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Why is my 5 year old not talking? [Answer From SLP]

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Children often develop at different paces, so if your 5 year old child lags a bit behind his peers, the child often catches up. Children often learn by grasping information from daily interactions with people around them. A 5 year old can easily make up stories, listen carefully when someone talks to them, and can even tell what would come next in their favorite stories and much more.

Here’s a detailed check-list of what you can expect from your 5 year old-

  • Pronouncing all the speech sounds (few sounds like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th can be tricky.

  • Answer to ‘what did you say’.

  • Tell a short story with at least 2 events.

  • Name letters and numbers.

  • Can recognize simple rhymes like ‘cat-bat’.

  • Use more than one verb in a sentence, such as, "I got my bat and played with Meera."

  • Tailors the way they talk as per the listener, for instance, talks louder when outside, or, talk slower when talking to a younger kid.

If you feel your 5 year old is not acquiring the average speech milestones, do visit a speech therapist. As timely evaluation and diagnosis can be quite helpful to prevent future developmental delays for the child.

Causes of speech delay in a 5-year-old.

  1. Hearing loss- If a child doesn't hear, how would they develop speech? Hence your doctor would always refer the child for hearing assessment if they present with a speech delay.

  2. Neurological disorders like Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or Autism spectrum disorder can cause speech delays. The child often struggles with expressive and receptive language.

  3. Speech and Language Developmental Disorders cause difficulty producing sounds and forming words.

  4. Intellectual disability- A child with intellectual disabilities often faces difficulty in understanding language and processing information.

  5. Lack of stimulation- If the child doesn't receive adequate speech and language stimulation at home, they will not reach their speech and language milestones on time.

  6. Speech sound disorders

  7. Cognitive delay.

How can you help the child?

  • Talk about daily activities.

  • Talk about the books you read together, and you can even give your own twist to the stories.

  • Discuss their favorite show on tv programs and videos,

  • Keep their favorite books and reading material within their reach,

  • Create scrapbooks like ‘this is me’, or ‘this is my family’ with your child.

Read more-

Sounderic provides online speech therapy sessions for children with various communication disorders. We would love to help you. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp at +919644466635 or schedule a consultation with us at

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