It’s OK, it’s just a Delay

The other day I was going through my draft posts (of which I have nearly 30, many of which I never got round to, some of which just weren’t very good!) and I found a small piece I wrote back in December 2014.

Oscar was referred for speech and language therapy in May 2014. We had our preliminary meeting with his paediatrician in September and in December I was asked to attend a Parent Empowerment Class by the SALT department. Anyone who’s been referred to SALT will have been sent on one of these. It’s a rather clumsy and slightly patronising way of weeding out the neurotic parents. Even the speech therapists I met on the day apologised and said due to Oscar’s ongoing Autism investigations, I really shouldn’t have had to attend. It was bloody awful and while I was waiting to be seen at the end of the ‘class’ I wrote this:

So after waiting what feels like a millennia I finally got some movement on the speech therapy front. Only the system where we live includes a trip, without my boy, to a local children’s centre to sit in a room with 20 other parents, to listen to how children’s speech should be developing.

Because as a concerned parent I haven’t already been looking at this for nearly a year already?

We were ‘invited’ to tell the room what our concerns with our children were and while I would never put any parents concerns down “can’t say their S’s at the age of three” was the most popular problem. Well woopeee. You poor, poor dears. How awwwwwful for you? How will Tarquin say ‘Santa’ this Christmas? Can you tell I am pissed off I have to be here at all? My boy has issues way beyond the ‘normal’ (bleugh) development. He still has no single word for me. And while the nouns are coming up (last week he completely unprompted identified a ‘box’ a ‘bag’ and ‘eyes’) they don’t always hang around and they don’t really get ‘used’. His main communication still remains grunting, gesturing and lately, squealing. So frickin loudly!!!

Can you tell I’m tired. I’m so very very tired. I started to well up when I had to listen to the other parents. I’d pay money for Oscar’s only speech issue to be mispronunciation. But it’s not.

Someone asked the other day in Twitter what everyone wanted for Christmas. I answered the only gift I really wanted was for O to call me mama. Consistently. Or if we’re wishing for stuff, for him to say I love you.

Merry Christmas and all that.

Reading this made me so sad. Remembering how awful (and angry) I felt on that day also made me sad. So much frustration and fear and confusion. And yet….

Just over a year on, Oscar’s speech is coming. His communication is 100 times better and his use of language, while still not perfect, is 1000 times better than it was then. He DOES call me mummy (or Mum. Either way my heart bursts every time I hear it!). And recently I taught him the words I LOVE YOU. We’re yet to get a completely spontaneous ‘I love you’, but it’s coming. I know it is.

Maybe the past year has taught me a little more patience, maybe my expectations have changed now we are more aware of how things work for him, or maybe I’m just so in awe of the progress he has made (and have faith that he will continue to make), that I just don’t feel that same frustration or sadness about his speech delay any more. We celebrate every language achievement, whether it hangs around or not (and things are much more likely to than not these days) and focus much less on the words he doesn’t use.

Sometimes I want to go back and put my arm around that scared mama’s shoulders. I want to tell her it’s going to be OK and that help is on the way.

Largely in the shape of a little boy, who will soon call her ‘mummy’.







  1. Glad to read he’s made good progress! Sending happy thoughts your way xx

  2. That is lovely! You must feel so happy and proud. I felt so sad for you in 2014 – you can really feel the pain and bitterness come through. It’s wrong that they even put you into that environment, but it’s good to hear how far Oscar has come since then (and you!).
    Popping over from SS Amazing Achievements.

  3. One thing I’ve learned over the last 6 years is that children do things when they are ready, my son has done everything at his own pace. I’ve often had those around me, including HV etc tell me he’d got delayed speech etc when beforehand I’d quite happily accepted it was just Monkey’s way. 3 years ago he could barely say a word, now, I can’t get a word in edge ways. I’m so pleased for you #SSAA

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much Mary. I hear that! I was just saying to my husband last night how I wish I’d had the confidence to follow my instinct when O was a baby and it never changes. I’m much better at it now, thank goodness!

  4. Beautiful post Lisa, full of heart! It is so good to look back sometimes and reflect on just how far you have come! So happy Oscar’s has made such great progress. You are Fabulous, both of you!

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Ahh thank you sweetie. I think these posts where you can reflect are amazing and I’m so glad I have them. Some other autism mothers mocked me when I suggested they keep a diary. Well, who’s laughing now hey? ?

  5. You can read the emotion in this post and it’s heartbreaking, but at the same time you can look back on it and look at your progress, and be proud of how far you’ve come. I know with my first child everything was questioned but I learnt with my second that they all run at different paces but they will get there in the end. Am really glad Oscar’s doing so well xx

  6. This is beautiful and it gave me goosebumps. I can relate on every level. My son is 4 next month and I am still waiting to hear “I love you”. He only starts saying mummy and daddy when he was about two and a half and even though he can talk now most of it is so random, very disordered, not aways in context and most of his speech is copied from the TV. He has made SO much progress. I’m so proud of him but we still have a long way to go. My son is also being assessed for autism and he has just had genetic testing which has shown that he has a rare chromosome microdeletion. I have just linked up my post to #EffitFridays, where I found yours 🙂

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Isn’t it crazy when you read about someone else’s life and you think ‘wow, that’s me!’ My son also uses echolalia, particularly when he’s stressed, but his spontaneous language continues to grow. I haven’t heard about the chromosome deletion until funnily enough you mentioned it here and today I met a lady who’s son also has it. How funny! I must read more about that! Thank you and I hope you have a great weekend.

