Q. My 2. 4 years old son has not started talking, and he does not chew food. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 08, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 13, 2021

Hello doctor,

My son is 2.4 years old. He has still not started talking. He also does not follow instructions; hence it is very difficult to make him sit and teach him how to talk. He does not even follow us when we talk to him or try to make him learn or focus. He rarely responds to his name, when a family member calls him. But to strangers, he does not respond at all. However, he is a very active toddler and loves to watch and listen to his favorite songs, he also loves and happily watches cartoons and nursery rhymes. He loves to explore mobile phones and TV remotes. He likes to see pictures. One more issue is he does not chew food, although he has got all his milk teeth. Even if we try to give him semi-solid food, he would either spit them or choke. Please advise about what to do. I am quite worried. Please help.



Welcome to

As per your history, I have a few queries.

  • I am unable to make out if the hearing of your child is normal or not. This seems to be the most likely problem I feel. Because you have mentioned that he loves to watch and listen to songs, please make sure that the child is able to hear properly. A physical examination may be required for the same.
  • Another less likely possibility may be that the child may have a behavioral problem. But in such a case, the child would have an unexplainable and awkward behaviour, which is not there.
  • Also, as you mentioned regarding feeding problems, I feel the child has not yet learnt the task properly mostly due to a defect in either hearing or understanding.

It is advisable you get a detailed investigative workup with hearing test after a physical examination.

For further queries consult a paediatrician online -->

Thank you doctor,

He does not have any hearing problem because he is sensitive to even low sound. He immediately turns his head or looks at the area from where the sound comes. When he sleeps, we avoid making any sound. Otherwise, he gets up. His response to any sound is immediate, and we have tested that at home in all ways.



Welcome back to

  • If his hearing is fine, then I think you need to give some more time to the child as the child is only 2 years old. You can wait till the child reaches 3 years of age and watch for any changes.
  • If the problem persists even after that, then you can consult a pediatric neurologist followed by a child psychiatrist for the same.

For more information consult a paediatrician online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your prompt reply. Highly appreciate the same. Are you suspecting any other problem like autistic behavior or something? Why are you suggesting pediatric neurologist? Is there any specific reason? And why to consult a child psychiatrist? Kindly advise.



Welcome back to

  • The reason for suggesting a neurologist before a psychologist is to rule out any neurological problem. I am not suspecting one, but it is better to rule it out.
  • As of now, it is a bit too early to say about autism. Also, I have not seen the child clinically, so I cannot comment on the same.

For further queries consult a paediatrician online -->

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