My toddler doesn't talk much: Advice?

I have a two-year-old, and he is an amazing little boy, but he doesn’t talk very much so far he will say no, what’s this, get off, ow, uh oh, Woah, thank you, and momma. He’s very ADHD, and it’s hard to get him to focus because he’s all over the place and very destructive, he doesn’t really want to listen either and screams on the top of his lungs. I’m running out of ideas of ways to help him learn and learn his 123s and Abcs that he might find fun and catch on too. I was wondering if other moms had any ideas they could give me to help him and grab his attention.


Early intervention is awesome for free speech therapy in the home.


My son just started talking around 3 1/2 he was super late hes 4 now and still dose not do a sentence.

Enjoy it… Seriously! When they aren’t talking they are listening which means eventually they’ll start talking and it’ll be complete sentences! And they won’t stop talking lol. Ive been thru it before! :heart:

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Sounds like a 2 year old to me. :woman_shrugging:t3: every child is different and develops at different times, if you are concerned talk to his doctor


My son is almost 3 and this sounds just like him minus the ADHD… we got speech therapy free threw a local place… Well that was stopped because of covid and every day he’s saying more and more… just give it time momma he will talk when he’s ready

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No worries momma he has his whole life to talk

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Abc mouse was what i used for my son with autism

Okay so when he wants something tell him what it is and do this for a little time and then when he wants it ask him what it is. I know it’s hard but it will get better. Some kids are late bloomers.

My son is 3 in Aug and he just started now to say a lot more words and I won’t lie I was getting worried as I have 3 kids before him, couldn’t help but compair them and he’s totally fine every day it’s new words!!

Idk what’s normal bc my son is only 1 but I’ve seen these cool apps for kids that teach them to talk and count and stuff.

My child has severe adhd. My father called him cave boy because he didn’t talk much. Just grunted and pointed. Now he’s fixing to be 12 and won’t shut up. I wonder if he ever takes a breath when talking. He even talks in his sleep. The kid has made up for not talking till 3 or 4. Lord help me.


I’m a momma of six. And if there is anything I have learned is that all kids do things when they are ready. One of mine was walking at 7 months, one talked at 4 months, one didn’t walk until 14 months and my current 2 and 1/2 year old hardly talks. Kids just grow different. My 2 year old can talk, she just opts not to. Be patient, when they are ready they will.


get him to a good dr. and start

I had my son evaluated at two years old for speech delay. Turns out, my son is speech delayed and has SPD. By the time he was two and a half he had services. If you suspect your child is delayed, get them evaluated. It doesn’t hurt and it’s good to get the help they may need early rather than ignoring it. My son is 4 yrs old and though he still delayed, he’s talking so much more now and still receiving services. He gets speech, occupational therapy and has a SEIT whom he loves and adores each and every one.

My daughter who is now 20, was diagnosed with autism around the age of 2. Early intervention with speech therapy and occupational therapy has made all the difference. I insisted on mainstream in school. She is now finishing her 1st year of college for accounting. Nobody that doesn’t know her history could ever tell. Just a bit eccentric/ quirky. That’s the best thing you can do for your child is to get the pros in to help. They came to my home at first then we went in to the office. She had services for almost ten years but it made all the difference in the world.


Get his ears checked! My now 2.5 yr old got tubes and it was a game changer for him. The pedi was even wanting him to be evaluated for autism. Turns out, he just couldn’t hear!

My son is 14 and has an above average IQ, he was a late talker, even with EI he didn’t talk much until 4. I also have a daughter who is 9 and nonverbal. My almost 4 yr old didnt talk at all at 2, I put her in speech therapy and now she never stops talking. My 21 month old talks constantly, uses short sentences. All children are different, do yourself a favor and get him evaluated so you know for sure what’s going on and how you can help him.

Typically, boys tend to master large and fine motor skills before girls do. Girls usually develop more cognitively in the beginning. I think that focus is hard for children until they are a little older. I would encourage reading books and maybe putting some words up around the house. Singing songs is also a great way to practice Word development

Occupational therapy

My son will turn 4 years old in 5 months and hes just now saying sentences. He started 3 worde sentences at 3 and hes nows saying 5 to 6 word sentances. My nephew was 2 and half and would have a whole convo with u. It just takes time. Dont force it he will say sentences when hes ready.

