MAMA... the only words I dreamed of Brayden saying & for us, that magical word didn’t come until much later then we had expected.
I want to share with you all our experience with Brayden, my son & my first baby, having a speech delay and how we have navigated through it!
I’ll preface this by saying... I was never too worried about his lack of communication as every child takes their own time developing but I knew I wanted to do everything I could do to help him progress. Also, a few boys in our family had speech delays, my husband included, so I also figured that could be somewhat related (although the Speech pathologists told me different lol)!
How we identified the “delay”
You know when you go to the pediatrician and they make you fill out that development paper... I was always checking off NO when it came to his speaking abilities. Brayden had maybe 1 or 2 words by 1.5. He would communicate with us by saying “dis”. The pediatrician was never worried but I knew that it was something to keep an eye on.
By 2, he had maybe 5 words and couldn’t put 2 words together, let alone a sentence. He fully understood everything we would say/ask of him so his receptive communication was great but the issue lied with his expressive communication. This is something the PED spoke to me about and had recommended speech therapy. I was given the option of private lessons (covered through insurance) and public lessons at ErinoakKids. I figured we would try ErinoakKids first and I called them and got Brayden on a waitlist for an assessment.
Within 3 months of calling Erinoaks, I had received a letter in the mail with Brayden’s hour and a half assessment appointment. From there, he was booked into 4 one hour appointments where he would play with the teacher all while practicing different words & sounds and then they would tell me how to work with Brayden, how to practice with him at home, how to encourage, etc. He started this around age 2.5. He completed his round of 4 sessions, was re-assessed and we just started up again. We now work on different pronunciations of letters... which is a whole new world of learning (tongue motions, the way your jaw moves, the way you use your breath)- these speech pathologists are amazing!
What I loved about the program, aside from the facility being so fresh and new, was that I learned from how the teachers were interacting with Brayden and certain games/activities/conversations I could be having with him at home!
We also put Brayden in preschool 2 days/ week half days when he was 2.5 and by the time he was 3, his words were flowing! It’s hard to pinpoint whether it was the speech therapy, daycare, or his “own” timeline of speaking that made the real impact on his speech and the truth is, it was probably a mixture of them all! I think it helps putting them in a setting where they need to communicate with someone other then mama... because we know what they're saying, words or no words!
I hope this helps shed some light... whether you are going through this right now, have gone through it or have questions about how to identify delays! I am an open book, so please message me if you have any questions on our experience(s)!
Sometimes, a little patience and a whole lottttta love will get you there! As disheartening as it may be a times, your child will start speaking & then getting them to be quiet is a whole new issue LOL!
With love always,