To feel like a massive failure(49 Posts)
Before I start I just want to say that I am seeing my health visitor next week to discuss my concerns.
So my beautiful son is 21 months old and he is an absolute joy and delight. He is so happy, is very sociable, very loving and very active. He has just learnt to jump with two feet off the ground, joins in the actions to songs, follows instructions well and will bring me his coat/shoes etc if I ask. Can also do inset puzzles I independently.
However, his speech is almost non-existent. He has about 10 words (if that) and uses mostly gesture and sounds to communicate what he wants. He does babble.
His little friends of the same age however are suddenly talking all the time, my friends are always sending videos of them and the new words they say and my heart breaks with every new clip. We are due to all meet up soon and I just now my boy is going to stand out a mile.
I'm a primary school teacher trained in early years and whilst I know that children develop at different rates I feel like I've massively failed my baby. I went back to work (part-time) when h4 was 6 months but he has so much interaction (from me on an afternoon), my sister who has him when I'm at work (she's a childminder), my dh... We do everything to encourage him and like I say his understanding is brilliant and he is very sociable. But I just feel like a big fat failure.
I'm not really sure why I'm posting apart from the fact that I've just had a good cry and needed to get it all out!
It doesn't help that I'm 7 months pregnant and feeling guilty that I'll be spending even less time one on one with him.
Have you tried baby signing? That really got my friends DC talking really well really early. There are videos on YouTube or local classes.
Don’t panic. DS did this. No talking barring a few necessary words until later than his friends. Then, BAM!, full sentences. Turns out he (and he still does this) wanted to get it right first time.
Oh my goodness. Breathe. Deeply. You are in no way a failure. I have 5 kids. My youngest is 2.5 years now and says a handful of words. At 2 he said literally nothing. I wasn't worried. He understood everything. If your child understands, then speech will follow. My sister (much younger than me, so I remember as I was already adult) didn't say a word until she was 3. She then went immediately to full, grammatically correct, sentences.
It has been argued that some children don't speak until until they are completely sure of not making mistakes and that they'll be understood. Some psychologists believe that these children actually have a higher IQ. My sister certainly has.
Please don't feel guilty. If you are confident that they understand then that is all that's needed. Enjoy the peace because when they start they'll never shut up!
My son was the same at 21 months, much quieter than his elder brother was at that age. Six months on however and his speech improved massively and he continues to amaze me every day with the words and sentences he comes out with.
They do all develop differently-it’s not anything you’ve done or haven’t done; so please don’t beat yourself up about this.
My 21mo is the same, I was worried for a while but really a few words and good understanding is still good progress! Your HV can help if you still have concerns after he's 2 if he's still not saying much but really, they're all different. I know some the same age who are totally silent and others speaking really well, some in two languages! As with everything try not to compare too much.
Please please don't feel like a failure. Your son is thriving and it's because of you. My friends son didn't speak much until he was 5!! Honestly he had many referrals to speech therapy and my friend felt she had let him down, he is now 7 and talks brilliantly. Stop worrying, he is happy and healthy and that is because of you.
You're not a failure, my ds hardly said any words till he was closer to 3, then he wouldn't stop!
It's perfectly normal to have that level of speech at that age. The spectrum of what is expected is very wide and that is well within it. I wouldn't be at all worried.
Your friends won't notice. Nobody pays any attention to other people's babies!
My friend's DS only really started speaking when he started nursery. He was 2.5 or 3 by then. I wouldn't worry, and you most definitely aren't a failure!
My son didn't speak until he was over two and a half. The health visitor who came when DS2 was born made me feel awful. DS1 was two and four months. She kept asking if I had any concerns and at the time I didn't think much of it. She then told me that DS1's speech was poor and I should seek SALT.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, DS1 suddenly started speaking in full sentences and ever since has been an extremely clear speaker.
I wouldn't worry. They speak when they're ready.
My daughter did this. At two she had just a handful of words. Even at three wasn't really talking much. Understood fully though.
She's now 9 and is at the top of her class - with scores off the scale for her standardised tests. Still doesn't like talking much unless she wants to but she has always known what she wants 😄
I don't think it's that odd that he isn't talking at his age! I've known children speak many words really early and just as many hardly speaking at all up to three years old.
My grandson didn't use more than about 5 works until he was 4!...He is 5 now and has a vocabulary that astounds me.
Your ds understands everything he should, so please don't worry....and you are NOT a failure because of this.
My DD had delayed speech then a horrendous stammer.
It's just resolved this year and now she doesn't shut up.
Your not a failure these things just happen
In the nicest possible way, you really need to calm down. He's not even two. He's completely normal and there is nothing in your post to suggest he's even 'behind' let alone there are problems when it comes to speech and language.
Please read this link and calm down. Your HV might refer you to SALT (I say this as mine did with DS3 at about the same age; we'd lost sight of 'normal' as our older boys were in a speech and language unit at primary school) but by the time he was seen, around seven months later, he was signed off immediately.
I'm sure your hormones aren't helping here though!
Oh she's 5 end of December.
FWIW and I think it's uncommon my brother's speech issues never fully went away. He's got lovely SIL, two daughters and is a successful joiner. It's never held him back.
Whilst I get where you are coming from (mother=guilt) please give your head a gentle wobble. In your professional life, do you feel that the parents of children with language delays have failed them? Or the parents of children with motor delays? Or the parents of children with SEN? You sound nice so I assume not. I also assume that whoever has been caring for your son whilst you've been at work talks to him.
My Dd was in full blown sentences by aged 2
My Ds on the other hand is now 2.6 months and is only just starting to be coherent. He still prefers to whinge and point to using his words though
Oh my goodness, you REALLY need to calm down and give yourself a break. He's only 21 months and he sounds absolutely normal. Also, I know exactly how you feel. My first born was a very, very early talker. Talked a blue streak in full sentences starting at 14 months. When he was 22 months, my daughter was born. At 18 months she was saying momma but that's it - with every passing week and month I got more concerned. By the time she was nearly 2.5, I was worried sick. Everything else about her was wonderful and it was clear she was a bright child, but she just wouldn't talk, and comparing her to my son was the worst thing I could have done. I was sure she just have hearing problems and had her tested twice. Nope, her ears were fine. Two months before she turned 3 the flood hates opened and she was talking non-stop. She's now 18 and an honors student and she's always done brilliantly in school. Try to relax! Every child is different and other areas of development are actually much more important at his age, and he sounds like all of those are perfect. He will be just fine.
Like everything else, they very annoyingly take their own time about speaking. If you are sure his hearing is ok you have no reason to worry.
Don't panic yet- my youngest only had a few words till around 3.5, gabbled away unintelligibly. Currently applying for Uni, very articulate indeed.
Worth checking out but may well be nothing at all.
I have a daughter the same age, OP. She says a handful of words clearly enough to be understood by friends etc, mostly mummy, daddy, milk, siblings names. My friends little boy is a month older and speaks better than my older two did when they were almost 3. Every child is different. It sounds to me (not that I'm an expert) that your son is just more focused on physical things like jumping etc. By all means discuss with the health visitor who will be able to reassure you some more, but he sounds perfectly fine to me. My older two didn't speak until much later (eldest didn't even babble) and the health visitor assured me that they were both fine.
You are not a failure at all - 21 months is nothing and some children do not start speaking until they are 2 or even 2 and a half! He will be fine I am sure. i hope that the HV visit goes off okay.
No you're not a failure. Each child is very different. The health visitor will check his speech and may when he is older suggest a referral to a speech therapist if necessary. Dont worry too much. My nephew was pretty much the same. Had some speech therapy during primary school years and his speech is fine now.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.