Sometimes, and I don’t know if this is you, moms anticipate everything that their child needs. So they never have to ask. And then they don’t talk. Only you can answer whether you do this or not. Just a possibility for you to consider.


Pay attention to what he’s interested in. I know in this day and age, talking about getting an iPad for a 2 yr old sounds nuts, but it helps them focus, and learn. 2 birds with one stone. Load the iPad with interactive programs. We have 4 grandbabies living with us, with their mom. All of them have variations of autism, 2 exhibit ADHD tendencies, and they all have learning disabilities. They are ages 3, 4, 5 &10. The 3 & 5 yr olds are the ones who have ADHD tendencies, and they each have their own iPads loaded with fun learning games and programs. They have made so much progress. It will help the child focus on something fun, and learn at the same time, in their own little space.

My almost 3yr old grandson is still barely talking n we started early intervention speech therapy. I highly recommend it. They’ll help you learn basic sign language n communication skills.

Please do not go by… “Every kid develops at their own pace”.
There are milestones for a reason… If your kid ain’t reaching within three months then find out why.

He could have hearing problems or a speech delay or tongue tied…

I don’t think a 2yo can be dianosed with ADHD. Most are very active, don’t listen or focus. He’s 2!

The list of words you listed seems about right to me. Have you talked to your ped? Contact headstart & see if they’ll evaluate him.

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Talk to his doctor, every child develops at a different rate. It could be something or nothing. Until you speak with his doctor dont stress yourself too much.

He could fluid in his ears. My brother couldn’t hear for the first 4 years after he got tubes he started speaking. But he’s not up to par yet


I have asked my pedi about this for my 2.5 year old and he said he’s fine as long as he’s learning new words and sounds every week, there is a huge range of what’s “normal” for a 2-3 year old. Just keep working with him and read read read read read.

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My two of my sons had speech delays and my oldest has adhd. With my oldest and youngest we used a pressure vest to help him focus. They have little bean bags to add a bit of weight and pressure to put them in the moment. My oldest used his in preschool and my youngest used one for awhile with his speech and occupational therapy. They work really well.

All my kids were late talkers… ear problems but we got them in speech, tubes throughout(15th pair for my 12 yr old) and they are all good no delays…

My son didn’t talk until a little after 2. Then he started speaking full sentences. He’s 8 and very advanced for his age and reading at 3rd grade level at the beginning of second. All kids are different and boys especially don’t like to talk. Please don’t worry or assume something is wrong he will do what he wants on his own time. Reading is amazing!!! I read to my son since he was a little baby! Just because they aren’t saying anything doesn’t mean they aren’t listening.


You need to find out if he’s on the Autisn spectrum and begin treatment early. It does wonders to help them earlier.

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Could be on the spectrum or have ADHD.

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My son had his hearing tested then went to speech therapy at that age. He’s now almost 7 and on target for where he’s supposed to be. If you’re concerned, talk to the pediatrician, they will usually send him to get hearing tests done before anything.

Hop scotch and put a number or a letter on each square and he has to say the number or letter as he jumps on it? Whatever you do make it a game to work out some energy while learning. Although at 2 it’s still early for that. I didn’t really work on that stuff until my daughter was 4 and she went to a mother’sday out program for a free hours 3x a week that helped a ton. Before that we worked on manners and following directions.

Ask Pediatrician for Speech evaluation. Maybe nothing maybe something. Does he turn TV up loud if so ask for hearing evaluation. If you find something back when we did go to school you could send them to school at 3 years old. You call ask for school evaluation at 3. Use sign and gesture to help communicate now. Put up pictures/word signs on things around your house to help him learn communication. Really get evaluation referral from Pediatrician.

Every kiddo develops at their own pace. I wouldn’t be super worried yet, but communicate with your childs doctor. Development milestones can also be deceiving, my child began walking and talking EARLY, was leaps and bounds ahead developmentally as a baby and toddler, but at 11 we are navigating a new Autisim diagnosis. The biggest red flag until she was in third grade was her inability to pedal a tricycle, big wheel, or bicycle.


