Not Talking

posted in: Monkey My Son, Motherhood, Parenting 121 comments

Challenge quote

When my firstborn was 11 months, he said his first words: “Papa” and “Okay”. By 15 months, he had many, many words. He was speaking in full gibberish sentences. As a first-time, proud mother, I was convinced that it was a sign of his soon-to-be, ahead-of-his-age conversational skills.

By age 2, he was still speaking undecipherable sentences. He had many more words, but words they remained. No two-word sentences. No two-way communication. The tiny pressure in my chest, that sinking feeling that, “something is not right here”, was making its first grooves in my heart. 

Over the months, there was no improvement. We tried to convince ourselves that he was just stubborn. That growing up in a bilingual household of English and Arabic was slowing him down. I was avoiding all conversations with people about the cute things our children said. Because my child wasn’t saying any of those things. 

I read and researched. I tried various methods with little or no success. He was stubborn, yes, but there was more to it. I was sure of it. That groove in my heart was deepening. 

How long do you wait before you ask for help? Do we not allow for our children to develop at their own pace? How long before you realize that your heart is breaking because you cannot ask your 3 year old how his day at preschool was? How long before you break down crying from the daily frustrations of not knowing what goes on in your son’s head? What is he thinking? Is he happy? Sad? In pain? Uncomfortable? Bored? What? What? What? Use your words. Tell me. Tell me please. 

We finally had him evaluated, and began speech therapy early this year, a few months after his 3rd birthday. Progress has been slow, but steady. We are not having conversations yet, because my son is still in the process of understanding the basics of ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’. A child who can rattle off numbers from 1 to 30, who knew his ABCs by the time he was 2, who identified more than a dozen colors before age 3, who could read words off books and cookie packaging – is only just learning the basics of language. 

It would be very easy for us to blame ourselves. Did we not talk to him enough when he was in utero? Did we not use enough flash cards when he was a baby? Did we not talk to him, point out objects, sing to him enough when he was a toddler? Did we not try hard enough? I did (and still do) blame myself. The guilt comes easily. As a writer, words are my currency, my outlet, my vehicle. Not being able to use them with my child, hurt. His frustration at his difficulty with them, hurt him. To say that it has been a painful time, is an understatement.

As we move through the motions of speech therapy and preschool, my hope is that soon, we will talk about everything under the sun. I look forward to the million ‘whys’ and ‘hows’. I look forward to, “Mama, I want to tell you something.” I look forward to his words.

Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out

Do your children have challenges? How do you handle them?

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

Latest posts by Alison (see all)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • October 30, 2013 Katie Sluiter

    Oh friend. Eddie was a late talker, but not delayed. I remember wishing he would call me “momma” because he had no word for me until he was two and a half. It was painful. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. He will speak to you. He will. Until then…big hugs. πŸ˜‰
    Katie Sluiter recently wrote…throwing tantrumsMy Profile

    • October 31, 2013 Alison

      I hope so, I do. And thank you. xo

  • October 30, 2013 tracy

    Love you. And you are such a good mama. xoxo
    tracy recently wrote…Breaking NewsMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you. Love you too. xo

  • October 30, 2013 Sarah

    I went through something very similar with my son, except he didn’t even have that many single words. At age 2, we has him assessed and were told he was at a 15 month level. Pretty far behind, but not quite behind enough to qualify for speech services through the state (bc of tight budgets, they can only provide services for kids who test at half their age level). Of course, insurance wouldn’t cover it, either. So we bit the bullet and paid for private speech therapy once a week for a year. Slowly but surely he started saying new sounds and new words. We quit therapy around the time he turned 3 because he seemed to be talking about as well as other 3 years I was around. We just had him re-assessed and at age 3 1/2, he is at the 99th percentile for his age! So, I just wanted to tell you that there is hope. And don’t let people tell you to just let him be a kid, he’ll catch up by the time he’s in kindergarten, etc — YOU know your son best and what is right for him.
    Sarah recently wrote…What I’m Into, October 2013My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I’m so happy to hear your success story, Sarah! It does make me more hopeful that my son will soon catch up with his peers. He’s nearly 4, and probably 6 months behind. But progress has been made, I just need to be patient.

