with me. I have praised the every expression he has given me, which, I feel, has opened the door to his expressions of hunger, need to use the restroom (for the last year), and desire for his preferred items and shows.

    What I am trying to say is, though they may not express things the way we want or expect people to do, they express their needs and embracing their every attempt can only open more windows and expand their desire to respond more often and in more ways.

  44. Theresa
    September 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    This may really sound strange but I have helped children who have had Autism in a very unusual way. The first was my Nephew. I was watching him and decided to try playing basketball with him. It was a one on one game and we took turns. I would say your turn, now my turn etc. all of a sudden he said “your turn”. He has talked ever since.
    Another time I was at a picnic with the family. One of my Nieces sons was also autistic. He had a ball and was playing with it so I decided to try the one on one with the ball with him. All of a sudden he yelled to his Mom and said “Mom ball.” I am not a doctor. I just love children. I don’t know why it worked maybe it is the fun of the game and a need to communicate. I hope you can find a breakthrough for your children.

    • Coleen Fernandes
      October 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      I love this! You found what I like to call ” the Joy Light”. When we are very happy, we like to share . It is human nature. We need to spill over with joy for these children and help them find that. Nice work with the ball!

  45. Mallory Hill
    September 24, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I wish you would come play ball with my non-verbal grandson (8). God bless you and he very well may be using you to help these special children. Thank you for sharing.

  46. irene
    October 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    what I find the hardest is not knowing the outcome. My son just turned 4 and has made very little progress since his diagnosis at age 2 1/2. He does say a few words here and there but only when he is requesting something. Not too much spontaneously. So, I wonder if he is going to just plateau or will he start speaking in sentences soon. Not knowing is the hardest. I find it difficult also because he has a twin (typical) and another older brother who he has no interest in playing with. His twin has said he wishes he would talk to him and it just breaks my heart. I am constantly crying and thinking about how life would be better without him and just having my two “normal” sons. I know that sounds horrible, but I find this so hard. Some people say God gives you what you can handle, well I find that hard to believe because I am not the type that can handle this kind of situtation. I keep hoping that he will talk soon. It is making me miserable. I do love him and give him so many hugs and affection and tell him I love him, but I still find that acceptance is difficult.

    • Coleen Fernandes
      October 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

      I know it seems so difficult at times and not knowing outcome in life is something we deal with everyday. He can feel your frustration I am sure. The word, “Special” runs deeper than we know. His frustrations may run as deep as yours and might feel all your frustrations. I hope your family has a support system. You say he speaks when requesting things, Try having him help you get that thing. Be very expressive and non verbal with your gestures at times. Crawl under furniture and roll around the house. Laugh when you least feel like it and he will follow you. Get the whole family involved. Let him find his Joy light and yours will shine too. Good luck.

      • October 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        so well said. he needs to know that you care and understand. it is difficult but once i understood why my daughter was hitting her head on the wall i was able to help her. it was her frustration of not being able to say help me i need something. i have grown very much with my daughter. no body taught me to read her emotions. i had to myself. thank you.

  47. Mallory Hill
    October 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Trust me I know what you are feeling. My grandson is eight and is totally non-verbal. Never plays with toys not anything like my three other grandchildren. BUT, God never does anything to hurt us but this may be happening to all of us to teach us something very valuable in our lives. Anything that comes our way is always a learning lesson. This life here is but a vapor, eternity is forever and all of these precious babies with be perfect. You see they are just fine in their world (because God is with them always) it is us that has a problem in their world. You will be in my prayers and just keep trusting and he will never give you more than you can bare!

    • bridget
      October 11, 2011 at 9:49 am

      my brother is nine years old and does not speak at all just makes noises hes perfectly healthy otherwise but he has not been diagnosed with anything only doctors saying that he has some sort of autism but i think thats untrue as he is quite and relaxed and understands everything he just doesnt talk . why can nobody give a straight answer he also does not play with toys or anything just wanders around doing nothing and never spoke but will he ever speak?