I try to talk with my 1 and two year old through out the day. Like I talk through what I’m doing. And ask them to say things back. Seems to be working. I also make some time through out the day to just specifically go through a list of words. My 2 year old knows her abc shapes and colors in both Spanish and English. My 1 year old is good at sounding words out even if she’s not completely saying them she mimics the sound. Hang in there and just work with them. Literally talk everything out with him. This was me and my 1 year old yesterday.

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My grandson is the same. At 2 his vocabulary was limited. He turned 3 in February and now he never stops talking. He is still wild and sometimes destructive but his language skills are far above expectations. Give him time was our doctors advice and he was right. Today he told me his Papa was running late because he had to stop at the supermarket to buy food. Yesterday he pointed out the recycle emblem on a water bottle and said it was to recycle. I’m amazed by him everyday. Im sure with a little time your little guy will do the same.


I have a adhd two year old! He didn’t talk much at the beginning but I got him a tablet and he learned most everything by hisself! His dr told me it would be his “relief” and one of the few things he could focus on since it’s “hands on” he had learned his numbers and colors from that and I have fridge magnets with animals and while I’m cooking he gets them off the fridge and brings them to me I tell him what they are and was sound they make and he repeats them and goes and gets another! He’s almost three now!


A lot of parents confuse ADHD with sensory processing disorder. I too thought the same about my child at age 2 and 3 years old bc she acted the same way. She said very little words as well and when she did talk, I couldn’t understand her. I talked to her pediatrician and had her evaluated by an occupational therapy and sure enough she has a sensory integration disorder.

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I’d be very patient with him …half of his behaviour maybe because he can’t find the words to ask an he’s getting frustrated .My son was difficult but has eased up now he can speak a lot more . I’d make sure he’s having nursery a few hours a week this helped my son so so much , good to have a break but also to get the opinions of the nursery an they can seak further advice /speech therapy an all . Best of luck :slight_smile:

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My son is almost 2. 21 months old. He doesn’t say shit and has no interest in trying to mimic me when I talk to him. He says mama once in a blue moon. I’ve noticed he’s like me. When I was a kid, if I didn’t feel absolutely confident I would do something perfectly, I wouldn’t do it at all. He seems to be the same way so far. He didn’t walk without assistance until he was 15 months old. It wasn’t that he wasn’t capable, he just didn’t have the confidence. Then one day he just took off. Haha. I feel like he will be the same way with talking. He’s not going to talk until he is ready and then he won’t shut up :laughing: Your son is only 2. You can talk to your pediatrician but I think you just gotta be patient with him and he will talk when he’s ready :blush:


Try signing w him. Signing time has tons of videos for kids to teach them. I used to sign w my lil boy when he was a baby and by the time he was 2 he had the vocab of a child much older than his age. He was saying full sentences like “please may I have - fill in the blank- thank you”


It may be related to his diet. Without getting too extreme, see if you can cut out artificial colors and flavors, and also processed sugar. I’ve heard of a lot of children having a complete turn around in their symptoms from just that one change. Some of these ingredients are actually toxic, and little bodies react more strongly. Then, sugar can be unnecessarily stimulating and make it hard for them to focus. You also wanna actually keep him away from televisions and tablets, providing only quiet, calm, but hands-on activities instead. Over time it changes the way their brains work because rather than winding up overloaded on external stimulation, they can process things around them more gently.


If you are worried talk to your pediatrician. I feel like my littles 24 mo and 3 yo have absorbed a lot of anxious energy this year from covid (we have 2 docs, my mom is a hospice social worker and my husband works in construction at the airport in their little world) and not being able to go to school/see friends and cousins etc. Plus this last week has been especially crazy with sirens and we can see the plumes of tear gas, screaming, protesting and siren lights from our living room. Kids are resilient and find ways to control the situation. I know some kids do that by not speaking. He is still super young and I wouldn’t be too worried. It’s a stressful time for everyone. I feel like my kids say more after watching kids youtube. For example My 24 mo counts to 10 on his own when playing hide and seek but when I ask him to count the numbers get random.

Acting ADHD is normal for a 2 yr old. Also seems like he is communicating well for a two yr old. - it seems to me (if you are even still reading) that teaching emotional knowledge and empathy would be the most important at this stage. - asking him if he is sad/mad with a calm voice when a tantrum starts. Asking how he thinks other people are feeling.
Good luck.