  • October 30, 2013 Arnebya

    You know I’m in a similar situation with Z, not with not getting the words out or language development, but mispronunciation/being inarticulate. Laughing is lapping and when he is really into a story about his day, I catch all the words (usually) but others might not. His evaluation is still a few weeks away (because evidently speech pathology evaluations are not important enough to schedule hurriedly even though quick! Quick! Tell me he’s ok). I had to smile at the blame yourself portion of this because yes. Absolutely we do it. I told myself I didn’t read to him enough to make sure he understood HOW to form an f. And later, even after I could hear the raw instead of draw and go instead of glow, it felt weird because I hadn’t experienced that with either girl. I’m trying to figure out if I think I’d have dealt better/easier with him being a first as you are as opposed to having two sisters before him who spoke just as early as he did, except — they spoke clearly. All I know is the questioning of ourselves is pointless. As long as we realize it and as long as we take steps to helping, we’re good. YOU are good.
    Arnebya recently wrote…DevelopmentMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I hope Z’s evaluation comes quickly! By all accounts, he sounds like a normal (awesome) kid, it’s just working on getting him to say the words properly. It probably is an easy fix, I hope it is! Slow and steady yes? And we are good. We are.

  • October 30, 2013 Ado

    This one is so hard. I feel your pain totally. Thank you for writing about this stuff. Xoxo

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you. xo

  • October 30, 2013 Kerstin

    It’s so easy to give into the guilt, because we always need explanations for everything (and when I say “we” I really mean myself, but I know a lot of people are that way). So we blame ourselves rather than just accepting how it is. Don’t get me wrong – you are doing exactly the right thing. Yes, kids do develop at their own pace and it’s so hard to decide whether it’s too long and when to intervene – but I am sure you did at exactly the right time for your boy. And he will talk your ear off before you know it πŸ™‚
    Kerstin recently wrote…A virus, the orthodontist & a doggy doorMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I still wonder if it was the right time. I wanted to have him evaluated much earlier, like, age 2. But my husband was insistent that he was just taking his own time, and wanted to wait. So we did. I’m not assigning blame, because who knows, he could be exactly where he is now, even if he had been evaluated earlier. There’s just no knowing. We can only focus on now, and what we need to do to help him along.

  • October 30, 2013 FitBritt

    My mother is a speech pathologist and she has done early intervention with children your son’s age. At some point the therapy always ends because the children reach the same point as their peers. They go on to be intelligent and well-spoken kids and then adults. Your son will be one of them. πŸ™‚
    FitBritt recently wrote…From the Cliffs of Big SurMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for the reassurance, truly!

  • October 30, 2013 Shannon

    I’m sorry that you and your son have to deal with this frustration. I’m no expert, but it sounds to me that he is ahead of schedule in so much, which leads me to believe that this is one of those things that could not have been prevented or caused by anything you did or didn’t do. I look forward to a time when you write about all of the things he tells you. That time is coming. I believe it is. Sending you all the love and patience until that time arrives.
    Shannon recently wrote…ElevenMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Shannon, thank you kindly. I believe the time is coming too. I have to believe. xo

  • October 30, 2013 Tamara

    I was in speech therapy when I was very young. And look at me now – I never stop talking! I don’t have any specific challenges, at this point, although Des is very late with his physical stuff – although never delayed. However I’m sure there are many challenges for most of us. And I’m also sure that mostly, that stuff all evens out quite nicely.
    Tamara recently wrote…Tenderheart.My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      It is comforting to know that speech therapy kids turn out so well! πŸ™‚
      My oldest is not just late with talking – he was also late physically. He started walking at 14.5 months, and wasn’t doing all the climbing etc that his little brother is doing now at 17 months, until he was well past 2. All children are different, even our own. The physical stuff do even out, definitely.

  • October 30, 2013 Ashlee

    My son has been late in everything. It’s really hard not to compare our kids to others, especially the ones that learn faster. The methods we hear from other mothers work for their kids. One thing I heard when my son was born that stuck with me is every kid has one thing he/she is very slow at, and one thing he/she is very fast at. My son never crawled, and didn’t walk until 15 months. He’s done a lot of things late, but then he does little things that I’m shocked he would know at his age.

    Hopefully you’ll be having conversations with your little man in no time! <3

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      My little guy was slow with all the physical milestones too πŸ™‚ But they even out around age 2 1/2 anyway, so all that doesn’t matter. I hope we have convos soon too!

