Q. My 3-year-old daughter is unable to form complete sentences to communicate. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Sudhakar Palanisamy
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 27, 2020 and last reviewed on: May 07, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have a 3-year-old daughter. She is 11.5 kg in weight and 89 cm in height. She can play, run and tell entire rhymes, but she cannot form her language to communicate. She often repeats the whole statement or questions. She can follow instructions like "bring that ball" or "give me the toy," but she cannot tell her desires by forming sentences. She can sing a song. She can speak 'a for apple' to 'z for zebra' and can count 1 to 30 correctly. She can distinguish between dogs, cats, lions, etc. She can tell me the sound of horse or lion, etc., but she cannot form her language. She can use only one or two words to say her needs, like 'drink water' or 'fell' instead of saying 'I want water' or 'Father fell.' Does she need any medical attention, or will it go away with time? I am unable to send her to play school in this pandemic situation. I think she is getting delayed by 5 to 6 months.

Please suggest and reply with the necessary steps to be taken at home.



Welcome to

This is a prevalent query, and the answer is not simple. I have seen several children with this complaint, and most of them acquire normal speech as they grow. These children primarily interact with parents by hand signs. A more straightforward thing I say to parents is not responding to the child's non-verbal communication and encouraging her to ask things orally. Also, please interact with the child often and avoid screen time. If all these fail, then she needs speech therapy. Speech therapy will drastically improve her verbal communication. Take care. If you need any more suggestions, ask me.

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