      • nagendra
        January 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

        hi friend

        how is your brother please tell me
        my doughetr 4 years she can’t talk but she can understand all so plese give me good advoice my email- ngndryadav@yahoo.co.in

  48. Sheila
    October 18, 2011 at 4:38 am

    My son just turned 6 this month, and is non-verbal – he has let a word slip here and there, but they are never repeated and very rare. He was diagnosed at age 2 and was in a birth to 3 program and has been receiving in home intnsive ABA therapy since age 4. He also attended early chilhood from age 3 until last year when he was in 4 year old kindergarten… and this year he is in kindergarten, but he has an aid and special education teachers that assist him throughout his day. He also gets speech and occupational therapy at school, though not a lot. He has a Go Talk and a Dynavox – both are communication devices – and with those he is able to communicate – but we are always hoping he will just start talking one of these days. I have dreams about that, but I have been having hem off and on for years, so I doubt it is a sign or anything. My husband, more than I, thinks our son would be fine – if he just started talking and communicating – but I keep reminding him that our son IS communicating, and even if he never speaks, he will still grow and learn, and continue to communicate in the means he is using now – and he will just get better and more advanced with his devices, as he is a very technically-minded bright kiddo!! My concerns lie more with his safety, his happiness, and his behaviors/obedience that can be very trying on a person… and his sleep issues, which effect everyone in the house. I love him like crazy – they really are intricate puzzles – these kids of ours – so bright and advanced in some areas and so developementally behind in others… but it’s the whole package that makes the person – and my son is an awsome person!!

  49. malcolm
    October 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    man i am really glad i stumbled on this page. My daughter is six and non verbal and I am about to lose my mind in worry for her. She is the most important thing in my life and I feel like she is ready but pecs and sign are not working> we are using expensive dan doctors now and she receives b12 shots. i am am educator and it drives me crazy that i can t do more for her. We have to conquer this speech thing , I feel for all the parents going thru it

  50. Radhi Alqobaiti
    October 20, 2011 at 7:01 am

    My son is 9 years old, he was diagnosed as autistic and hyper active at age of 4 and 1/2 years old and He is a non verbal. At the age of 1 and 1/2 years old he start speeking a few works and after the age of 2 he stopped completely. At the moment his hyper activity is reduced but stil non verbal.

  51. October 21, 2011 at 5:48 am

    my regards to all of you. this is a great question. i have a 21 year old autistic daughter. she does not speak but does babble. i also was called a refrigerator mom. was told to put her in a home so that i could have a productive life with my other children. i w as told that she would probably never do much of anything. was asked to put a tube in her so that she would get her nutrition. was told i needed to put her on medication to control her. was told she would probably never walk. was told she was colic when she was screaming. she had seizures.she has quit being so abusive to herself without medication.she eats everything she can without a tube. her feet are so flat without arches that is stopping her from walking as i had figured out for myself after being told just take her home “she has an imbalance problem”.i have read and watched videos to understand her myself.i used color photos of her favorite food to help her show what she wants, but the teachers wouldn’t do it. at sixteen she only looked at papers and magazines. could only push a button to make a dog bark. when she had constipation problems i found a cure for her that the doctors was surprised of the results. they asked “where did you find that”? my daughter also would not use a blanket now can not do without them. she hated to wear shoes and socks but now will wear them. she does not feed herself because of the tactile problem.it was always tough to eat in a restraunt. she now will sit without a problem if it is not too loud. my daughter now hums barney’s i love you” to me to tell me she loves me. loves to sit by her dogs and just jibber. yes there is hope! i have cried many of tears my my girl. but i have learned so much in my journey. read “sounds of a miracle”. watch of sara rubin,grand templeton,and rain man. read a book about food and autism. look into A.I.T. auditory integration therapy. has been around for decades but the government hasn’t done enough research on it. i know a boy that had this done and now functions normally. us parents are the teachers that have to show the docs what we know.read on t.h.c. and autism. it has done wonders too in the medical field of autism. my daughter has taught me very much as well as my children have learned to understand autism and are somewhat grateful for having been given this to understand. i have three sons that have given her unconditional love and understanding. hope what i have given you may help you in many ways. we are the autism family!

  52. October 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I respect the familys decisions on the board here and each child is diffrent in many ways,we were offerd talk devices but i was against them for my own reasons people in my family were treated like they were special needs and we fought and argued and my brother was placed in a regular public school..now he is in college and has 5 children and no special needs nothing he is normal he was just being treated that way because of the way he looked(he had facial sugeries when he was a infant)and that made me belive not all proffesionals back know whats best. and some now. know please try a few methods before deciding,I have a 10 year old autistic son and he started talking then stopped then got thearapy,speach classes,and he now read lines for school plays and i broke down,your child will speak,help them learn sounds and dont quit.

  53. October 22, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Talking is overrated. I have problems because I never shut up.

