To the mom of a late talker, I see you
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I see you mama, acting like it’s not a big deal. I see you being polite to all the people who question. I see you second guessing yourself. I see you smiling through the hurt. I see you pulling it together when you want to fall apart. I see you, mama. I see you because I am you.
This is the truth about being the mom of a late talker, it’s hard. It’s so, so hard. The emotions, the struggles, the self doubt, the criticism; all raging behind the scenes but always in the forefront of your mind. No matter what, you’re continually trying to push it all aside so no one else sees.
But I see. I see you breaking a little more each time someone tries to diagnose your child. Because you’ve already consulted all the doctors, you let them do the tests, and you know that there isn’t anything wrong with your child. But it still hurts. It stings like a million little bees every single time.
I see you trying to avoid the topic with your friends. You see their kids, their growing, beautiful kids, and in one way only they seem leaps and bounds ahead of your own. And you’re jealous. Sometimes overwhelmingly jealous. And you feel terrible for wanting more for your child.
I see you consulting Dr. Google trying to get some answers, some peace that it’s just a phase. Taking all the time you can to teach them. You’ve joined the support groups, you are your own child’s advocate, you’ve become a self-acclaimed expert on the late talker, but you still can’t seem to make advances, or feel better.
I see you blaming yourself. Maybe if you took more time with them, maybe if they didn’t watch so much t.v. Maybe if you got out more or made some changes to your routine. Maybe you should have consulted someone else. Early intervention may have helped, why didn’t you see it earlier? But it changes nothing.
I see you feeling alone and feeling like no one understands. You don’t understand how to help your child, because they can’t tell you what’s wrong. You don’t know how to help yourself, because you’re too distraught between your emotions and and then feeling bad about them.
I see you trying to be understanding when a stranger talks to your child. I mean, they are just trying to be nice. But it doesn’t help when they don’t get a response, or even worse, they’re met with a babble. And the well known phrase rings in your ears “I have no idea what you’re saying. How old are they?”
I see you, feeling like you’ve abandoned your child when you run out of options, or when you try to explain that it’s ‘just a speech delay’. Look, they’re really smart. They aren’t necessarily behind. They’re just more concerned with other things. They’re advancing in other ways, they will do it when they’re ready.
I see you saying all those things and wondering if you may just be trying to convince yourself of that too. Because right now, a child with a ‘simple’ speech delay, seems like so much more. It seems like the end of the world and you are trying not to crumble from the pressure of not doing enough, not being enough.
You’re afraid of what is to come, or what may never. You’re torn because you want so much more for your child, but feel bad because it’s as if what they are isn’t enough. You’re losing your mind because you are the epitome of a hott mess and you are barely holding it together.
You are not alone because I see you. I am you. I’m the mama of two late talkers, two kids with speech delays, and I’ve been there. I’ve been in every situation you could imagine and it doesn’t get easier the second time around. But speech delay isn’t the end.
Your late talker will bloom, and it may take a little more time, but they will. The struggles you faced will melt away and your anger, your hurt, it will be distant memories. Take heart to that. You aren’t alone, no matter how it seems. You’re doing your best. You’re doing it right.
I see you, you wonderful, amazing, tough mom of a late talker.
Thank you, a million times: thank you! I needed this today <3
All these late talkers ……did your child respond when calling their name?
Hi, Joanne! Sometimes they would, but sometimes they would just flat out ignore me- like kids have a habit to do! 🙂 However, I always knew that they heard me, that was never a question, they were just interested in other things that were going on around them.
Thank you for this. Sincerely.
I have a 6 year old who is a late talker. He’s so smart and social in so many other ways that my wife and I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t developing vocabulary and speech abilities along with his peers. A few months before his 3rd birthday we were given a book from a family member titled, “The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late” by Thomas Sowell. It was such a Godsend to read this book and realize that there were other kids out there like my son and that all these kids eventually talk just fine. My son has taken longer than most late talkers, but he started kindergarten this year and he’s made so much progress in a short amount of time, and I finally know without a doubt that he will speak at the same level as his peers very soon.
hey jeff, would u please tell me all about your son. my son is 4.9 years old and talking in litlle phrases somtime not understand how and when questions.
Thank you. This blessed me.
Thanks for sharing this. It’s unfortunate for mamas and their little ones that people are so anxious to compare children’s development. I have four children, and the age range at which they learned to speak ranges from 5 months to 2 years! Each child is unique. One of my children had a stroke at birth, so there are some things that take him longer to learn as a result. Believe it or not, even I’ve had comments (from people who KNOW about the stroke) about areas where they think he should have developed faster. You just have to learn to ignore people’s unsolicited opinions and remember that God has a plan and a purpose for their life, just as they are!
