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My son’s sad little face when children laughed at his speech.(3 Posts)
My little man is almost 3 and has a speech delay. He has some words but is still mainly babbling. He is a very social boy and loves playing with other children, especially when we go to the park. Yesterday, he was trying to play in a wooden den with some other children (who were quite young, maybe 4 years at a guess) and I heard them tell him to go away as he talks funny. His sad little face as he walked away was so upsetting. Now I know children at that age probably don’t understand what they are saying and I know all children experience mean words etc as part of growing up but it’s still made me feel crap. I just took his hand and said mummy will play with him. Wasn’t really sure what else to say. I’m sure this won’t be the first time and I know I can’t control what others say but I’m wondering what I can say to my son to help build up his confidence when future situations arise.
Kids particularly at that age just don't understand. They wouldn't have meant any malice but it's understandably upsetting. Ds is 9 and non verbal so we are used to people saying unkind things to him. The older ones i educate, the really young ones i ignore. The adults i tear a strip off (can't help myself). You'll find as time goes on you'll grow a thick skin. Some people are ignorant, some are just plain awful.
I'd just reassure him, he's very young himself.
Do you attend any groups with him? I used to find at groups where adult supervision was more prominent even if a child did say something unkind there parents stepped in far more. Does he attend anywhere with children with similar speech issues? Sometimes these are run by the local salt service. Might help for him to see other people have problems with speech too.
It hurts like hell - and I'll be honest, it might get worse before it gets better... Reception year sucked socially for a lot of it for DD2. Similar kind of issue to you - lots and lots of babbling but not many words at age 3, up to about 25% intelligible speech when she started Reception and it just took a lot of time for the kids to tune into how she sounded and not be wary of her. However by the time she finished Reception she was at fully intelligible speech (she still has some articulation issues and a language disorder in terms of speech structure) and a right bloody chatterbox and now it takes me ages to get along the street for her saying hello to everyone she knows and in the last few months she's really clicked into a social group of girls in her class.
I think we were a bit too late accessing speech therapy with DD2 - we fell through the cracks somewhat as we live right on a county borderline and went to nursery across the boundary - so we didn't get started with referrals until school age and now she works with a fantastic private therapist and it's all starting to slot into place gradually.
One bit of advice I'll give YOU to try to stay sane yourself - when it all starts mentally getting too disheartening and upsetting and you feel like you'll never get there... turn around and look back at the distance you've come versus the distance you have to go - I have to mentally slap myself about the face from time to time and turn my thinking around in that direction myself and that little flip of mindset really does help a lot.