Q&A: 27 Month Old Does Not Talk

My son is 27 months old and he doesn’t talk. He will only say grandma and grandpa but it comes out as ama and apa. I’m worried about this and not sure if its because we are a bilingual family. I speak to him in English as well as his aunt and uncles and his dad speaks to him in Spanish as well as my parents. Is it possible that he would need surgery to correct something in his mouth? Have you ever even heard of such a thing?

My advice would be for you to seek an early intervention speech evaluation for your son. Growing up in a bilingual household does not cause speech delays per se, although children may have smaller vocabularies in each language at first & may speak a bit later than average. Even though your son is learning two languages simultaneously, by age 27 months he should have at least 10 single words (in either language, not including names of people) and be starting to put two words together such as “Mommy go” or “mas leche” etc. He should also be showing understanding of language by following simple commands and directions for you. Leaving off initial consonants, like “gr” in gramma is fairly typical, as we don’t worry about articulation and clarity of speech until a child reaches age 3.

You can read our very nice article on here bilingualism here. You can also read about articulation of speech here.

Also please refer to previous questions we have answered on this topic at this link. These would be the language milestones for a typical child over two.