Don’t panic, it’s just a speech delay

Don't panic it's just a speech delay

I’m going to apologize in advance if I start to ramble here. Because I probably will. Because I’m feeling a little bit defeated and I just want to write until I magically feel better.

Think it will work? Let’s hope.

Wyatt had his 18 month checkup today. He’s still a little bigger than average, except for his head. I will always thank him for his small head. Always.

He’s doing so well. He’s active and independent and hilarious and healthy. But he doesn’t talk. And this point, we’re officially planted into “speech delay” territory. Part of me wants to scream at the doctor that there’s nothing wrong with my kid. I can see that he’s trying to talk. He’s putting more and more together everyday. I know he’s going to get it. It’s just going to happen on his own time. When he’s ready. Why are we freaking out over this? He’s perfect, dammit.

But I don’t want to ignore it if he really does have a problem. The first step, apparently, is to see an audiologist. I can tell you right now he doesn’t have a hearing problem. Maybe a listening problem. But the kid hears just fine. But hey, if you want to waste my time and money at a specialist, why not?

And after that, they recommend having someone from the school system come to our home and do an assessment. I don’t know why that bothers me so much. I guess I feel like I’m on trial a little bit. Someone is going to come here and tell me all the ways I’ve gone wrong. Maybe I didn’t read to him enough or talk to him enough or play with him enough or sing to him enough. Maybe I let him watch too much TV or let him play with toys that weren’t educational enough or traumatized him every time I’ve gone to the bathroom by myself with the door shut.

Maybe I actually am just a terrible mom and I didn’t know it.

I don’t think that true. But this is the crap going through my head, because I just feel guilty. Not to mention frustrated, scared, pissed off, and sad.

I know I’m overreacting. It’s not like he has cancer. Or a brain injury. Or is paralyzed. In the grand scheme of things, this is going to be small. I know. But he’s my baby and when something goes wrong, even something little, I’m allowed to worry. I just have to freak out and get worked up and then let it go. It’s what I do.

What I do know right now is that my kid is amazing. Even if he did just try to sit in a toy dump truck and keeps stuffing toys up his pants legs.

Just look at that perfection (I don’t care if I’m biased)


If your kids have dealt with similar issues, I’d LOVE to hear from you. How you handled it. What brand of wine you drink. Whether or not you’re willing to send me cupcakes.

I also accept donations of cookies and pie.

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  1. Sheila says

    My daughter Sophia is only a few months older than Wyatt. She doesn’t have the speech issues, but she didn’t crawl until she was almost a year and she didn’t walk until she was almost 16 months. We were told she was behind, but she just worked on her own time table. All babies progress at different schedules and they are still perfect!! I know my Sophia is even when she thinks it’s appropriate to eat dog poop and rocks and all that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kelli says

    Tricia. I love you! Wyatt is PERFECT and wonderful. You are an AMAZING mommy, you are doing everything right. And it pisses me off that these doctors will force a “label” onto our children, and force you to spend money we don’t have on specialists that we don’t need. Wyatt WILL talk when he’s ready. It’s perfectly normal for a child to be a “late bloomer” and one day he’s going to wake up and won’t shut up. ๐Ÿ™‚ And then you will really be drinking more wine. As far as me…no wine, but give me some Kinky and Sprite. ๐Ÿ™‚ No worries, about Wyatt, but yes you will worry because he is your baby and you are a great mommy and you will do it no matter what. Text me if you need to chat. Love you so much!

  3. says

    I’ve always thought it weird that doctors start in on the speech therapy so young. But I guess they know more than us in that matter? Maybe? I have a friend whose little boy didn’t start talking until he was three, and he was FINE. He was just stubborn and quite frankly didn’t care about talking. All kiddos are different. But you have every right to be FREAKING out. That’s your job. Hang in there!
    Leilani recently posted…Mom versus The JackMy Profile

  4. says

    My brother didn’t talk until 2 or 2-1/2, my sister would do all his talking for him. He was just a stubborn kid and he talked when he wanted to. He is now in politics and successful. Don’t let them make you feel bad, you know what is best for your child.
    Kerry recently posted…Plum and Brie CrostiniMy Profile

  5. says

    I think I might have told you that Sam went down this same road- he was a little over 2 years old and didn’t say anything. Didn’t even ATTEMPT to say anything. Mostly just whined at me for not being able to read his mind. So we were referred to an audiologist for hearing tests (I said the EXACT same thing you did- “not a hearing problem, but a LISTENING problem”), he did speech therapy, etc. It was all a waste. He just did things in his own time. Now he is 3.5 and hardly ever shuts up. We recently went for Molly’s 2 year well-check, and her doc was concerned at her complete lack of words as well. A speech and occupational therapist came to our house (I prefer that over having to go to someone’s office!!) and evaluated her and said that she has a speech delay. I explained to them about Sam and how I wasn’t really concerned about Molly either, and that was that. Just remember that your mama feeling is almost always right. And you can refuse any services/recommendation/evaluation you want. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As far as wine recommendations, these days I go for the biggest bottle- whatever that may be. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jenn recently posted…Project 365 – week 20My Profile

