An update on our speech delay journey & what hurdles we’re currently facing

It’s been a while since I last shared an update about Annabelle’s speech delay journey. My previous speech delay update was back in February of this year, but I guess frequent updates aren’t really necessary and that’s mainly down to speech delays not being a ‘conquered-in-a-day-process’. So far? It’s been years, with no help from S.A.L.T – and those years have been filled with tantrums, frustrations and upsets {and those have just been from me!}

We’ve shared posts here on the blog previously, right from the beginning with Annabelle’s tongue tie diagnosis, just before her third birthday. But where are we now? Well, now Annabelle is five {on the cusp of being six} and she has come so far since those days of chirping to communicate or laying in front of the school gates SCREAMING because no one could understand her. I cannot even let myself feel the feelings I felt back then because…well…it was hard, let’s just say that. 

Annabelle is currently in the Winter term of Primary two and still has a few hurdles to leap over. She can speak much better now, but still has issues pronouncing certain words, however, if I am honest? I have a feeling that it’s now laziness on her part. I say this because I will catch her saying “cause” and I’ll immediately respond with because” and she will repeat back to me perfectly. The same with the word “remember” – I will hear her say “member” and I’ll respond with remember” and again she will repeat it back to me perfectly. So, I do think laziness is now invading our progress – which is something I am looking into at the moment to nip in the bud.

Another issue we are currently facing is how fast she is trying to speak. With everything, Annabelle has done things her way and it’s tough going to try and reprogram her to not speak so fast, to take her time and to think before she speaks. But, I guess, in her mind, she needs to get it all out in one breathe! So that is another aspect of her speech that we are currently working on. It will take time, like everything else has and we will get there, eventually. 

Along with Annabelle’s speed talking and inability to still pronounce certain sounds & words we have also been doing a few extra things at home to help her. I signed up for Reading Eggs during the summer as well as Mathseeds – but if I’m honest? Her Maths skills are not a worry of mine – this kid has some serious mental maths skills! However, her reading – even though it’s improving – still needs some work. So doing some reading eggs every day is helping her with more sounds and recognising her high-frequency words. 

Her school recently has signed her up for an Adventure Seekers course, during school hours to help with speech and language – which I am so, so grateful for. Her school has just recently got a new Headmaster, so I am going to put this down to him, so yes, very thankful for that and I’m excited to see how it helps her on top of what we are doing at home. 

One more thing we are doing at home is activity sheets from Twinkl. Now, before you think to yourself “Gosh, this woman is bombarding this kid with all sorts on a daily basis” you’d be wrong. We don’t do everything every day – like school, we keep certain things to certain days and keep to a routine. We read every day – which we all should do with our children, but I’m lucky that most days Annabelle finds doing activity sheets quite fun. 

Child development

Twinkl have such an amazing range and I am printing out all sorts of amazing worksheets from them on a weekly basis. For example, Annabelle told me yesterday that she found her work in school that day quite tricky. I love nothing more than her talking to me about her struggles because then I can do something, anything, to help her. She told me it was writing the letter V and she found that quite tricky – which is totally fine. I then popped onto Twinkl and I have printed off a Letter V activity pack to help her gain confidence with this new letter. 

As well as the Letter V activity book I have printed her off a My Pencil control workbook because I am going to assume the two are connected. Perhaps she found writing the letter ‘V’ difficult due to its formation. I’m no teacher – this is just purely an assumption from a parental perspective – but hopefully helping her more with her pencil control we can conquer the ‘V’ formation and hopefully, from this, she won’t find her current school work so hard. 

So, there we go…that’s where we are at the moment. There are always new hurdles to leap over with speech delay and I am so proud of how far we have come since her diagnosis and we’re going to keep kicking its ass and one day, this will all be behind us. 

If you have a child with a current tongue tie, here are 4 activities to help stretch a tongue tie in toddlers – this really helped us with Annabelle and these techniques – even though they won’t be as effective for everyone – helped us stretch her tongue tie before her private hospital appointment! 

I’ll update again soon – but for now, we’ll continue doing what we are doing and if you are going through your own speech delay journey…there is light at the end of the tunnel! Keep going, you’re all doing AMAZING! 

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20 Comments

  1. 07/11/2018 / 4:47 PM

    We’ve have a stutter/stammer issue with Isabella (7) There’s no pattern to it, she isn’t nervous and it’s in Welsh and in English. School are meant to be referring her to a therapist. We tell her to slow down and think about what she wants to say too. Sometimes it seems she gets really excited and her mouth can’t keep up with her head.