    Your child may or may not speak, but is valid and meaningful regardless.

  54. Coleen Fernandes
    October 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I am so blessed with a four year old grandson with ‘SPD. He is using three and four words at a time now and when you have his attention, ‘by putting everything you are doing with him in Order, he is able to follow instruction both verbal and visual. He loves to talk and is Very Expressive. If I want his attention to share something with him I say it with great facial expressions and he looks deep into my eyes and responds with so much joy. I love when I see his learning & joy light come on. Thanks for the “Joint Attention” add. Non verbal gestures are wonderful tools for my grandson. News that there is hope for children with speaking issues is a real blessing. Thanks to all that research this area of special needs.

    He calls me ‘Baba’, I call him a Gift!

    • Valerie Abbo
      November 8, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Hi Coleen,
      Does your son have autism OR SPD? Thanks!

  55. mope
    October 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    My boy just turn 3 in september. He is non verbal and does not understand any words said to him, he is also not potty trained. he will pull me to the pantry whenever he is hungry.He will occasionally in 3 to 4 month say a new word once and when he knows that we’ve heard him,he wont say it again. we are american citizen but currently reside in Nigeria. I left U.S with him when he was 1 year old. I love him so much and i want to know how to help him.

    • fade
      December 28, 2011 at 12:58 am

      Mope hi, i am a single mum of a 4 year old autistic boy and we live in Lagos Nigeria, My son will be 4 in Jan and is almost potty trained. You could reach me on invictapr@gmail.com, there are things we can help each other wth.

  56. October 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    welcome to the group. what is nigeria giving him. do they have a different therapy then the u.s. autism is a very complex isolation of one’s mind and soul. as i have read a number of books. watched programs and videos. and a lot of absorbing of my daughter’s emotions. we all can learn from each other.

  57. lisa
    October 30, 2011 at 2:46 am

    My daughter is 29 months (diagnosed at 24 months) – and her language is improving by the day. She has speech therapy and occupational therapy 2x per week. We did the ABA orientation and may add that to the mix. She goes to day care 5 days a week (this is what helped the most). Her day care teachers told me last week (3 different teachers) that they cannot believe how many words she says now. (I hadn’t seen them in over a month as I was hospitalized for a month when I gave birth to our son Sept 26th). I was so happy to see her teachers also seeing progress. Her eye contact is great. She is more social. I am optimistic she will lead a somewhat normal life (whereas in the beginning I was so scared for her future). The biggest breakthrough was July 16th, when she gave me a hug. I never thought she would. Kisses came a few weeks later and she even says I love you now – tho I’m not sure if she means it (she says it over and over to our cat, BlackJack) – but it feels good to hear it come out of her mouth. So, don’t give up hope. Go to early intervention and get the therapy – all the therapy they will give you – and keep trying. We also got an iPad for our daughter – she loves it – and we think that has helped too…

    • Valerie Abbo
      November 8, 2011 at 12:28 am

      Hi Lisa,
      If your daughter was diagnosed at 24 months old and you have seen big improvement in her. Why does she still have the diagnosis for autism. Is she cured from autism or she never had it to begin with? Thanks!

      • Kara
        January 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Hi Valerie,
        No offense but there are no cures for autism – only improvements. My autistic daughter had limited communication at age 2 – mostly it was all echolalia (repeating mostly TV and books) but is now (at age 5) able to express emotions and needs/desires. In a lot of ways she now seems “normal” but still has autism and the echolalia is still present in addition to “normal” communication. I love her improvements but I know she will not ever be “cured.”
        I also have a son who a lot worse – he does not speak, he is 2 years old. I rid myself of a lot of parental stress once I stopped searching for a cure. That’s the best advice I can give to other parents.

  58. roxanna bledsoe
    November 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I would love for my 13 year old Son to talk..He makes noises at high pitch.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    My son is 4 years old says few words like mom,dad,good morning, thankyou and so much more.People call him weird but i know HE is going to be alright don’t loose hope be PATIENT.

