Thursday, 13 October 2011

Miss B's Speech Development.

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” 

I thought that I had better not post a Wordless Wednesday this week as I happened to be at the hospital with Miss B having her wordlessness investigated and it seemed, while appropriate, a bit in bad taste!

So it's here. I finally managed to persuade the Health visitor that with a bank of only 7 or 8 words that are only distinguishable to her immediate family and our own particular history, that someone needs to pay attention to the fact that B's speech is delayed. And boy, am I glad I did. 

I know that people mean well when they tell me not to worry but have they really considered the fact that their underlying message here is, you're being neurotic and making a mountain out of molehill? This makes me feel terrible!

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in London have decades of experience with speech and language disorders and know full well that each and every child develops in their own way. While each may develop in their own way, there are median levels that all children are expected to reach by certain milestones in their lives. Speaking is one of them and while each child is different, it is perfectly acceptable to flag up concerns if a child appears to be behind in one. When I say behind, I mean behind, not just one of two words short but a delay in their overall expressive language. 

The standarised general language achievements by two years of age (which B is next month) is as follows: 

  • Takes turns in conversation
  • Can use at least 20 words
  • Tries to copy new words
  • Joins two words together (eg ‘Want drink?’)
  • Asks questions (eg ‘What’s this?’)
  • Asks for food and drink
  • Can’t always be understood.
B is no where near to achieving any of these, in fact she can't do a single one of these. So am I being a hypochondriac?

As it turns out no, I am not. The hospital while not concerned about the rest of her development are concerned about her lack of speech and like me believe that any action, however little is the best course of action. She is too young for the official tests which are done at three years of age but early intervention is the best course and they have recommended that she attend signing groups in the meantime to help with any frustration that might develop due to her speech delay. If you are someone who is worried about your child's speech development then please contact or check out the charity AFASIC's website. Their information is concise and up to date. 

None of the early warning indicators appear to be there in the ways that they were in A and that is my main worry. Only time will tell but it's better to be proactive than to bury your head in the sand, saying she'll be fine and she'll talk in her own time. 

We still have to wait and see what happens in the next year but at least in the meantime we are being proactive and not sitting on our backsides waiting until there is a major problem. People often take for granted that they can pop out child after child that are normal, average, never worrying or caring if their development is not on par. 

Try going through what I've been through and then tell yourself not to worry.


  1. There's mindless worry and then there's concern with a solid base. I think telling someone not to worry is pointless. I have had many times of worry with my son, born at 27 weeks weighing 1lb 7oz and have been told so many times "not to worry", but it isn't possible.

    I am glad that your concerns with B are being taken seriously. I hope you find a great signing class, Joseph really loves signing.

  2. Your Joseph is such a little star regardless of his traumatic entry into the world. I would have thought that putting a disclaimer at the top of my blog (perpetual worrier) would discourage cries of "oh don't worry" but no. 

    She seems to have a natural aptitude for signing and will resort to it when she can't say certain sounds like Daddy is signed but she can shout "Mum!" all day long. We've recent;y discovered TV and she loves Something Special!

    Thanks. xx

  3. Hi there from Toe by toe. Just wondering how things have gone with Toe by Toe...? Any feedback would be much appreciated. All best wishes, Frank at Toe by Toe.


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