Talk to him about everything. Describe things to him. If he has a ball, describe the ball. You have a red round bouncy ball. Give him words. When he says mamma, repeat back to him yes I am your momma ect. Sing to him also. Plus not sure if he uses pacifier, those realy delay speech


With regards to adhd I would get him checked by a profession. During the process they will check his hearing too. Otherwise if all results are ok, just enjoy the moment as you will soon need a lot of paracetamol tables and a set of ear plugs. I was so worried with mine, we even thought she had a form of mutism. Now she is like a walking radio station, no commas and full stops and sometimes I wonder how she breathes in between words. Good luch

My daughter did really well with the number and letter wooden blocks. We pull them out to play and what ever one she grabbed I would say what was on it. It took time, but she got it, now she reads the blocks and says what’s on them anytime she builds with them. They remain the best toy purchase I ever made. Each child is different though. But take your time, dont expect immediate results. My daughter didnt use many words when she first turned 2, now at 2.5 shes talking in broken sentences and short full sentences. Dont push it, I knew my daughter could say more because she understood everything I said to her, she just didn’t want to, now that she realizes that she is better understood when she talks, she talks all the time.

He is two and children learn best through play , read to him and encourage him to name objects . As far as the ADD , children at his age are into everything and have a very short attention span and he is where he is suppose to be on that. The more you talk to him and encourage him then the more he will catch on. Talk in a low vice to get his attention . Children do mimic what they see . He sounds like a typical 2 year old and all children develop differently. Keep up the good work mama, you got this!! - sincerely a child development teacher ( who is also a mama of five and still learning ) :wink:

Give him time. Just sing ABCs to him and count steps when walking or the buttons on his clothes. But he is still a little guy. 2 year olds just are ADHD and destruction as part of being 2. Try to keep him busy. Try to keep him stimulated mentally. Look up activities for his age. Talk talk talk to him. Explain what you are doing and what you are doing next.

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My son is going to be 3 on the 24. You just describe my son to me basically there’s not much you can do. The birth to three told me to get a inside trampoline or a small one and let him jump. What really helps me with my son is taking him to the beach or a water park.also buy water balloon n count each one while they pop or do the abc while filling it. I try different ways. I wish u luck I know it’s not easy. But lil by lil they will learn the birth to 3 told me that what my son doesn’t learn at home he will at school to not stress it.

My son is a little over 2 and is kind of the same way. He barely says anything but he’s smart. When he’s thirsty he’ll find his silly cup and hand it to me and when he’s hungry he’ll go to the fridge and go “mmmmmm or yummy” but he won’t repeat me for some reason, when I try and get him to say stuff he just laughs at me lol. But he can count 1-10 and make ABC sounds. He used to watch TV a lot but im trying to cut that down to just 30 mins or so a day. And I keep talking to him even if he won’t talk back i explain everything to him. I feel like its helping maybe?

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Second Signing. I used it with all three of my kids. My boys, twins, were early and both were speech delayed. Signing helped because language develops before speech. Signing helps toddlers express themselves and lowers frustration. As to ADHD you won’t get a good reading on that till he is closer to school age as mist toddlers are either full on or full off. Very little middle ground. Al a o a quiet toddler is always up to a something.

I had the same problem like my boy would just scream at me instead of telling me or try and use words so I got recommended to a teacher that helps with communication and helps mom and kid and with vocals

Talk with his pediatrician. At 2 I forget exactly what the number of words they should be saying is, but its a bit. My 2 yr old ( 3 in Aug) is actually starting speech therapy bc he’s at prob 30-50 words and it should be more and putting sentences together. Im very proactive, so I’m going to take the free help and make sure I can do everything I can sk hes not falling behind! Part of it is stubbornness bc he can say stuff when he wants, but with the help it can only get better!

My son learned the ABC’s by playing games. I put all the letters in easter eggs and he would crack it and put it on the puzzle board. He loved it ! It was fun and kept him busy for weeks. He still plays with it and memorized them.

2 is way to young for an ADHD diagnosis…he may just need a little speech therapy

I have a 3 year old grandson that doesn’t talk clearly. Still baby talks. He will show you if you don’t understand what he’s saying. I’m not worried yet, and I’m the grandma! :grin:

Most children don’t know ABCs and 123s at 2 although that is not a large vocabulary it is not terribly small either play, read, sing, watch educational videos. Normal 2 year olds don’t focus. Every child is different.

