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ashamed of myself for feeling like this about my son

(17 Posts)
justgaveup Sat 17-Oct-09 17:42:04

i feel really, really bad about this and realise that I'm being a bit ridiculous.

My son is 2.7 and has speech delay, he's under a speech therapist and general impression of therapist, HV and nursery is that there's nothing to worry about he's just really slow and quite far behind his peers BUT with intervention he'll catch up by time he's ready for school. So obviously that's really good news and I'm dead pleased.

However, it's getting to the point now that I'm a bit embarassed to go out with other mums with toddlers the same age. I'm ok with close friends but I mean other mums who i only really know cos of kids, i sometimes go to play centres/toddler groups with them. I feel embarassed that my son is so far behind theirs and feel like they're all pitying him/me. I also get upset when their children are having full blown conversations and mine is just saying one word or grunting and pointing.

I am so ashamed that I feel like this. I adore my son and am so proud of him in other ways.

Please don't flame me, i know people have much bigger problems but just wondered if anyone else has ever felt like this?

pagwatch Sat 17-Oct-09 17:47:43

My DS2 Had severe language delay and was pretty much non verbal until he was 4.

I can't say I ever felt like that, I was always so proud of how hard he tried and concious that he must be hugely frustrated. It always struck me that he was very brave.
But I think you have come to the right place to get some support and advice. I hope you get some.I think recognisingthat this is a pointless emotion to feel and talking about it is very sensible and brave of you.

All I would say is that at some stage in every area of our lives we need to stop being emabrssed about our children in any way as it is unproductive and silly - our children are hard wired to embaress us and actually sart to enjoy it as they get oldergrin.

lljkk Sat 17-Oct-09 17:52:01

I think you should redirect your query to the SN board here on MN, JustGaveUp. There are plenty of people on there who must have had to deal with the same issues.

You really mustn't compare (I know, easier said than done). But it's a hiding to nothing.

13lucky Sat 17-Oct-09 18:16:26

I think 2.7 years old is VERY young to be classed as being 'behind' in speech. My dd didn't start stringing words together until she was way over 2 and now at 3.3 years babbles away all the time...and still a lot of it is made up words. I'm obviously not an expert but it seems very young for them to have classed him as behind. I don't think you should worry at all...there were loads of children the same age as my dd who could speak sentences before she could even speak single words but please don't feel uncomfortable around those mothers - I bet your ds can do other things that theirs can't - they just learn different things at different times.

racmac Sat 17-Oct-09 18:51:56

I wouldnt worry about his speech - i was very behind with my speech at that age - the HV used to go on at my mother and worry her.

BUT i started apeaking all of a sudden at 3 and was reading by 3.5 - he will catch up - your attitude may well effect him - he may pick up on it

I cant stand these labels that he is "behind" he's 2.7 ffs - he has plenty of time to do all these things

TotalChaos Sat 17-Oct-09 18:57:48

my DS was severely delayed at 3, luckily he has made good progress since. I would say I was more fiercely protective than embarassed, but it is inevitable that you end up comparing with kids you don't know well - I know with the ones I have known since a baby, I never felt - that's a 3 year old with ace speech, but just that's little Sophie who happens to have ace speech. It's OK to pull back a bit from toddler group etc if you are feeling wobbly. I know there's some great myth that toddler groups cure everything from PND to speech delay, but I never found them all that tbh.

it's inevitable that you will compare - but day to day, the best way to get by is to look at his progress as an individual - celebrate all the hard won achievements.

tiredoftherain Sat 17-Oct-09 21:53:20

Justgaveup, I understand where you're coming from. I think you feel it so much more if it's your first child too (is your ds your first?)

ds1 always hit all milestones other than speech and I think I was far more conscious of his delay than anyone else was. I think you just need to be happy that the prognosis is good. In a couple of years this might just be a distant memory.

linglette Sun 18-Oct-09 10:30:51


My DS2 also would have been classified as severe at 3.0. I however had the luxury of having a DS1 who'd had a similar language delay but grew out of it completely and now outperforms those annoying little gabbling girls. So it was easier for me and please don't think I'd judge you for a moment.

I think though you have a duty to try to overcome this feeling using whatever psychological tricks on yourself you have to. You must - because he needs to see lots of spontaneous joyful reactions from you to encourage him - and he needs to see that reaction to his one word+grunt+point even if little Agatha is pestering her mother with "why?" questions next to him. Play dirty if necessary - start referring to him as a "Little Einstein" in front of your acquaintances (referring to the urban myth that Einstein didn't talk till three) and watch their pity turn to envy as they start to wonder....... it's low, but it works if you need to boost yourself.

A more practical way to overcome the problem is to get busy fixing it. I recommend "It Takes Two to Talk" published by the Hanen Foundation ( but the UK distributor is Winslow). It is a parent-training manual that will train you (and, crucially, dad if he is on the scene) to use the best possible techniques for bringing on his language. Critically, it is totally non-scary - no milestone charts, no paralysingly terrifying references to scary syndromes or whatnot. Fantastically clear prose and wonderfully edited. It is also eyewateringly expensive. But no more than a pair of fancy boots. It will stop you using tempting but utterly wrong techniques like saying "can you say X?" and asking too many questions.

good luck.

smallwhitecat Sun 18-Oct-09 11:05:43

Message withdrawn

Annya Sun 18-Oct-09 12:06:37

It is difficult not to compare, I think. I know parents of children who were a bit later than their peers at walking for instance who got quite stressed and, I think, felt awkward about the constant "is he walking yet" questions. I currently am quite aware that my son's friends are toilet trained and he's not. I wish he was but there's no point getting upset about it.