  • October 31, 2013 Nicole

    Alison, thank you for sharing this story with us. Speech delays are so common, and it’s hard not to think about the woulda, shoulda, couldas. You’re a fabulous mama, and there’s nothing you should have done differently. Every child develops at his/her own pace. It’s totally out of our hands. This is one of the most frustrating lessons to learn as a parent! Big hugs to you. Keep up the awesome parenting, mama!
    Nicole recently wrote…18 MonthsMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      It is, isn’t it? Yet I can’t stop thinking about what I *could* have done. Sigh. Thank you. xo

  • October 31, 2013 Herchel S

    Each child is different so it becomes difficult to gauge when a “normal” milestone should be hit. My godson had a similar speech issue and after a little bit of therapy, he can talk my ear off like any other seven year old. Even before she was diagnosed with arthritis, my daughter had challenges with her growth. She’s four and wears a 2T. She was tested for a human growth hormone deficiency and for dwarfism at two. She is proportionally small. I have been advised to see a nutritionist (she is also allergic to dairy, peanuts, and eggs). But she eats more than everyone in the family, except her dad. She eats much better than her big brother and often finishes his food. I breastfed her for the first year and she was a healthy eater back then too. But she is at the 3rd percentile for height, weight, and head circumference. I finally just decided that she is half Asian and some Asians are small. She does grow but just not as fast as the other kids.
    Herchel S recently wrote…Returning to life after MiscarriageMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Yes, Asians are definitely smaller! My second boy is smaller than his brother was at this age, but he’s healthy and at a normal weight, so I’m not worried. I’m glad your daughter is A-OK!

  • October 31, 2013 NJ

    You are a great advocate for your child! Here is to hoping you get to hear those sweet words soon!
    NJ recently wrote…{Big Girl Panties} I see your bluff.My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, and I hope so!

  • October 31, 2013 Alexandra

    The worrying , the worrying. It never stops. Currently, I’m worried about my Auggie Doggie who’s had three significant deaths in less than a year. He cries, he doesn’t eat, a Dr. is helping, but it’s all so slow. What I want is a crystal ball telling me one year from now, “See? It’s all okay now, mama. It’s okay…” much love to you, A, I know how unsettling these times are, the unknown…. xo

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Oh hon, I’m so sorry to hear. Big hugs to you and your Auggie love. I’m glad he’s getting help and he has YOU. Yes, it WILL be okay. xoxo

  • October 31, 2013 erin margolin


    I know this well. Piper is two and has only a handful of words. Many of them only intelligible to us. She understands every single thing we say, but does not use words. I think right now, her vocabulary includes, “hi,” “daddy,”Izzy,”please,” and the occasional, very rare, “mom,” which usually just sounds like “mMmmMmMmmm,” like when I shovel my face full of cookies.

    It is sad, scary, and worrisome. She has a team of therapists, since her delays haven’t been limited to speech. She is very bright, but was also a late walker. She now wears orthotic inserts and is doing better. She’s very affectionate, loves to tease, loves to take baths, follow her big sisters around, and play outside. Only recently did she stop being afraid to walk in the grass, or in the mulch at the playground.

    We have been referred to an ENT who will check her adenoids and tonsils (she is a very heavy mouth breather and has a lot of drool, despite having a mouthful of teeth by now). We’re on a waiting list to be seen by a developmental pediatrician. And in the meantime, we have therapists seeing her once a week, working on sign language (but not teaching her too much b/c we want her to use WORDS—the signs are more to help me as a mom cope with a kid whose needs I cannot meet b/c she cannot/does not/will not (???) talk)……

    It’s a long road. A road of unknowns. Which isn’t my forte.

    And I’m glad I’m not on the road alone.

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Oh Erin, that sounds like A LOT. I’m glad that she has a team of people working with her, and I hope you find more answers when she meets with the developmental pediatrician. Big hugs to you, love. I KNOW how challenging it can be with a child who needs more than the usual, and sometimes, we just don’t have enough to give. You are most certainly not alone. When you need to talk, you know you have me. xoxo

  • October 31, 2013 Allie

    Oh I have been there. My first children, twins, didn’t talk at all when they were two. I was a mess, because nobody would listen to my concerns…”They were premature, they’re boys, they’re twins.” But I knew something was wrong., In our case, it was turned out to be pretty bad…autism. Ten years later, they both talk, but one only when he HAS to:)! My last child started talking late and at 2 nobody could under stand him, but thankfully it was all articulation. I knew enough then, to not be too overly concerned, because he understood me and he was frustrated. Frustration is a good thing when it comes to speech delays – it menas he wants to tlak and be understood and that’s huge! We got him (“the baby”) some speech therapy and now he’s talking up a storm. I don’t know why my boys have had delays in this area – my daughter was a motor mouth at 18 months. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know it sucks. Hang in there.