Give him time
. He will talk when hes ready! And also reading to him , even if he cant sit still will help. Try books with whatever hes into with cool pictures too keep him interested.

I was very worried about my daughter because her older brother did things before she did but she did it on her own time and is repeating everything! She’s very sassy and just wanted to do it on terms I think!

I didnt talk till I was 5 I knew how and would talk to certain people but mostly just watched and listened.
My youngest sibling was the same way.
We wer eboth tested to see if something was wrong but no were fine. Just observant

Make an appointment with your Child and Maternal Health Nurse. This is a free service until your child reaches school age. They are experts and they will provide you with the right advice and provide you a referral if they share your concerns after your appointment.

My son is the same way we play a lot of the leaning songs because he loves to dance to songs and repeat words back

My oldest son barely talked. I got a referral to my states Birth to Three program and he was talking significantly more within 6 months!

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Does he like to watch YouTube videos? My three boys like to watch you tube videos and they have videos that show colors, numbers, shapes, letters. And I think it kinda helps with the speech therapy they receive.

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My son is going to be 3 in 4 months and his talking just increased a ton over the last week! Be patient :heart: every kid is different.

Contact Birth to Three , or it may be called something different in your area. It is free. They will evaluate and guide you. Probably nothing but it couldn’t hurt .

Netflix has a whole genre in the kids section for early development. Works wonders!

When my granddaughter was little my daughter worried because she didn’t talk much and I said don’t worry when she starts you’re gonna wish she would shut up and believe me I was definitely right because when she started talking it’s been non stop to this day and she’ll soon be 26.

I must be in the minority here but…after 4 children…this seems perfectly normal to me :woman_shrugging:t2: You’re doing a great job and your 2yr old seems to be doing a great job as well.

You just described my 2 1/2 year old. He understands everything I ask him to do and smart as hell but just doesn’t use words much.

Call your local school district to see if they have early education available for children who need certain assistance. Most times its free and they will really benefit from it.

My son has autism. I taught him using video games but 2 is very young to expect something.

Firstly, I like to say talk to your pediatrician about any developmental concerns. There is an assessment I do for my 16mnth old called ASQ Ages and Stages Questionnaire that you can do. It’s super easy. It is commonly used in Early Childhood. ASQ

At 2…I wouldn’t worry so much about the alphabet and counting. Read some picture books…over and over!

What about flash cards? Amazon sells them for so cheap.

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See if your Dr will refer you to First Steps. It is very age appropriate for a child to scream when they cant concentrate. He most likely does not have ADHD but is just not able to communicate what he needs. Toddlers attention span is very shory.

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Raising little talkers Instagram has some really good resources

I hate YouTube because kids get into the stupidest shows
It has some of the coolest science/education videos if you find the right ones
My son was literally a sponge to them at that age
And I mean anything! Destroying things to making things… it’s all learning when it’s experiments

Joke: maybe he’s just practicing for marriage.

My eldest son when 2 was very quiet, he use to call mom my little observer, he use to people watch and watch everything around him taking it all in, sometimes he would get mad and trash stuff, he did struggle when growing up, he found it hard being a teen especially, some children struggle some don’t. he is 28 now and still doesn’t say much, and still observes,but like other mums have said on here 2yrs old is a hard age for lots of children, and all children progress at different stages, if you feel that you need to talk to someone, talk to a health visitor and see what they say or advise.

He might not even be ADHD. He might just be 2. Two is a hard age for a lot of parents because the child is suddenly very mobile, they have that new battery energy LOL, they are inquisitive, and they are interested in everything for exactly 2.5 seconds. Yet they are still baby cranky. They don’t call it the terrible two’s for nothing. I wouldn’t worry about his speech too much, because he is saying some words. Everyone develops at a different rate. He’s still getting the hang of the language. Talk to him like you would talk to anyone else. Expect him to respond to you. Look at him when you speak to him, make eye contact and try to speak to him on his eye level. (Squat down) Above all else, be patient with him, even when you really want to pull your hair out. It also helps to not give children food/drinks/candy that have red or blue food coloring in it. Trust me on this, I don’t know what it is about red and blue food coloring, they would make my son a nightmare.