    Hope Anabelle continues to make improvements. Seem’s like you’re doing tons to help her.

    xxx

  2. 08/11/2018 / 5:46 AM

    That’s really good that the new headmaster has enrolled her on some help with her speech as well x

  3. 08/11/2018 / 10:08 AM

    Well done Debs, it sounds like you’re doing all you can to help her! I’ve just been having a look at some of the things you’ve linked, they’re really useful as I’m trying to help Ethan with his reading and writing at home at the moment. x

    • 09/11/2018 / 9:20 AM

      Thanks, Alex. I just hope I am doing all I can to help her – unsure what else I could be doing, to be honest. Twinkl is really great for wee worksheets for the kids – I would certainly check it out. x

  4. 08/11/2018 / 12:27 PM

    It sounds like you are doing so well, those activity packs sound like a really good idea! 🙂 I have a few activity books and sticker books and those little write on / wipe clean books I like to sit down and do with the boys now and then, they pick whichever ones they want to do. The packs would be a nice thing to mix it up a little! I think it’s good to try a few activities at home to help encourage learning, and variety is good too! 🙂

    • 09/11/2018 / 9:19 AM

      We used to have LOADS of those wipe clean books – they are so so handy! I even went through a laminating phase, haha!

  5. 08/11/2018 / 2:54 PM

    My little girl was five in May and she has speech delay too, she has been seeing SALT since she was two and still has problems now. Her speaking is better but she is still hard to understand at times, she too gets a bit frustrated at times as it is starting to impact on her reading and spelling at school. I think I will have to start some of the activities you are doing at home too x

    • 09/11/2018 / 9:18 AM

      I am pleased she has been getting help from SALT. It’s so hard watching them get frustrated, isn’t it? I find Annabelle’s speech delay really affects her spelling & reading at school, too. Something else I am trying to help her more with, along with whatever she does at school. It’s far from easy though. To help with speech – apologies if you already know this – but my daughters preschool teacher gave me this tip a few years ago. It helps to strengthen their mouth muscles. You basically ‘clean the windows’ {teeth} with your tongue, then the doors {lips}, then the walls {inside of your cheeks} – basically, you’re cleaning the house. Annabelle LOVED doing this and it really helped her. It’s something to try if you haven’t already. x

  6. 08/11/2018 / 8:49 PM

    We use twinkl at pre-school and there stuff is brilliant. Sounds like she is coming on well and you are doing everything to help her

    • 09/11/2018 / 9:14 AM

      The worksheets there are very good, aren’t they. Annabelle loves having worksheets printed out and thank you.

  7. 09/11/2018 / 2:03 PM

    Speech delay can be a worrying time I am sure. However, looks like you have everything in hand and are doing a fab job to progress her xx

  8. 09/11/2018 / 7:06 PM

    We’ve just started our SALT journey for my youngest child, it’s not all new to me though as my oldest is completely non verbal. I’m pretty sure this journey is going to be a lot easier than our first. I sometimes feel we’re so focussed on the speech aspect of SALT that we forget that speech is the very very last part of communicating. We’re focussing on other ways of communicating other than speech and then the speech should come on nicely afterwards!

  9. 09/11/2018 / 8:41 PM

    I can imagine it being so frustrating for you. Take each day as it comes I suppose. Progress, however small is still progress xxx

  10. 09/11/2018 / 10:38 PM

    This is such a useful posts for anyone with a child going through the same and well done to Annabelle, every step is one closer to your goal. Mich x

  11. 10/11/2018 / 1:47 AM

    I can tell it must be frustrating for you! I’m glad the new headmaster is trying to help! Remember though progress is progress no matter how small. x

  12. 10/11/2018 / 3:45 PM

    It’s great that the school is so supportive and assisting your daughter . I am sure she will get better and better with time .

  13. 10/11/2018 / 8:47 PM

    It sounds like you’re doing a great job in supporting her. It will all come in time which can be frustrating but at least she is making progress.

  14. 10/11/2018 / 9:47 PM

    It’s sounds like you are doing an amazing job helping her, you should be proud of yourself and her too! I imagine it is frustrating at times though. I’m going to look into Reading Eggs, it sounds really good.

  15. Fatima
    12/11/2018 / 2:20 AM

    I’ve heard Reading Eggs is a really good application for kids. I’m hoping to get that for my son too.

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