But I'm sure he does things that his friends don't do, it's always the way, and probably those parents wish their children could do X, Y or Z like yours.

As you say he's expected to catch up so that's great. So try and relax, it'll probably all seem a long way away in a few months.

ninedragons Sun 18-Oct-09 12:23:25

I bet most of the judging is in your head, really smile.

We've all read the same books - we all know that there are early talkers and late talkers and it all evens out in the end. As the parent of an early talker, I can with hand on heart tell you I don't look down on or pity the late talkers at the playground or toddler group. It could be as simple as shyness for all I can tell from an hour a week, or it just hasn't happened for them yet.

Nobody is drawing any conclusions, honestly. Soon enough you'll be wishing he had a mute button, just like all the talkers' mums.

ineedalifelaundry Sun 18-Oct-09 12:29:46

linglette Out of interest, why are "can you say X" and asking too many questions 'wrong techniques'? Would genuinely like to know because my dd is just starting to use some words and me and dh use these 'wrong techniques' all the time! I want to know if we're hindering rather than helping her blush

linglette Sun 18-Oct-09 15:33:46


I have lent out my copy (it circulates around the special needs board of mumsnet!) otherwise I could quote for you.

Here's another review that gives more detail

allok Sun 18-Oct-09 19:26:23

Reckon the judging is your interpretation rather than what is being given out?

I though my ds was a bit behind in speech. Tge nursery at 2 made a big thing of it - so got a referal and by the time it came through he seemed OK plus the appointments were ALWAYS on workdays with meetings. As I was due to finish work and he was due to start a state nursery I just cancelled everyting and sold the SEN at the new nursery to feedback her thoughts. Her thoughts are that he's fine and he is and he's got a complex sentences but with a bit of stammer when excited. My ds's best little friend is one month older than mine at 3.5 and is only just starting to speak and it's hard to understand. But he's communicating in his way and he's speaking more daily.

I don't feel unconfortable in front on his friends mum and she doesn't feel uncomfortable around my little one.

They are soooo young and there's bound to a wide variety of what they can do and can't do. Her little one can already ride a bike while mine is still terrified of his tricyle.

Don't feel bad around other people. If your friends kids are having full blown convos at 2.7 they must be a talkative little lot - mine speaks lots but not to other kids.

doubleexpresso Mon 19-Oct-09 09:43:21

I empathise with you. Had a similar situation but with lots of other SN issues. I felt shy of meeting up with people whose children were younger than mine, but so far advanced in every area. I felt that we had done something wrong and all my friends kept popping out perfect babies. (I know, I know) It really knocked me for six having a child with SN. blush sad I am now much more at ease, although people's expectations of what an 11 year old can do can lead to embarrassing situations sometimes. It is hard, but you are not alone. Talking to people in a similar situation helps. Kids with SN often have amazing gifts. My DS is kind and sensitive and I wouldn't swop him for the world. smile

Nancy10 Mon 19-Oct-09 10:20:24

My son has delayed speech and is still under speech therapy aged 5! His development in every other way was slower too! But he's at school, getting on well and has lots of friends so it's not hindered him.And he is getting there! When he has gone to friends houses for tea (people I'm not really friends with) I kept panicking that they wouldn't understand him. But he is understood, I think its just me being over concerned. 2.7 yrs is still very young and I wouldn't be too worried about it. There is so much pressure for children to develop at the same rate as every other child. Some children just progress at a quicker pace. I've always made sure that my son has regular hearing tests just in case its that. As for being embarassed, don't be. Other people probably don't even notice, the more he mixes the more his speech will progress! I honestly wouldn't even bat an eyelid at a child of his age not speaking clearly!

saintmaybe Mon 19-Oct-09 11:56:16

Ds2 is autistic, and spoke very late. I totally went through that embarrassment thing, and you know, now I see that as one of the many great things he'sbrought with him.

We do know that our kids' job is not to make us feel good about ourselves or our parenting, but it can be easy to fall into that trap. When you have a child who makes you look at that response in yourself, question it, and make a choice about how you go forward with it, that's a piece of learning that you've done that your friends with their typical children haven't necessarilly 'got' yet, and maybe never will.

And it makes you a better parent when you let go of thinking your dcs are responsible for you feeling pleased with yourself or that your love and happiness is dependent on what they do or how othher people judge them. Look at the relationships board on here; some people still have parents who never feel satisfied with them as adults, and you're noticing it in your self now and wanting to do something about it. That doesn't mean you're a bad parent, it means you're a good, thoughtful one who wants to be better.

I can honestly say that I'm a better, less paranoid and judgemental parent to him, and my other dcs now, than I would have been, because I've had to learn that or be miserable all the time (especially as my ds has had a whole range of embarrasssing behaviours for me to have to get over feeling judged about!).

Sorry this is so rambly, hope it makes any sense at all.

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