I needed to read this! My son is 18 months old and only babbling. I am yet to hear him call me “Mommy” or my husband ” Daddy”. And during his 18th month checkup, we filled up the MChat and the doctor assessed him for autism/speech delay and gave us a referral letter to a specialist. It has made me worried nonstop that I no longer enjoy motherhood because I am always watching his every move like a hawk to spot signs. Thank you for this and love to all parents all over the world! xoxo
Yes, I was a late taker. I didn’t start talking until I was 3..
I needed help with the BASIC…in which my Mom/Dad didn’t know…when you have 2 teachers in the family that didn’t help…kinda secary.
May grandson is the same my daughter has the same issues as above.
My daughter and son-in law going to home school him.
I did say this to her, it’s going be okay.?
Be bless,Inspired an Godfidence.?
This is wonderfully written, thank you for sharing. My child was an early talker so I appreciate hearing about those with late talkers
I have full-custody of my gs since he was 6months .he is now 3yrs old …mother wants custody & is saying I’m neglect in his speech…he talks to me & is only talks to ppl he comfortable with…i see here he could be a late talker…had him to speech therapy…said he is a bright little man who is very smart…& said it be good to put him in pre-kindergarden….mother took to doctor while inwasnat work & said he can only say bye bye…not true…doc wrote referral for special speech class…but speech doctor only said pre-kindergarden would catch him up…Gm here is lost w words..should not be punished for this…
Praying for you, Tammy! Trust in the Lord!
I really wish so many stigmas would stop in regards to child development. Just because a child is progressing at different paces doesnt determine their smartness. Thank you for sharing this. Hopefully more people become aware and avoid adding insecurity.
My twins were late talkers and their pediatrician was a terrific help in allaying my concerns. Now they talk non stop.
I can see why waiting for your child as a late talker would be unnerving because of all the things people could suggest about what is wrong. I just know that I knew a family who had one. And once the girl did start talking she had tons and tons to say. There was nothing wrong with her whatsoever.
I can’t say much, but all I could feel is sweetness and kindness of your post. And that makes it beautiful 🙂
I am into the same phase !! My son is 2 and not trying to speak! this post really gives me the courage to see people like me! thanks for this motivation
Yeah, It’s good to emphasize the effort of the child..and always complimenting their enthusiasm and progress.
This is perfectly okay! Every child is totally different and I respect you for sharing your story.
My nephew has a speech delay. He’s just now starting to form words and he’s twice as old as my niece who is talking up a storm. It’s ok, we know he’ll catch up but it can be hard on his parents who wish for him to be caught up now. 🙂
What a lovely post. Kudos to you for being the voice for moms who are facing this issue.
I think people should always avoid comparing their children with others,always stand by them regardless of the disabilities.
Such a heartfelt post. This post will be very comforting and encouraging to someone in the same situation as you.
I think as parents we can often get into the comparison game. But if we realize that milestones such as talking will happen in their own time, we can take a deep breath, relax and just enjoy all the sweet moments of childhood.
It’s always annoying when people trying to tell you what milestones you child should have mastered and when. Every child is different and boys talk later than girls… typically. My coworker is having the same concerns because she compares her son to other children. I told her the same thing.
I like this! So great that you are helping other mothers in similar situation know that they are not alone. All children are different and some bloom later than others and that’s ok! My nephew didn’t get potty trained until 5 years old. He was afraid and made a promise to his mom that when he turned 5 he would use the toilet. And he did! Kids will be ready when they are ready!
My toddler has a speech delay. He is finally receiving services through the school and state. Early intervention is key.
Oh yeah, I was here with my son. It turned out at the time he had autism, but I didn’t know that and I was panicked. For the longest time I thought he would be a mute. But then when he was about 3 1/2 the words started to come. I always say he taught me patience. But yeah, it is tough, especially when you see other kids talking up a storm. You wonder what YOU’RE doing wrong.
I think all children develop at their own pace. We should not push them. In fact some children with delayed speech may even be noticeably brighter than the other children.
My cousin was a late talker. He was nearly 2 when he started to make sense of words. My aunty was very worried and tried every tricks and technique but it did not work. All he needed was just a bit of time and now he talks well without any problems.
I was told that I was a late talker even a babbler to the point that I got a nickname of baba. I think I turned out well. Your family will thrive as long as there is love and patience. Keep sharing your story.
I do understand why people get so worried when their kid take more time. I mean, in our world, you want everybody to fit in, right? But as you said, some kids need more time and it is fine xx corinne
Everyone matures at different times!!!
Thanx..I needed this
So beautiful family! Thanks for sharing