  60. Tina Young
    November 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I Love all of the stories The ones that bring tears to my eyes are when people say they hope one day to hear those words I Love You me too My grandson is 3 Dec 27th diagnosed at 18 months My Daughter is a great Mother she was 18 yrs. when she had him and she fell in love with him as well as myself I look in his big Brown eyes and I know one day he will talk in sentences He says things in a very high pitch He even sings Twinkle Twinkle little Star in his language But I would love for him to look at me and say I Love You Grandma.I just wanted to say a little something cause all the stories touch me so much:)

  61. November 8, 2011 at 1:54 am

    i have been so blessed to read some of your stories. keep strong,enjoy the baby steps,be persistent, be loving and understanding,but also don’t forget the siblings and your spouse that need your love too. we all have our stresses in the autism family. men feel powerless to help and understand what is going on. there is a feeling of guilt and sadness with autism. i give my husband and all fathers a great appreciation for being there for their families. i am hoping more of you read about auditory integration therapy. it gives many a chance to speak and be therefore they can do other things. WE ARE THE AUTISM FAMILY.

  62. tariq aziz
    November 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    my son age is five . not speaking only some words speaking mama papa.milk no. my . his write hand and write leg is not properly working. some words writing .he is understand to my words that i asked hime give me a glass .he take the glass. shoes.please help me

    • November 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      your son sounds as if he has seizure activity or a tumor or has had a stroke! autism normally does not affect the physical side. it is a speech and socialization disability. i hope you get a doctor to look at him immediately. there is seizures in autistic children sometimes. you should get a MRI done.

  63. Tracy
    November 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    My step-daughter is 13 and can say the same few words over and over. Some words like “outside” we know she understands but she repeats some words like “you tired” and were wondering if she understands. The only help she gets is when she is in school. I came across this site researching for any kind of encouragement, hope and I think just knowing we are not alone. I will continue my search on what I can do to help her grow. I want all of those that post to know that reading your comments makes me feel like we are not alone in this. Thank You!

    • December 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      tracy, there are what we call repeater autistics. i had one that lived next door. sometimes instead of yes they repeat. make up a picture book for her of favorite foods,toys,activities and her daily routine like bath,sleep,brush teeth, comb hair. this might help. use orange for food pics, yellow background for words. light blue for bath and other soothing and relaxing things. if you read all my posts here you might find some useful information. i have had to become a teacher,therapist,nurse and most of all an understanding mom a of the difficulties we face everyday! good luck!

  64. shelly
    November 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I’m very thankful for the info I got, but my twin boys now 5 years old cannot speak. Is there any program etc for these kids?

  65. rona
    November 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    It is very comforting and encouraging to read these stories that there are other families sharing familiar situations. Please hang in there, as most of you mentioned God, yes those one set of footprints in the sand is He is carrying you and your children. I have a 4 year old grandson and he is non-verbal but he is so so SPECIAL to us. He is simply peaceful and his face is like a light bulb so bright that lights up the room and beautiful and his eyes are full of love and he gives the nicest hug cheek to cheek. I sing the song “You are amazing just the way you are and when you smile the whole world stop and stare for a while’cause you are a amazing” and he hugs me tighter. I am so glad I am able to express this to others experiencing this because you will understand the sentiments. This is my daughter’s son, I salute her because she does a wonderful job taking care of him and his 2 year old brother. Her husband moved out of their home 1 1/2 year ago. My grandson was diagnosed under the spectrum of autism.

  66. KAY
    November 19, 2011 at 4:37 am


    • rona
      November 20, 2011 at 10:17 am

      Hi Kay,

      You can contact your neighborhood childcare services and they should be able to guide you for early intervention, that would be a start or have your pediatrician give you some information on this subject. Good luck and much support.

  67. November 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    to all looking for help. reach out to your local special education in your area. look for doctors that are experienced in this. to all that want to look into different things for their children. A.I.T. is out there. some doctors can prescribe thc a form of marijuana for help in eating and calming their anxiety. saw on t.v. and have researched it. so much out there not being talked about. lady in california got results with marijuana when her child almost died from not wanting to eat. anti stress meds usually have adverse effects but none with this. lets speak out and get what we need for our children.there is hope and miracles happening out there. it’s amazing what you can google with autism. try it.

