Language delay

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I stumbled across this old video I took of my son Louie, a couple of years ago, always a lovely ‘aaahhhh’ moment but what struck me the most was that I had forgotten just how much he struggled with his speech.

Louie is now 5 and a half and thriving. I’ve often been told by people that they would never have guessed he had language delay. However just a short 1 ½ – 2 years ago you could barely understand him and he only had a vocabulary of around 15-20 words and even these were incomprehensible most of the time.  By 3, a toddler’s vocabulary usually is 200 or more words, and many children can string together three- or four-word sentences. By now, we should have been able to understand about 75% of what Louie was saying, this was not the case.There are many factors that can influence why a child is late to talk. Once we had ruled out all serious possibilities I knew it was a question of hard work in bridging the gap.

Our biggest issue was the frustration Louie faced in making himself understood. We taught him Makaton which was great and did the job when he wanted to ask for something from us or others who new Makaton, but when faced with playing with his peers his frustration at not being understood often resulted in him lashing out. This was a huge concern for me, as like every other parent I didn’t want my child to be the ‘aggressive child in class’ or be labelled as the bully.

We communicated our fears with the teachers and together along with our speech therapist implemented a plan that we all worked from to give Louie as much consistent help that we could. Child behaviour advice comes in all shapes and sizes.

Slowly his speech strengthened and overtime he began to build relationships with peers which was lovely to see. But, throughout all of this what amazed us more than anything was that Louie’s confidence was never knocked, he had a wonderful ‘can do’, happy attitude. The frustrations would come and go but Louie’s attitude stayed positive. I believe that this is down to the way we have always told Louie that what he is doing was incredible and to never give up. So proud of you Louie!

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