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Allie, thank you for sharing your story, and I’m glad it all worked out!! Girls are known to have more words and talk sooner than boys, hence the motor mouthness πŸ˜‰

      Thank you. I am hanging on in there!

  • October 31, 2013 Diane

    I get ya. You don’t want to “compare” your child but at what point do you say you need help?

    B entered speech therapy (through Early Intervention) shortly after his 2nd birthday. He would mainly grunt or scream and didn’t appropriate his words (he could say “Daddy” but he would say it to the dog). His expressive delay was quite profound, looking back.

    We went through a pretty intense time (almost three years) of worry and frustration. But slowly things started getting better. Or easier, I don’t know. But we have a very articulate child that “very much” expresses his wants and needs. Now I call him my debater because he will continue to try to work his point with me, even after I tell him “no”.

    You made the right choice for you. {HUGS} to you.
    Diane recently wrote…Nothing Gold Can Stay.My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I’m always happy to hear about success stories, so thank you for sharing, Diane! And thank you.

  • October 31, 2013 Jackie

    Don’t worry so much… it isn’t your fault and I can’t imagine you not doing enough! Every child is different and learns at a different pace and different way. I’m sure that your son will be talking up a storm in no time at all.
    Jackie recently wrote…Fall Favorite- Pumpkin Pie BarsMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Jackie, I sure hope so too.

  • October 31, 2013 Shana Norris

    Alison, thank you for writing about this. The hardest thing for me to be vulnerable about is my children, and how I parent them. As I read your post, and the comments here, I’m reminded of the beauty of connection.
    Shana Norris recently wrote…Quoting Aristotle and Thoughts on HabitsMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      This post WAS hard. Everything about it is hard. Sigh. And thank you.

  • October 31, 2013 jasi

    we shared a similar story early on but instead of words we didn’t understand we had silence. nearly a year of it. and then he exploded with language. there were doctors, meddlesome family, education specialists, nosy neighbors. the full cast of characters. but they changed nothing. our story was about time, not mine or the standard, but my boy’s. he caught up in his own time.
    i hope your story goes smoothly, with little frustration and a lot of love.

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad to hear that you boy turned the corner. I’m waiting for that – for that explosion of language.

  • October 31, 2013 Greta

    It’s not your fault, you’re good parents. We all know it, and I know he knows it. It’ll come. xoxo
    Greta recently wrote…Living in the Sticks. #iPPPMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you. I hope so. xo

  • October 31, 2013 Kim

    We always do that as parents, don’t we? We look back and analyze and wonder. But there is nothing more you could have done. You listened to your heart and you are moving forward – that is all we can do. Sending my best hopes for many big conversations in the future. And hugs, too.
    Kim recently wrote…TiredMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I’ll take those best hopes, thank you, Kim. xo

  • October 31, 2013 Tonya

    I can feel your frustration and worry. Hopefully you won’t be able to keep him quiet soon. Hang in there, mama!
    Tonya recently wrote…Too Cute Halloween Peep S’moresMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you so much, my friend. xo

  • October 31, 2013 Jenn

    You’re such a good mama, Alison. I had concerns with our daughter because she was slower in the talking department compared to our son, but she came around. I just wanted to send hugs and props to you for writing about something that I can imagine is really hard to write about. I’m sure you’re helping many other moms who also experience this with their kids to know they’re not alone.
    Jenn recently wrote…My secret weapon for the long daysMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      It was hard, so thank you, truly. I learn bravery from my bloggy friends (like you). πŸ™‚

  • October 31, 2013 Onica {MommyFactor}

    My son also has a speech delay. I also waited since I hard boys take longer to talk then girls but eventually we started speech therapy and he has improved greatly. We can now have convo now and sometimes I even have to tell him to be a quiet for a bit. He will argue with me for an extra cookie! It’s a happy moment after not hearing him speak. In time your son will also improve. Hang in there and get him the support he needs.

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      We do see some improvements – just not to the point where I can breathe easy. But I know it’s coming. Thank you.