  68. Corbin'sMom
    November 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I have a nine year old son who has autism. He was diagnosed only a couple years ago, although we have known since he was little. The docs originally just diagnosed him with global developmental delay and mental retardation. He is not retarded, he is very smart. I had to fight for the autism diagnosis. He is non-verbal and has never talked. He makes high pitched noises, throat noises, sounds like iyiyiyiyiyiyiyi like he is singing, humms, grunts and groans. Sometimes when I say “I love you,” it sounds like he hums “I love you,” if that makes sense. He uses an AAC device that he get on loan through his school, which just stopped working today. (yay.) But he doesn’t use it regularly, but he knows how to. He can push the buttons, “I,” “Want,” “a drink;” or, “I,” “Want,” “to eat,” or, “Go outside,” etc., but he usually won’t do it without prompting. He will bring me his cup or the jug of juice rather than bring his talker and say, “I want a drink,” but I just make him get it, or get it for him and tell him, “tell me what you want,” and then he will do it. He understands things quite well.
    We just recently bought him an iPad with hopes of it helping him talk…he can do the same things on it as he can on his talker, but he still doesn’t like to use it, just like his talker. He loves his iPad though, he plays games that teach him spelling and other things..I hope he will use it more to communicate and I really, really, hope he talks someday.

  69. mar
    November 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    my son is 3. i noticed by 2, only a handful words are said, but not sure if he’s connecting the dots. he understands what you ask or tell him, mostly and acts on them. he plays with different toys, plays with his little brother…he just does not “talk.” he won’t come up and say hi mama…or i want… instead, he uses gestures, my pointing with his arms. we have an appointment with a speech pathology. but, i have a feeling he also belongs in the autism category, somewhere. i’ve been worried, crying the last few days…anxious to find out what they can do…

    • December 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      sounds like he is autistic. just try to hang in there. it’s hard but now days there is a lot for autism.

  70. Terica
    November 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Hi,i’m a mom with 2 boys with autism,my 10 yr old is verbal but not my 5yr old ,shawn.not only non verbal,hes a picky REAL picky eater.i’m new to the site…#ilovemykids

    • December 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      a lot of autistic kids are picky eaters. the textures bother some. the color of the food can bother them. my daughter lived on pudding,oatmeal,yogurt and anything i could find to get her to eat that was soft. now she eats everything! she is 22 now. many years of concern of her health. one breaking point with her was trying mcdonalds fries with ketchup. just the taste got her going. then we tried salt and vinegar chips and now she would eat the whole bag if i let her. nobody could get her to eat anything. try making pictures of what he likes on construction paper. use a orange background for food. orange is a color that gives appetite. use yellow also for memory. use light blue for picture about sleeping and bath pics. i urge all to look into color therapy and making your own pictures from magazines or ads.i had to do my own research. if you look there is a book on autism and food textures and colors. if you read the sounds of a miracle, it will give you hope and understanding. watch video of i believe sara rubin. many positive things out there. good luck to you and all autism families.

  71. Ruchira
    November 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I’m a mother of a 5yr old daughter who speaks 20 to a dozen and a 34 months old son who doesn’t want to speak at all.He knows things and only will tell us in words.He goes for speech and occupational therapy.We are seeing a developmental pediatrician as well.Although I’m frustrated I’m still hopeful.

  72. December 19, 2011 at 2:12 am

    picture therapy!there is also a program on here to download pictures to a nintendo ds and other devices. like called tapit. google autism and picture apps maybe will work. we have to put out all and any information to help with our families. also a book called “a sound of a miracle”.

  73. mmlowe
    December 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    My formerly regressed speaker and ASD diagnosed kid did not speak for over a year, and had so many ASD habits. Speech therapy was helpful.
    We were not reticent to shop providers. We (family) looked at ourselves as her primary care resource. We researched different opinions, methods, studies. Attended classes with therapists, accepted lots of help, choose alternatives to standard protocols.
    We attacked her issues psychologically, and physiologically (drastically reducing the chemical footprint of life on her. She still has some issues, but is extremely high functioning, very talkative, and above average now on testing. Hang in there, THESE are OUR kids. This is like a war we MUST win………………

    • January 10, 2012 at 2:03 am

      you said it right. “These are OUR kids.” and it is a war that can be won, if we fight the battle together and help the younger generation of autistic people with new technologies that will last a lifetime not just for a minute. new research in the new year on environmental issues. new insurance laws for therapy and other needs of the autistic people. we have started a new way of looking at autism. g.p.s. anklets for autism. i-pads for autism. i am so excited! stand up and fight for all that we need to make life better for autistic people. thank you bob and susan wright. you have given us hope and a voice!

  74. January 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    is there any medication to help? my nephew is 5 now and still can’t talk only a cople of words . and when he does speak he repeats it over and over. i hope he gets better. please contact me at alisa-05@live.com

  75. January 16, 2012 at 6:55 am

    nilema :
    believe in god and give them black seed oil evryday by the will of god they mite never give up hope

  76. January 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I will keep on trying and hope one day my grand daughter can speak naturally.

