10 Year old sister still not normally talking

by Asbaat

Hi, when my little sister was born, doctors told us that she would be a "slow-learner". Well, life continued and she is 10 now. The problem is that she can not speak full sentences (except for some sentences). Like if she wants water, she will speak, "mum" (her abbreviation for water, took us a while to figure out). She can't say, "I need water". Secondly, she can only speak full sentences which she hears everyday like in our language, "How are you" is said as "Kiya Haal Hai". She doesn't speak clearly but, "Kiyaaalay". From childhook, she has a bad habit of making weird faces with her mouth. She twists her toungue and lips and make noises like "Waoowaooyaoo" she always makes it when she is not mentally present, like when trying to sleep or when pooping. She doesn't seem to know when she's doing it until we tell her to stop. But she will start doing it again after some time. My father is always believes that she has down syndrome but I dont seem to agree. She doesn't have any flat facial features or an improper muscle tone. If she doesn't speak, nobody can tell that she is a special child.

Then, coming to the second and most important part. She is VERY VERY AND EXTREMELY CLEVER AND CUNNING. If my father comes home from office and neglects her or doesn't ask her how she is, she will make an angry expression and sit in a corner and show her anger. She knows how to play anyone. If I tell her that I'm getting a new iPad, she will get jealous and tell me that she would get two of them, then she will show me her tongue as making fun of me. But the problem is that she doesn't speak. ONLY THIS PROBLEM. We all are getting more and more upset because of her. Her future, she should be in class 8 by now, but she can't even learn ABC. She has a short memory regarding studies but not real life activities. If I snatched a packet of noodles from her an year ago, she will still remember it after an year. But if I teach her ABC today, she will NOT remember it tomorrow. She can recognize the letters from A-F and numbers from 1-8 after 2 years of teaching.

Can anyone tell me exactly how we would describe this condition? And how to solve it? Thanks.


Feb 04, 2017
by: Bridget

It sounds like your sister has a lot of strengths and she has a nice brother!

You have made a lot of great observations! I recommend that your sister get an evaluation by a speech therapy and a neurologist. If this isn't possible, you can start working with your sister by using pictures to communicate. There are some free apps or reduced priced apps to help with this as well (AAC apps). I'm not sure what languages besides English that they come in though. The idea is that your sister can point to or give pictures to others to express wants/needs/ideas. This picture system will help grow vocabulary as well as improve daily communication.

It sounds like your sister has trouble saying sounds (speech/articulation) and expressing her ideas (content language). If language is not a strength, then learning ABC will be hard for her. This doesn't mean she isn't intelligent or have good learning skills. Language and intelligence are two different things.

You can start working on saying speech sounds with these tips today but I do recommend an evaluation by a professional!


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