  • October 31, 2013 Vivienne

    You know, I wouldn’t worry about it and it’s okay that he’s a late bloomer. I’m going through this myself. My son’s pediatrician suggested I take him in for a speech evaluation during his 18 month checkup, because she said this is the time when he is supposed to know at least 6 – 8 words and have the ability to put two words together. I was floored and felt like I was a terrible mother for not talking to him enough. He’s 21 months now and I still haven’t gone. Mostly because, I feel like I can still do something about this, yet I can’t help but feel that I may need to take him in for an evaluation soon.
    And he may just not be ready to speak our language, yet. I’ll sometimes tell my son what an item or toy is called, and he’ll look at me and smile with curiosity.. and he looks like he wants to say the word, but shy away, point and say something cute in his little babble language. I also keep hearing from a few of my friends that their sons didn’t really start speaking until they were 2, 2 1/2, or 3 — which gives me hope.

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      You do what you feel is right in your heart – if you know that your son will catch up, or is just coming into his own in his own time, then go with that. You know him best. Good luck!

  • October 31, 2013 Susanna Leonard Hill

    Oh, Alison. I can only imagine how hard it is not to be able to talk with your little one. But you’re doing all the right things, and I’m sure it will come in time. Every child has his/her own developmental schedule. Growing up in a household with 2 languages can make things a little trickier sometimes. My daughter had her own kind of language for ages – words I understood but no one else did – and she had trouble with a lot of consonant blend combinations like “tr” “cr” etc. But you’ll be happy to know she speaks perfectly now that she’s 20 and attends a very good college πŸ™‚ And you are not just sitting back and hoping he’ll figure it out – you are taking steps to make sure he does. He will. Keep up your end of the conversation until he’s able to keep up his. Read to him a lot. And before you know it you’ll be hearing, “Mama, I want to tell you something” πŸ™‚
    Susanna Leonard Hill recently wrote…The 3rd Annual Halloweensie Contest – aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Susanna. It’s always good to hear about success stories!

  • October 31, 2013 Christine

    I know that it’s only nature to look back and question, to look for an answer and to blame but you are such a good mama. Every child is different and develops differently and I think that’s the hardest thing because as parents, I often feel like all we do is compare our kids to others. You are doing all that you can and doing your best. You will have amazing conversations together.
    Christine recently wrote…Plantar Fasciitis CuredMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I hope so, Christine. xo

  • October 31, 2013 Nina

    Love those last words and hopes. “Mama I want to tell you something.” It will come.
    Nina recently wrote…What I’m Loving Now Fall 2013My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I hope so, Nina. Thank you.

  • October 31, 2013 Heather

    Oh I feel like their are challenges all the time – socially, physically, academically. My children are 13,11,and 7 are there are constantly things that I think I could have, should have, didn’t do.

    But my children are doing well. They are healthy and happy.

    Don’t beat yourself up too much Momma. Move forward. Do what you do best NOW. Put the work in with your son and let him know how special he is always.

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you Heather, for your wise words. Truly.

  • October 31, 2013 Deirdre

    I think each child is unique. My guy walked and potty trained late. He also talked enough for himself and for you son early. My guy had speech issues so we couldn’t always understand what is was saying though.
    Deirdre recently wrote…Easy Halloween Dessert for KidsMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      You’re right, each child is different. Even my own two boys are very different from each other!

  • October 31, 2013 Heather

    Please try not to drown yourself in mom guilt. It is so easy, but it will not help you, or your son at all. You have, and are, doing the best you can for your son. You have no reason to beat yourself up.
    Heather recently wrote…I Have a Secret Obsession – House PornMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Heather. I’m trying not to let the guilt consume me. It’s just so…. natural to. Sigh.

  • October 31, 2013 Robin

    Oh my friend. It’s not your fault, but I can imagine why you’d feel that way. Some things just are what they are, and I know some day you will break through that barrier and have a whole new understanding of your lovely boy. In the meantime, know you are doing the right things.
    Robin recently wrote…Embracing Easy with Just-Eat.caMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, hon. So much.

  • October 31, 2013 Janice / GatheringGraces

    You are very brave for writing about something so difficult for you at the moment. I’ve never been there, so I won’t even attempt at a fake advice. Just know I’m rooting for you and your son. (((HUGS)))
    Janice / GatheringGraces recently wrote…Last Minute Jack-O-Lantern Idea (aka No Pumpkin Carving Skills Required)My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Janice, I appreciate the support!

