Where we are now, in our speech delay journey

I’ll never forget those times where I felt as though something was wrong with my daughter. I just had this gut feeling. She was almost 3yrs old and her words consisted of “Dada” & “Hiya”. That was it. The books always tell you that they should know so many more words than that – but my little girl didn’t. And I understand that every child is different, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more to why she was not talking. Her 2nd-year assessment ‘finally’ came round one month shy of her turning three and during that session, everything changed. Because that day was the beginning of our speech delay journey…

Instead of me going over everything about her tongue tie diagnosis I have written a few blog posts about it, that you can find here & here. If you’re interested! But since that day, things have continued to be tough, frustrating and hard – but they’ve also been amazing & rewarding. 

Looking at her now, at 5yrs old, it’s crazy to think that she used to chirp to communicate with us. It’s upsetting to think back to her screaming face down on the pavement in front of the school gates – out of blind fury & frustration. 

This was an everyday occurrence. 

She could never tell us how she felt. Whether she was sad or happy, we never knew if she was feeling poorly or needed help. It was tough for all of us. Those years with her, where without a doubt the hardest parenting years of our life. And now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It hasn’t been easy and receiving no help from S.A.L.T, made it harder. It was down to me to help my little girl – which meant learning things I never knew to find ways to help her learn how to talk. She was 3yrs old and she couldn’t talk. Meaning, in reality, she was a good year behind at the very least.

I researched every resource, printed off endless helpful advice & tips, I laminated so many worksheets from places like Learning Space and more. I watched video after video from trained speech therapists, on ways to help my daughter pronounciate her words following her tongue tie.

The first indication that we were doing things right, was during preschool & we were told that she was ready for Primary school. A proper sigh of relief moment. I was so afraid that she wouldn’t be. During preschool, I was always worried that other kids wouldn’t play with her because they couldn’t understand her. Resulting in her feeling left out, and it affecting her self-confidence – but she made so many lovely little friends which really did make my heart sing. 

She was so excited to be starting preschool!

Now, at this moment she is a few months shy of finishing her first year in Primary school. She can tell us what is wrong. She can communicate with us and the chirping is a distant memory.

We are currently learning how to read and I feel like things like reading are a little tougher for her, because of her tongue tie. But we are working with our jolly phonics, learning new words and making progress.

This speech delay journey was never going to be a sprint. But this month marks the week, two years ago, when I managed to stretch her tongue tie {when the doctors refused to snip it} through simple & fun everyday exercises.

I wrote a post on ways to help stretch a tongue tie in toddlers if you fancy a read. 

My little girl has worked so incredibly hard over these two years. We’ve still had frustrations and tears and upset. But we have also had exhilarating moments when she has said the word “Marshmallow” – which, if you have a child with speech delay you’ll understand the struggle to pronounce the ‘L’! Or the squeals and whoops of us all, as we heard her say “Jacob” {rather than Ga-gub} and her beaming with absolute pride.

It’s those little moments in speech delay that are just monumental to experience. Every single hurdle jumped over is exhilarating. It’s like watching your child take their first steps over & over again. 

Our journey continues though, we’re still trying to crack little things here and there and every day we’re getting closer and closer to leaving this adventure behind. The most important thing is that we’re making this journey together, as a family. We’re kicking ass and taking names on this speech delay adventure – and even though it’s a crazy slow journey, we’re doing it side by side. 

Do you have any history of speech delay? I’d love to hear your story…

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20 Comments

  1. 22/02/2018 / 8:54 PM

    Ahh I am so pleased to hear that you are both kicking ass in your journey, this must have been incredibly hard for the both of you! We have some speech issues going on with megan, not a delay as her vocabulary is amazing, but she has this weird thing of speaking in a baby voice so actually, she’s almost forgotten how to use her own voice?

    • 26/02/2018 / 9:50 PM

      Thank you so much! It has been hard but the fact we’re seeing the light at the end is pretty exciting! Oh, bless her. Annabelle can do this as well now and again! I am getting a bit of a “wishing she was still a baby” vibe which I am just counteracting with lots of big girl encouragement – hoping that helps her! x

  2. 22/02/2018 / 9:43 PM

    Sounds like you’ve both done a great job working at it. How come no SALT support? We were offered a referral check – in our county took 26 weeks (not realising the next county we could have gone to was only 3 weeks). N was lucky because the more he talked the more it must have stretched it, so by the time he had his appointment, his speech was fine. It’s just such a shame that a) there aren’t enough midwives trained in it to either know / check early on, and to snip if necessary, and then that there’s so little support.

    • 26/02/2018 / 9:52 PM

      Thank you! As for no SALT support, I honestly have no idea. She had one assessment appointment – was asked to come back in three months and we never got the appointment through. Chasing it up amounted to nothing as well. Pretty frustrating stuff! And it is sad that there is so little support for it!

  3. 23/02/2018 / 11:43 AM

    I am glad you are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and you have done so well as a family working at it. You should be proud of yourself and she should be proud of herself – she’s doing so incredibly well xxx

  4. 23/02/2018 / 1:55 PM

    I’m so happy that your daughter has been able to enjoy school and not feel isolated, it must make you so proud when she progresses with her speech x

  5. 23/02/2018 / 10:59 PM

    Aw she’s so gorgeous! It’s so lovely to hear how far she’s come! You can see she’s beaming with joy and confidence! Well done to her! You must be so so proud. X

    • 26/02/2018 / 9:54 PM

      Aww, thank you! And I am very, very proud of her! xx

  6. 24/02/2018 / 9:23 AM

    I had speech delay but that was due to glue ear and I couldn’t hear properly. Thankfully ENT picked it up fairly quickly. This is great to raise awareness and I hope it helps people in a similar boat. Off topic – We were down your neck of the woods last week! xx

    • 26/02/2018 / 9:55 PM

      I have heard about glue ear – Annabelle was ruled out for having that. YAY for ENT picking up on yours pretty early! And were you? Did you have a good day? x

  7. Sam
    24/02/2018 / 6:31 PM

    You must be so proud of your daughter and how far she’s come!

    My niece and nephew both had trouble learning to speak and it was really stressful for my sister. Luckily they both progressed through it (my niece is almost 8 and a proper chattetbox now!)

    • 26/02/2018 / 9:56 PM

      Unbelievably proud of her, thank you! I can relate to your Sister because it is very frustrating! So many emotions and then feeling like a complete failure, too. Thrilled to hear your niece & nephew are chatterboxes now! x

  8. 24/02/2018 / 8:00 PM

    I can understand it must be so frustrating for parents to see their kids struggle. I have known a couple of children that have struggled but with help and support they have caught up

    • 26/02/2018 / 9:58 PM

      It is incredibly frustrating, and massively upsetting too! But we’re getting there and that’s the most important thing! x

  9. 25/02/2018 / 9:00 AM

    I am so glad that you are both kicking ass on this journey. i can understand your position as a mom ad they worry that comes with it.

  10. 27/02/2018 / 8:04 PM

    Well done to your little girl for working hard to overcome her struggle. So great to hear how you have worked with her to help and learn together. P.s she’s such a cutie, all the best to her!

  11. Kelly
    17/03/2018 / 4:27 PM

    So nice to get the progress isn’t it? I received our letter last Christmas eve to say Reece had been discharged from Speech Therapy, it was the best gift ever.!

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