  7. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) says:

    Oh what a difference a year can make hey? Glad to hear he is doing so well, and that you are as a result xx #ssaa

  8. It sounds like you’ve come so far! Even though that draft was a sad post it’s nice to have a diary of how things have changedx #effitfriday

    • mrssavageangel says:

      We have and still are. I know right? I’m soooo glad I have my blog for that reason. It wasn’t why I started the blog but I’m hell of a glad I did!

  9. Lovely that Oscar has come on so well! I think that is a general problem with a lot of the classes and the reviews that are done on kids’ development – they encourage comparisons that aren’t actually particularly helpful to anyone. Some people are being encouraged to worry about really insignificant things, while those who have bigger things to worry about, are being made to feel upset or angry comparing their situation with others. #SSAmazingAchievements

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Funnily enough I read an article the other day that referenced a book that claims the is no average. That as a thing it doesn’t exist particularly when it comes to development and education. So the ‘average’ we compare our children to is an arbitrary scale that really has no meaning whatsoever! Interesting!

  10. What a lovely post, and what a difference a year makes. I thinks its great that you have shared that earlier draft with all its anger and fear along side your happier and more positive report of Oscars speech development. I hope that other parents reading this post who are where you were a year ago will feel a level of comfort that other people felt the same as they are now, and that things will improve with time. #fartglitter

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much. I have actually had people send me exactly those messages. Telling me our journey gives them hope for their own. And those ahead of us give me the same! It’s what I love about blogging and sharing in this way!

  11. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    I know how frustrating & worrying it is when your child isn’t speaking or communicating. That’s wonderful that he is coming on now! #fartglitter x

  12. Brilliant post and will be so good for people in the same situation you were in. So glad he us making such progress and you are feeling more positive about it. Will share. x

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much – I have already had one lady comment to say that’s exactly how it helped her. I guess we’re all looking to those a year ahead of us in this crazy journey to get hope and inspiration. I know I do.

  13. I can totally empathise with this post, my daughter is speech delayed amongst other things and it can be so frustrating and saddening when they can’t say the ‘little’ things people take for granted. She started calling me mummy in November and I still smile when she screaaaaaammmss it across the room. Her speech is still way under developed and she drops words and mashes them together (I am now ‘MummyDaddy’ …but it is a long road and when I reflect on a year she has come so far too – this time last year NO words and no walking. Now we have walking and the odd word. Thanks for this post xx

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I think going through something like a speech delay (alongside a myriad of other things) allows you to appreciate every single word, even when they’re loud and not wholly appropriate (when Oscar’s sad he always tells me “scratch a knee”!) It is a long road, but no longer than anyone else’s. Just different. Your little girl sounds like she’s doing blooming brilliantly!

  14. ourlittleescapades says:

    A lovely truthful post and I have been there in those rooms, wanting to bang my head against the nearest wall. Perhaps things just get better as the years go on, or we just adjust to it more, I don’t know. I feel I am in the same place as you now, still waiting for an ‘I love you’ but now I don’t feel like its the end of the world if I never get it.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I think you’re right. Our expectations just change the more knowledge we get. I think it takes a lot longer for mothers of autistic children to lean who these children are as people (or is that just me?) but the more I do the more relaxed about expectation I become. The I Love You will come when its ready xxxx

  15. This is such a beautiful post Lisa, and it’s lovely that you can now see the difference in a year. And that he calls you Mummy. I hope your spontaneous I love you comes soon (and I am positive that it will) xxx

  16. It must be so lovely to be called Mummy after waiting for so long. How your little boy was is exactly what my friends little boy was like and slowly but surely he spoke and now he is right up there with his peers. I hope your spontaneous I love you comes soon, Im sure it will! Thanks for linking to #PickNMix
    Eilidh x

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I cant tell you how wonderful it is! And we’ev been making progress on the I Love You front. I ask him what do we say to each other and he knows!

  17. You’ve just made my eyes well up lovely this is beautiful and I love how well he’s doing and how much that means to you. Teeny bit annoyed I chose my p n m fave before having a chance to visit your blog (we take it in turns odds and evens then I try to visit everyone if I can) as this is my favourite post that I’ve read for a long time.
    Stevie x

  18. Such a lovely post. I’m glad things are improving and you’ve both come so far since that draft x

  19. How awful you had to endure that just to get help – so glad he’s coming on though, must be lovely to hear him call you Mum! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thanks – yeah it was sucky, but at least its done now! And yes. I get tingles every time he calls me – even if he doesn’t really want anything!

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