  • October 31, 2013 KeAnne

    We definitely have challenges in that D has some sensory issues that are making pre-k difficult. Honestly, this week has not been good b/c he acted out twice and hit classmates and I feel demoralized and defeated. I keep telling myself that it’s not my dreams & wants that matter and that his needs are what’s important but I’m so scared for my square peg in this round hole world. So hugs to you and I hope your son is talking your ear off in no time !
    KeAnne recently wrote…If Your Child is Born but You aren’t the One Giving Birth, is it Still Your Birth Story?My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      His speech delay is just one thing – my son has also been hitting classmates, and even his teacher, in preschool. Sigh. It’s challenging. I think it mostly arises from his frustration, and inability to get attention with language, so he acts out. Commiserations, and I hope things get better with your boy.

  • October 31, 2013 Kimberly

    Oh babe.
    I know.
    I knew that there was something amiss with my son. While he got his point across, his sentences were very disjointed and sometimes unintelligible. Like the words just smeared into each other. Everyone told me that it would get better when he started school (and it has to some extent). He was evaluated and it was determined that he needed speech therapy and thanks to Canada, we are still on the mother fucking wait list. That was a year ago.
    Anyways, I don’t talk about it much at all because it hurts. I feel like me being sick and perhaps not as involved as I should be. Like am I screwing him up?
    God I know babe. No matter how much anyone tells me that it isn’t my fault and that every kid x,y,z squared is not the same, I still feel it.
    Kimberly recently wrote…BlendedMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I didn’t know.
      I wish I knew.
      I won’t tell you that it’s not your fault, because well, it’s not and deep down, you know it, just as I know that it’s not my fault Monkey is not speaking like a 4 year old should be. It’s just their path, the one they’re meant to be on, even if it’s not the most ideal or what we want.
      I’m sorry you’re hurting. I know how it feels. Sigh. xoxo

  • October 31, 2013 Allie

    You know this has absolutely nothing to do with you. You did nothing wrong. I don’t know you and I’m not in your home but just reading this and feeling your pain through your words tells me it certainly wasn’t anything you did. Kids develop differently. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Every story I’ve heard like yours results in a child who will never.stop.talking. So, lose the guilt and prepare yourself for an onslaught of conversation!
    Allie recently wrote…You Bet Your Sweet SITS It’s My Day!My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      It’s good to know that you’ve heard of stories like mine, and that they all turned out well. It truly gives me great hope. Thank you.

  • October 31, 2013 Emily

    I’ve been there and I so understand the hurt, the pain, the fear. My son did not utter his first word until he was almost 3 and the word was an approximation of the word “cookie” and it came out as “cook-ook”. By the time he was 5, I nicknamed him (not out loud but to myself), “the boy of a 1,000 questions” because all he did was talk and ask questions. Today, he is 16 years old and still talking, and is a regular kid in a regular high school. We told him just the other day that he didn’t begin speaking until he was 3 and he couldn’t believe it. You are doing the right thing by getting him the help he needs. I look forward to hearing about his progress and you telling us about his words and growing vocabulary. Sending you lots of support!!
    Emily recently wrote…Going Through A Tough Time? Nothing Feels Better Than Helping OthersMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Emily, thank you so much for sharing your story, and one of success. It does give me hope. I appreciate all the support!

  • October 31, 2013 Christopher D Drew

    Thank you for sharing this. It is so tough to balance the hope that everyone develops at their own pace vs the fear that something is not going ‘right.’ I hope your son continues to develop and that you all can weather these frustrations.
    Christopher D Drew recently wrote…An End To Trick-Or-Treating?My Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Christopher, I hope so too.

  • November 1, 2013 Lady Jennie

    I can’t imagine how hard this is, but you express it beautifully. And I can tell you I did practically none of those teaching things that you did, and we’re a bilingual household and there haven’t been any delays – which is only to say that there is nothing you could have done more or better.

    Love you
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…CafΓ© de la JatteMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      It’s good to know, thank you. Love you too! xo

  • November 1, 2013 Jeanette

    As a great blog you got I have a little thing for you…hope you’ll like it:)

    Oh…can’t paste the link into here, but I have an award for you at my blog.
    Jeanette recently wrote…I was nominated for a Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Jeanette!

  • November 1, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    Oh sweet friend, yes, guilt comes so easily…but the important thing is that you listened to your gut instincts, and you got him help.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Happy ThingsMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Still, I question – is it enough? Is it too late? Sigh. Thank you.

  • November 1, 2013 Lucy

    As parents we are so hard on ourselves. What did I do wrong? Should I have done this or that? We seek answers to really hard questions. No one told me that being a mom was going to be so hard. One thing we do right is love them!

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank goodness for love!

