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Is speech delay my fault?

Oh this breaks my heart!

I can't tell you how many times parents ask me if they have done something wrong to cause a speech delay. Or when we discuss strategies to help at home, they say 'oh I've been doing it wrong then'.

As parents, we have so many things we feel guilty about already, so please don't add this on the the list.

Sometimes we know when to expect a child to have speech and language difficulties associated with a condition such as autism, Down Syndrome, developmental delay etc.

There are some risk factors with family history, hearing issues, gender... but sometimes, we just don't know why!

It certainly doesn't mean you've done something wrong or bad! The fact that you are raising a concern shows that you are tuned in to your child and want to help them as much as possible.

Do you find yourself wondering 'is it because I didn't talk to him enough?' 'is it because she is the second child?' 'is it because his buggy was world facing?'... the truth is, probably not! I like to help parents identify strategies that may help the child to move on, but there is definitely no judgement!

In case you are wondering... there has been research into speech delay in relation to the amount parents speak to their children, 'second child' interactions and parent facing / world facing buggy seats, but each individual factor is the not the be all and end all reason for a speech delay and certainly changing that alone would not fix a speech delay!

As well as the causes not being clear, we cannot guarantee when or if a late talker will catch up or not. Seeking advice from a registered and qualified speech and language therapist is really important to help unpick an underlying problem and help you to support them as early as possible.

Love from

Speech Mum

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