Battling with criticism for having a late talking child

As one speech pathologist by the name professor Stephen Camarata says in his writings and media presences, one of the biggest wars that any parent with a late talker has to battle in is the criticism from other people.


Caring for special needs kid calls for dedication, round the clock love and a hero mentality. Don’t beat yourself up on the journey. Be strong. Don’t beat yourself up. You are a hero #caringforspecialneedskid #specialneedskids #specialneedschildren

♬ original sound – James Njenga – Baba Njeri

Yes, it is not battling with the speech delay of their child and how to rectify it. No, but convincing people that they are not on the wrong for bringing up a late talker.

The war though is mostly directed to the mother who is the primary caregiver and whom the society views as someone who should teach language to the child.

While the father might find himself embarrassed at explaining why their 3 year old is still babbling, they always find safety in claiming that they do not spend the whole day with the kid and so the mother should be blamed.

But deep down, the father too does not want the child to turn 4 and still not talking.

Lots of critics are highly likely to badmouth the mother as irresponsible and reckless who did not take time to teach their children. As a mother to such a child, you will also be blamed for speaking in a complicated language that the child finds hard to grasp or pick from you. Other people might blame you for exposing your kid to too much tv causing virtual autism.

How to deal with criticism for having a speech delay child

  1. Do not beat yourself down for what people say
don't beat yourself down

Critics are always going to talk. Do not try to fight them off because you are going to end up losing or feeling hurt.

The best solution is finding calm in yourself knowing very well that you are doing the best for your child. Because that is what matters most.

Always remember that you do not have full control over how your child picks language. While you might stimulate them in all ways to speak, get them awesome toys that help with speech and feed them with best diets, you still do not have full control.

The child might as well have receptive or expressive language disorder which you cannot know about unless it is assessed by a doctor. They could be having autism or maybe they are just like Einstein who spoke late.

  • Assess the child and meet them with this

When you focus on seeking the best solutions for your speech delayed child and ignore the naysayers, know that you have made the right decision.

Once you do make that key decision, you will want to take your speech delayed little one for autism assessment by a speech pathologist and hearing ability by an audiologist. If everything seems fine, you will be directed to a speech therapist or given speech therapy tutorials that you can then go ahead to employ on your child while still at home.

  • Take child to speech therapy and argue that you are seeking early intervention

Once you have gone to a pediatrician or speech pathologist and the child is given a clean bill of health for not having autism, hearing loss or any other language impaired, it is high time that you go to a speech therapist.

want speech therapy?
Children speech therapy concept. Preschooler practicing correct pronunciation with a female speech therapist.

What speech therapists have specialized in is methodologies on how to train language to little ones. They will also want you to be there as they do it so that you can replicate it back home.

  • Do not do Google anything on language milestones

The Internet is full of self-proclaimed speech pathologists, therapists and special needs teachers who know zilch about your child. All they have are blogs and YouTube vlogs where they want to preach their regurgitated knowledge on child development.

They will say all manner of things about how at three years your child should have mastered about 1000 words. And this is going to make you feel really frustrated. And a failure.

But you know your child the best, don’t you?

The kid could have hit all the other growth milestones say crawl, laugh, hold onto things, walk and jump way before the set time frames but braked at developing communication.

Join a support group for parents in a similar situation

There are myriad of both offline and online support groups of parents sailing in the same boat as you. You just have to look and ask the right people to direct you. On Facebook for example, you can find groups of parents bringing up speech delayed kids here.