  • November 1, 2013 Shefali

    So easy to blame yourself. So easy to feel inadequate and search for a “why” or “what more” in these scenarios. But I am sure you are a great mom. And he will get there eventually.
    So brave of you to share.
    Sending you hugs. XO
    Shefali recently wrote…I Is A Love BugMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      I know he will. Well, I hope he will. Thank you.

  • November 1, 2013 Natalie

    Oh hugs girl…I know this must be so frustrating and disheartening…I’m glad you are going to speech therapy, and I am sure he will get there. You can’t feel guilty or blame yourself! Keep your head up!
    Natalie recently wrote…Fall FestivitiesMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, my friend, I will!

  • November 1, 2013 Leslie

    It’s so frustrating having a child that just can’t tell you what they’re thinking. We’re going through some of that with our youngest, and I’m mentally preparing for speech therapy around the age of 2. It’s so, so hard to know

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      It is. But once you know, you can do something about it. That’s my approach with everything now. As much as I dread knowing, I have to. So I can act on it. Hugs to you.

  • November 1, 2013 melissa

    It’s okay. You are doing just fine! And you will keep doing just fine. You are someone who even though I don’t know you I look up to you as a mom. And it’s totally okay to feel the way you do. What parent wouldn’t? But I have a feeling you blabbed away to your child as much as you could. And soon your awesome guy will be blabbing right back
    melissa recently wrote…Yea…it’s not happeningMy Profile

    • November 1, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thanks Melissa, it means a lot to me that you look up to me πŸ™‚

  • November 2, 2013 Keely

    I’m always so impressed with parents who recognize, acknowledge, and ACT on their kiddos’ issues: because seriously, isn’t it always so much more tempting to ignore and make excuses? You’re a great Mama. And for real: the lack of convo with your kid as a writer has got to be heart-breaking.
    Keely recently wrote…Johnson’s Baby Intense Moisture Cream (& Cold, Cold Chicago).My Profile

    • November 2, 2013 Alison

      I don’t feel that impressed with myself. Sigh. But thank you. xo

  • November 2, 2013 adrienne

    Alison, you cannot blame yourself! You are a wonderful mother! It’s so hard when we recognize that our children are struggling, but feel helpless at the same time. He’ll get there!
    adrienne recently wrote…Come see me!My Profile

    • November 2, 2013 Alison

      I hope so. Sigh.

  • November 3, 2013 Marianne

    Hi Alison,
    Thank you for the warm welcome at SITS πŸ™‚ What a coincidence, we just had our son evaluated yesterday and he will begin speech therapy within a few weeks. I don’t know that I would have even known about early intervention if our doctor hadn’t told us. I wouldn’t have thought it was available OR affordable, so don’t beat yourself up.

    But just so you know, my niece didn’t speak hardly any words at all (even babbling) by the time she was 2.5/3 years old. She began therapy (see I had forgotten all about this until my MIL reminded us yesterday) and has been chatting away ever since! She just turned 5 and is a chatty Cathy! So don’t worry that you waited too long. Your son is getting the assistance he needs now and all will be good soon enough πŸ™‚
    Marianne recently wrote…Friday Faves #12: a weekly dose of lovely design inspirationMy Profile

    • November 3, 2013 Marianne

      I meant to also tell you your blog is beautiful!
      Marianne recently wrote…46 Pretty Blog Opt-In Forms + Subscribe ButtonsMy Profile

    • November 3, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Marianne, it’s reassuring to know that therapy DOES work. Good luck with your son!!

      Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for the kind compliment. πŸ™‚

  • November 3, 2013 My Inner Chick

    Luv U, Alison Lee.

    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Keep Holding On. Footage of Kay’s Last Days.My Profile

    • November 3, 2013 Alison

      Love you too. xoxo

  • November 3, 2013 Ilene

    You can’t blame yourself. Kids are all wired differently and for different reasons. My oldest was talking in full sentences by 18 months and my son barely uttered a word until age 2. I think your boy will be talking in leaps and bound with the help of speech. I’ve seen it happen over and over.

    • November 3, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for the reassurance, Ilene!

  • November 4, 2013 Maureen

    Oh Alison, I wish I could give you a big hug.
    My challenge is balancing raising my son alone because his father is a ‘part-time’ Daddy.
    Maureen recently wrote…Let There Be Chocolates Then DetoxMy Profile

    • November 4, 2013 Alison

      I think your challenge is infinitely tougher than ours over here. Hugs.