My son just turned 3 and is just starting to put words together. Within the last few months he started talking a lot! When you hand him something say the name or the item it helped us a lot. Any chance we got we would count walking down steps we would count the steps. He can count to 5 if he really tries but he counts to 3 on his own. I also used bath time crayons and would write on the bath tub wall. He loves coloring so I wrote his abcs and numbers on paper as he’s coloring and say them to him. It takes time he will get there.

He’s 2. Kids hit milestones when they hit them. Don’t compare your kid to others kids on when they hit their milestones. Be patient, work with your child, and don’t think there is anything wrong with your kid. A little slower to hit certain milestones does NOT mean you need to get him tested for autism like some of these people are saying. I have an autistic 9 year old, a non autistic 2 year old, and my boyfriend has two non autistic teens. My daughter, the 2 year old, also struggles with her words, but she’s starting to pick them up. They are young, that’s all. YouTube has REALLY helped my daughter on a lot. She’s starting to pick up colors and words from the kid videos she watches. Hard to understand her most of the time, but she’s getting there. It just takes time.


What does his pediatrician recommend?
My son started speech therapy at 2 1/2. He was behind on word count, would shut down, and I just didn’t know if he was comprehending what I was trying to communicate. At age 3 he was accepted into school district for services. He’s now almost 10. Still needs help with comprehension. I made it a point to learn from his therapists how to help him because what I was doing wasn’t working.
Good luck to you both! I would recommend speaking to his pediatrician.

I have a 2 year old and we have taken “home” school outside! We write ABC’s with chalk on side walk. We also do hopscotch with #’s and he loves it! He will learn them when he is ready Mama! All we can do is inspire and support them for their 2 year old minds. :heart:

This was how my now 27 year old son was, except he talked up a storm. But screamed all the time and was very frustrated. Two is still pretty young, as another person said. I found video games and computer jumpstart (educational) games were very helpful when he was about 3-4 years old. Two is a rough year all around, imo!

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My son was the sane way. I took him to speech therapy through my county. Found out after 6 months he had hearing loss from fluid built up in his ears. He had ear tubes placed by an ent and was a whole different kid after that. They told me with fluid in his ears he heard lie we would if we were under water!! It took a year and at age 2 1/2 his language skills were that of a 9 month old. By age 3 hes language skills were above age 3!

Doctors generally don’t diagnose ADHD until school age… there is a reason, that young, they have no self control, that is learned… I firmly believe kids will be kids and SHOULD be. He will speak when he has something to say!! And then probably won’t be quiet. Boys are more energetic, all over and very little attention span, that’s normal. Just gotta work with him :grin: my son is 15 almost 16 and we had lots of “fun” getting him to focus. I would take a diagnosis of ADHD with a grain of salt, not to say he won’t develop it but be patient with him :wink: my son is a wiz at the rubix cube and when he was little, he could build and draw, that was the best way for him to express himself… little campfires always calmed him down too :blush::+1::hugs:


my brother was like that and it was hearing problem due to tonsils needed to be took out they were causing his hearing problems. so have his hearing checked out

I’m a 2yr old teacher at a daycare, I would get the letters of abc and the no"s and place them through out the class and out of the blue i would say who know s where the 1 is and some one in my class would pick it our,also did this with the shapes it wasn’t long before they knew everyhing was real proud of them all.

I work with special ed kids and I have a son with adhd. Boys sometimes take longer to talk then girls. If he isn’t talking by the end of preschool i would suggest asking for time with a speech pathologist. He is also 2 yrs old doesn’t mean he is ADHD he might just be really active and might calm down as he gets older. Having him around other kids helps a lot too.


He’s only two, give yourself a break and enjoy your kid.


Im in the same boat with my 3 year old daughter .it might not be adhd he sounds hyperactive . And the screaming is frustration cause he cant talk yet and let you know whats bothering him,he might need a speach therapist and when his talking is sorted out he might mellow out a bit ,goodluck x

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My son was the same way at that age, he’s autistic (was non verbal) just stated talking now at 4. Some words are still a struggle but hes doing so much better and making progress every day. We’ve been doing speech for 2 years now. Preschool has really helped him a lot!

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