  6. Anna says

    Hey Tricia! No worries! He IS quite perfect & this is one of his own perfect bits of perfection <3
    Both of my kids had speech delays. We went through the same things! Kat actually didn't "qualify" for therapy until a later checkup and it really set her so much farther behind. Trust me, the evaluators & therapists have been to HUNDREDS of homes and unless you have cockroaches hanging out in a spoon waving to passing neighbors, they're not going to judge a thing. Honestly, evaluations & therapy sessions are going to be just like play sessions! You're going to sit there and think, "Why the heck am I paying these people (or the state, I don't know how MN does their system but under age 3 just about everyone financially qualifies for full coverage of services) to just sit & play with my kid?! I can do that for free!" Trust me – it is SO beneficial! I know of a few people who have kids with delays and not only did they not seek assistance, they shunned it & turned it away! Big mistake for most of those people in my eyes; those kids still have trouble communicating in upper elementary ๐Ÿ™
    It may not even be a speech delay – it could be a processing delay or developmental delay. Don't beat yourself up over it, there's nothing you could have done differently. In fact, don't think of it as a delay, think of it as a difference. That's all. Therapists just have exercises and education to give kiddos that extra bit of "oomph" some need. Also, starting early will give a jump-start and he likely won't need to be in speech classes when he gets to school ๐Ÿ˜‰
    While the decision is up to you, I urge you to not just let him come into his own in his own time – evaluations don't hurt and therapy is always helpful.
    Kat saw a developmental therapist (for speech delay, STs are hard to come by & by the time one had an open schedule, Kat was finally comfortable with her DT and we decided to not switch her to someone new) for a little over a year, then she continued with "therapy" in 3 years of preschool & occasional speech classes through first grade when she was released from the program. CJ saw a speech therapist (actually 2 since I fired one) & developmental therapist (come to think of it, he had 2 DTs as I fired one of those too) for a little over 2 years & then had one-on-one speech therapy through the public school system for 2 years. My kids each have their own "slew" of "issues" that make them unique but they can function in society, so that's the ultimate goal, right? Always feel free to message me on FB if you'd like to pick my brain or vent or really anything.

  7. says

    Oh, Tricia! I’m so sorry that you are going through this. The worrying/self-blaming thing really ratchets up when we are just sure we have done something to screw up our kids. If only we could have a crystal ball and see, in fact, that everything will be fine, we could relax and just enjoy the ride. Hang in there!
    Mo at Mocadeaux recently posted…Slow ComebackMy Profile

  8. says

    I have a perfect 3 yo who has speech delays too. There were a lot of fears, what if’s and, I hope’s. I just eventually embraced that she may not be like most 3yos are but she’s perfect with her imperfection nonetheless. I think I just fell in love with your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jhanis recently posted…Whatever Wednesday Blog HopMy Profile

  9. says

    Been there. At our 3 year checkup, the pediatrician was concerned with how my son pronounced words and how strangers might not understand him. I started bawling in the middle of the appointment. To me, he was a perfectly healthy, well adapted child. I was still a full time SAHM and wondering how I could have missed something was “wrong.” Then had the guilt that maybe if I had returned to work and he was in daycare with other kids and instruction …. All the mom guilt. We had his hearing tested (perfect! Hurray!) and then went to a speech therapist for testing. Yes, there were some issues, but she agreed we could wait a bit (remember I was still SAHM so there was the whole money issue for copays, etc) as he was a “young 3.” Six months later we went back for a retest and there were still issues. I was working again; he was in preschool. We ended up going 1-2x week for over a year. Eventually learned that insurance would not cover (ugh! Talk about bills). But it has all been worth it and we reached the goal – getting over this hurdle before kindergarten started as I was fearful it would cause him issues there. So, my long reply there, but I get it and you aren’t alone. Follow through with getting tested and any therapy, plus work with him at home. Soon this will be a distant memory and we’ll be dealing with new parenting challenges. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Sarah @ 2paws Designs recently posted…First Day of KindergartenMy Profile

  10. says

    Trish! My youngest’s school director pulled me aside and handed me the business card of a speech therapist. I felt a lump in my throat and totally pretended like I was not about to burst into tears in her office. This was two months ago, he is 2.5 and has Mommy and Daddy. That’s it. He is a third child so I have a laundry list of excuses as to why he can’t talk yet. Audiology test says he’s totally fine. We’re now seeing the speech therapist once a week and he LOVES her. So at the end of the day we’re on the right path and until the day when he can tell us all of those funny stories he’s building up in his little head then I’ll enjoy his monster hugs. I’m totally worried but burying it deep for now. Make my cookies, they make me feel better ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sarah @ Shine On Mom recently posted…Chocolate Chip Cookies: Dairy, Egg and Soy FreeMy Profile

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