  • November 5, 2013 Jennifer

    I’m so sorry you guys are going through this. Just know that we all know you are doing everything you can for him and have no reason to feel guilty. I know that is a harder thing to accept for yourself, but it’s true, and I hope one day you can look back and see this as only a stumbling block.
    Jennifer recently wrote…Earliest MemoriesMy Profile

    • November 6, 2013 Alison

      Thank you Jennifer. That is my hope too.

  • November 5, 2013 Laura at Mommy Miracles

    I’m sorry for commenting on this so late. I wanted to get to it early, I did. I’m starting to get worried about Gavin. At 18 months, his speech seems to be going backwards rather than forwards. Words that I have heard him speak before are being replaced by one syllable sounds. “Puppy” is now “Pee”. “Baby” is now “Bee”. “TaneTou” (thank you) has turned into “tae”. He rarely says “Mama” or “Dada” because he doesn’t really need to. We’re right there. He communicates with nods and head shakes but rarely uses words, even if we try to encourage them. He is without a doubt a lazy talker, and I think it is because he is communicating so well with us without words than he isn’t practicing. I don’t know what point I should be worried or if 18 months is too early to fret or if I should just encourage him to speak more at home.

    Anyway, I’m mama-jacking this, aren’t I? My point is, these are all concerns we have and you have absolutely NOTHING to be guilty about. You’re doing the best you can for your kid and you will continue to do so. I said that when you kind of wrote about this in January and I still stand by it. xo
    Laura at Mommy Miracles recently wrote…Glimpses of HalloweenMy Profile

    • November 6, 2013 Alison

      You’re not mama-jacking! πŸ™‚

      If you feel in your heart that there is something more you can do for Gavin – then do it. Don’t question your instinct. Talk to his daycare teachers, ask them what they think, and for suggestions on how to get him to talk more, versus using gestures. E.g. ignore when he uses a gesture to ask for something, only acknowledge when he uses his words. Involve Cameron – get him to talk to Gavin as much as possible. Read, use flash cards etc. All these have helped Scrumplet, and he’s talking up a storm. Hang on in there!

  • November 5, 2013 Shell

    It will come. Don’t blame yourself.

    I know it’s hard. I know.

    But you’re getting him help and he’ll show improvements. xo
    Shell recently wrote…Enough with the Mom FailsMy Profile

    • November 6, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Shell. I really, really hope so. xo

  • November 6, 2013 Elaine A.

    The only thing I can liken this too is potty training my oldest. I just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t do something that I felt like was a no-brainer! But everyone is wired differently. It’s nothing you did or didn’t do, Alison, please do not think that. I look forward to the day that you can have those conversations too and I cannot wait to read the blog post about them!! xoxo

    • November 6, 2013 Alison

      Thanks, Elaine! You’re right, we are all wired differently. And my oldest is just.. very different. πŸ™‚

  • November 6, 2013 Julia

    Good luck to both of you. This is not your fault, I know so many people who have been through this same thing with their sons. Hugs.
    Julia recently wrote…Capture the JoyMy Profile

    • November 6, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Julia.

  • November 6, 2013 Cabby

    This post struck very close to home. I was in your shoes 8 years ago. My son is now 9. Thankfully we’ve stuck with SLP and have great support at his school. I can relate to your worries, especially the questioning yourself and what you could’ve done. My son is a loving, silly, compassionate little guy. His struggles continue, but our focus is on developing his strengths. For my husband and I we see him as someone with a different path in life (as we see for all our children). His contribution to the world is going to different, just like everyone else’s.

    On the days when I get sad, or worry about him I look at the quote I have on my desk, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” My son was never meant to climb trees! As his parents our primary objective is to help him become his best self!
    Cabby recently wrote…“You care too much!”My Profile

    • November 6, 2013 Alison

      Cabby, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story. You’re right – all our children are capable, though different. We should focus on developing their strengths.

  • November 12, 2013 Carpool Goddess

    It’s so hard as parents not to second guess ourselves and to blame ourselves, but we shouldn’t. My kids are 20 and 23, and I’d like to believe that I did the best I could at the time. That’s all any of us can ask. It takes courage and strength to be patient while they grow into and out of stages or struggles. Stay strong mama, it will be okay.
    Carpool Goddess recently wrote…10 Things You Don’t Know About MeMy Profile

    • November 12, 2013 Alison

      Thank you so much, for your reassuring comment and perspective. Courage and strength – two qualities I need in abundance. πŸ™‚

I Write This Blog

Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

The Books I’m In (Buy Now!)

I Am On Google+

Oldies But Goodies