  77. MERCHE
    January 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Mi hija empieza a decir alguna palabra ahora (4 años y medio). entiende todo. su diagnostico es el sindrome pheland, pero yo no se si es autismo. ella quiere jugar con todos los niños cuando va al parque y tambien acciona con los mayores. juega mucho con su hermano (13 años) y con papa y mama, hsta bromea. es muy cariñosa. ella come y duerme muy bien desde siempre. va a la escuela ordinaria y al centro de atencion temprana al logopeda y fisioterapeuta. la llevamos a todas partes, la encanta el burguer.
    yo (su mama), soy la que peor lleva las dificultades que nos encontramos, pero yo adoro a mi hija, es la niña más preciosa del mundooooooooooo

    • January 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      sing and play music that is not a lot of instruments in them. she may not be autistic but has a form of it.

  78. Jasmine
    January 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Help. I have a 5 year old son with Autism and he doesn’t speak a single word….. He was diganosed before he was 2 as he has many other fine and gross motor skill developmental delays. Early Intervention sessions and bio medical intervention doesn’t appear to have helped my son in the slightest. He can’t point, can’t wave but has good eye contact and appears to understand some simple commands which is good, but his concentration levels are non existant. He can’t sit still but is very loving and gentle in nature and has never been agressive or fustrated. We have NEVER had a tratrum from him ever. He doesn’t want anything enough to be made to work or learn for it – so getting him to learn or teach them anything new through his want for something is very difficult and impossible. I guess my main concern at the moment is speech – well complete lack of it. He has muttered dddddddd and that’s it. Its not a word just make ddddd sounds and has done this for years. There has been no improvements. There has been an odd miracle day (perhaps twice in the past 3 years that last only 20 minutes or so, that I have heard him copy a word that I have said – completely out of the blue, unless I imagine it?, but then its gone 20 minutes laters and he says nothing again for years.

    Any clue what triggers this and how I can make it happen on cue? Its out of the blue and it shocks me and I doubt myself that I actually heard him. He might do it a few times but then never says it again. Mind you its not clear and I could be just thinking he is but he isn’t as well? I have heard him say only “hello, but it sounds like dalllo” about 2 times in 5 years and “dey” for Mickey mouse” . He is totaly mute 100% of the day for years at a time.

    Is there anything at all, anything I am desperate that I could try (speech therapy isn’t working either as he won’t sit still, won’t listen, won’t make eye contact and can’t copy). We are desperate for speech and I feel like because he is 5 now it will NEVER happen and his future will only hold these occassion sounds that disappear after 20 minutes never to be uttered again. Does anyone else have a child like mine that just can’t talk or learn/copy at such an older age of 5 or over?. He isolates himself all the time much to my saddness. He just wants to be left alone which I am now pushing him outside his comfort zone in order to hopefully improve on his social skills. Its the speech though that I feel is the most important as he is about to start school. He isn’t toilet trained which is also another heartache, but please I would be very interested to hear from anyone with a child 5 years and over (not younger please) that have had this problem success or no success, I guess it would be nice to know I am not alone and how you cope with the lack of speech issue and if there is a possibility of speech coming at all?

    • tansy
      January 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      hi u need to have hope and change his routine like take him out to the park or something that help alot i have friend whos son its the same as yours hes six and she change his evry day routine like go to the park go to the store or church that helped her a lot he is going to school now and he say a few words i have mine he is three and that by changing the routine helped me a lot too he is very affective say like 4 0r 5 words but he does better with people and respond to simpple directions point at stuff and i live him to decided at some things he fells more free and i go eryday for a walk or to the park that have helped him a lot he is shy but i tried to be with him he decided to sttoped using dipers i just teach him how to sit and one day he just stared using it he stiil use at night or when we go out but just let him decide to fell a little bit free oo and try to him out when there are no children at the park for a few weeks and then u cam try to take him when there aree children good luck with ur son and God blees u and ur sone! NEVER LOOSE UR HOPE!

