“As her mother, I immediately thought her speech delay was my fault. I was pretty hard on myself for the next few weeks. I felt I was a failure.”
My 2 year old child’s pediatrician recommends speech therapy and my immediate thought is not on the benefits of therapy, but on how I may have caused the speech delay. As bilingual parents, we all want to have our children learning both languages. Bilingualism is often blamed for speech delays. Whether or not this is true, what is important is not to cast blame but instead turn towards helping our child succeed.
I have shared multiple times that Chi-Chi (will be 3 years old in November) has not progressed as one would expect with her speech. At her 2 year old wellness check-up, I had expressed a concern about her speech. She hadn’t said more than 5 words and most of the words were names. I was told to wait 6 more months to see how she would progress. Well, she had only progressed to about 15-20 words by that visit and we were told she should have speech therapy to assist in her development.
I hadn’t done as many learning activities with her compared to Nugget. Clearly, there is a greater ease when you have 1 toddler compared to 2. So, I admit that my mommy school wasn’t as active for Chi-Chi. Also, we ran a lot of errands during the times Nugget was in his half-day school program. I read to Chi-Chi every day and we would talk about concepts as the opportunity would pop up. All of that didn’t matter though. What mattered was resolving my own feelings of disappointment, despair, and failure then getting back to helping my child. So what if my child has a speech delay! Okay, lets do something about it.
So, I’ve worked through the negative feelings with prayer and positive thinking. She will learn to speak and to associate her feelings with words. It will be a longer journey and a different experience for me. However, I’m determined to be the mom that helped her child overcome speech delays….not the mom who may or may not have caused it.
Thank you for allowing me to share and taking an interest in my experience. What are your experiences with delays in growth and development for your children? How did you cope?