    • Suzanne L.
      January 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm


      If you read my earlier posts, you will know my son is twelve years old now and does speak some key essential words but is unable to converse back and forth despite prompting. Don’t give up on the work that is being done with your child. It was years before I saw any change in my son’s behavior, and I, too, questioned whether anything was changing. It seems to rely mostly on your child when the biggest steps will be seen, but it is extremely important to keep encouraging him. As for the potty training, my son wasn’t even close until he was ten years old and still has accidents nightly if I do not wake him up at least twice. I cannot say your child definitely will speak by any given age frame, yet I can say, from my experience, it seems to be on their terms, and we just need to keep helping them understand what is being asked of them and encouraging them to reply, even if they don’t.

    • jana
      January 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      hi Jasmine,
      my cousin didn’t say a word untill she was 7 years, and she is fine now
      also my husband’s cousin didn’t start talking untill 6 years and now she is very smart. so keep hope in GOD, and each person develope differently.

    • Natasha
      March 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Have you considered apraxia of speech? Few things you mentioned seems to fit. My son has it, and it is a motor planning disorder. Could explain why you heard a word once and never again.

  79. tansy
    January 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    its the firs time that i came to thid site and its woinderful a lot of info i have a son with autism hes gonna turn three next month he dont speak just a few words but the first time i knew he had autism i couldnt hear anything else the doctor say i just look at my son and give him A HUG i have other son thats seven months and a daughter whos 4 he is so affective gives them hug and kisses I JUST THANK GOD FOR SENDING ME THIS LITTLE ANGEL HE IS THE LIGHT OF MY EYES MY LIFE EVERYTHING I DO IS FOR HIM AND MY OTHER SON AND DAUGHTER they are everything for me I THINK IF HE SEND US THIS SPECIAL KIDS ITS BECAUSE WE’RE SPECIAL FOR HIM

  80. January 27, 2012 at 6:59 am

    to anybody look for my posts on here that is full of different info. my daughter is 22 and still don’t talk but has changed through the years slowly. she still wears diapers. i feed her but it took a lot of hard work to get her to eat anything years ago. she now gives so much love when she used too seem liked she just ignored you. i cannot say what has changed other than in growth spurts she does new things. she hums and makes a lot of sounds but don’t talk. she used to never show you she comprehended anything just amazing how far she has come. pictures,music,keyboards and my daughter loves the bath. there is hope. i was in dispair years ago but now can see hope a little at a time. look straight in their eyes if you can. sometimes try whispering to them. sounds are different to them. good luck

  81. April
    January 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

    My son is three and a half years old and is not talking. He is going through the process of being diagnosed now and just started speech and occupational therapy. We just recently had our screening appointment at the marcus autisim center. My son does a lot of humming and he pulls me to where he wants to go but it breaks my heart when he is upset or crying becasue I cant communicate with him to figure out how best to help him. I am hoping and praying that he speaks one day because I just want to hear his beautiful voice. I have a 22 month old who seems to be on track but since his older brother isnt speaking, he is starting to not talk as much and try to point and pull me towards things like my three year old, so I am trying to keep him talking and progressing in his speech. I have hope!!

    • Proud Mama
      February 25, 2012 at 4:15 am

      My daughter is also three and half and is not talking very much. She bablles alot and will say oh no when she is frusterated. She also says eat, drink and nose along with a few random words that she does not usually repeat. She also trys to pull me around to get what she wants.Requiring her to look at me first has helped our communication with each other. She has been going to speech therapy for 7 months now. Her eye contact is getting better, and she is starting to pay attention to what is going on around her. She also goes to preschool. She goes 3 days a week with childen who have special needs, and 2 days a week with normal developing children. It completely breaks my heart when I hear children her age ask why she talks like a baby. It bothers me even more when ignorant adults make faces at her and I when we are out. My daughter is absolutely beautiful and looks normal. So when people see the way she talks it probably catches them by surprise. The tests we have done with her school and speech therapy show that she falls on the autistic spectrum. I am in the process of getting a formal diagnosis. It does not help that my husband is in complete denial about it. It makes me feel so alone. Reading all of these comments makes me realize that I am not alone and that I have to be STRONG for my girl! I love her so much and I always feel like could be doing more. I am thinking about trying the gluten and dairy free diet. This will not be easy since she loves milk and syrup. Has anyone tryed this and has it helped?

  82. Princess
    February 1, 2012 at 2:55 am

    my 4yr old is not talking yet. I get frustrated but i know one day she will. I am only 24yrs old and I have never witnessed a child of her age who couldnt speak. I dont understand what is the problem. she had 3 abnormal MRI but the diagnosis is still unknown. what can I do next. all of the doctors are just saying she is a lil behind, but i am sure it is more to that.

    • February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Princess –
      it sounds like your going through a hard time as well . Have you had any disagnose’s on her? im pretty sure she will get better , it could take a couple years info me more on her behave and imight be able to help you will what you going through. this is a rare thing and there isnt much cure to it. but you can try ording tv shows that help your child learn how to read/talk/ and etc. and make it a daily routine for your child to watch this viedos , i should help, and if she throw a fit. try to get her to at least watch 30 minute of it everyday.

  83. February 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Your child will get better as long as you take him to the doctor and get him checked out.
    Does he ever make noise? Is he rude in any manner? It sounds to me he/she has autism .
    Im actally doing a research paper on this. Its quiet interesting, and sad . Id take he/she to the doctor and get everything checked out.

  84. josie
    February 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    My son is 13 years old and doesnt speak he understands everthing but he gets upset when he cant explain anything to him . He was born a soft clif plate at the age 3 he was diagnoised with learning difficulities know he is at the stage where he is getting to annoyed when he cant explain anything and he can only concentrated on the one thing for a few seconds and then he looses interest speech theropary have gave up interest and every day is a consent battle.

    Is there any other parents in my situation i would appreciate if there would please reply to my message.

  85. binni
    February 15, 2012 at 4:07 am

    my cousin is 5 yr old he donot speak but understand all..nd speak mma ,papa,jai give me advice can he speak?

  86. February 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    find what he likes and get pictures. rather it be cutting cereal,snack,drinks or anything they like. cut pictures from boxes of what they like or chip bags,cookie bags or take the pictures from mags and newspapers. attach to light weight card board or stock paper. either let them loose lay or maybe make a small scrapbook. you could also use a key ring clip to hold them. even baby rings they use for toys or mobiles. this is a start to communication. this helps their frustration when they know you understand them. you will see a remarkable change. good luck and hope you can tell me how it turns out. would like to post so all can see this

  87. cookiemonster
    February 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I recently became engaged to a wonderful woman and mother of a 2 year old son with autism. He was diagnosed at 17months and has therapy 4 days a week and already we are seeing results and I feel honored and privilaged to be able to share this with her and him as he grows daily. Yes we have days that are setbacks but so many more that aren’t. Anyone have any tips or ideas for potty training?

  88. Nina
    February 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Hi There. My nephew just turn five and he was diagnosed at 2.. He could on say a few words whic is hard to understand and won’t say it til we keep asking him. Not potty train yet neither and he doesnt play with any toys all he does is clap his hand all day long. The only thing he listen is when u tell him come and eat,
    Only relate to food..

  89. Jul
    February 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Great Article…….Never Give Up Hope!

  90. kal
    February 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    OK .. i need help with this .. i have a 5 year old boy i believe he is autistic .
    1. he has a vocabulary of around 200 words but only uses one word sentences .. when pushed he will use 2 or 3
    2. poor eye contact but better with his mom i feel it is more evasive than anything else
    3. knows all the shapes, letters, and numbers in 2 languages
    4. after training and therapy he learned to point at pictures and name them he used to and still leads us by hand to what ever he wants for example : he wants a toy that is up on a shelf he would rather take us to it rather than ask for it even though he knows how to speak
    5. he does not know how to kiss or hug properly
    6. can count to 10 or in 10s up to a hundred
    he has done all of that since he was 4
    7. he now mimics elaborate motions
    8. he can read and write all the letters and numbers in 2 languages
    but the main thing is he is overly independent , will not speak unless is is detrimental and only in one word sentences if possible he has had extensive speech therapy for the past 8 months at that time he would not verbalize anything except songs and such .. was bathroom trained at age 3 and a half not a single mistake since his visual and verbal memory is amazing he understands all of what we ask of him well almost everything i have been at this since he was a year and a half he had a severe hearing loss because of fluids in his ears and the doctor told us that it had caused a 75% hearing loss for a period of a least 6 months … meaning that he was almost deaf since he was a few months old we performed surgery and he had perfect hearing ever since

    please note that i have given him extensive speech therapy for the past 8 months and he is responding very well we have wasted a year before that with an idiot for a therapist so i urge all parents to not waste time with a week therapist trust your instincts

    has anyone been in a similar scenario with his or her child oh .. he goes to school with a shadow teacher and is following instructions much better his social skills are almost non existent

    thank you and i am looking forward for some feed back

  1. May 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm
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