Behind the curve

We took our son for evaluation today. He’s 39 months old and still not talking. That’s a little hard for me to write. I try to act like it doesn’t bother me. But it does.

It does, because I worry. A lot. That I’m not doing enough. That working from home and having him here with me, instead of a day care or preschool, is hurting him. Holding him back.

I worry that I waited way too long to see about getting help. That he’s so far behind he’ll have trouble catching up. That it’ll follow him around, this inadequacy of his mother.

And he’s such a bright little boy, too. I don’t just say that because I’m his mother. He understands things that 5 and 6 year olds understand. I can see his frustration when he tries to communicate and we can’t understand him. And it breaks my heart. Daily.

On top of all that, while we were at the school, they had some sort of drill that involved a very long bell ringing. Like several minutes long. And then we had to go outside for a bit. It was close to naptime and the ringing had already agitated him. (Me, too.) And then the bell rang while we were outside. And it was. Really. Loud. And it freaked him out. Poor kid. Then it rang a second (well, third total) time and it scared him even more. Super loud noises have always bothered him. That was a sucky way to end his visit.

So now we’re under the gun to get him help. Quickly. To get an IEP in place and see if we can get him into preschool (which we can’t really afford) and get him caught up. Because regular interaction with his peers is what’s going to help him the most right now.

I just don’t know what to do. Except try to help my son. But I don’t know how. And it’s quietly killing me.

Category: children, parenting, spawn
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22 Responses
  1. Ginger (8 comments.) says:

    Oh Becky I am sorry. While I don’t have this exact problem, I have others with my children that cause me to worry in the same way.

    Can you set up weekly playdates with some friends? Even if it’s just a couple hours in the evening or on the weekend, it may help.
    Ginger´s last blog post ..Dual perspectives on divorce

    • becky says:

      We are trying to do that a little more. We just don’t have anyone in our neighborhood. Or many friends that have kids the same age that are the types of friends where we get together and shoot the sh!t while the kids play.

  2. bethany actually (15 comments.) says:

    I’m sorry it’s quietly killing you! But don’t feel like you’ve done your son a disservice by keeping him home with you. You absolutely have NOT. You’ve done what many parents wish they could do but can’t: enjoy as much of the precious baby/toddler years as possible with their kids! And it’s not like you’re not talking to him, right? I’m sure you talk to him all the time. Would it be possible to get him speech therapy without having to put him in a preschool you can ill afford? I have a friend in Chula Vista who homeschools her kids, and her son (and possibly her daughter, can’t remember for sure) went to speech therapy for delayed speech. If you like I can put you in contact with her!
    bethany actually´s last blog post ..Annalieisms on Twitter – February 2011

    • becky says:

      It’s the guilt, Bethany. I’m here, but I’m working. He doesn’t get as much of me as he should. It’s not like I can play with him all morning and get my work done any time. I have a set schedule and lots of conference calls. But I do talk to him all the time. He understands everything!

      We are going to try to get therapy. Our previous insurance denied it, but I have different insurance now, so I think we’ll try again. The school district says we qualify for services, but I’m not really sure if that is going to mean anything if we don’t qualify for Head Start.

  3. Morgan B. (1 comments.) says:

    I’m so sorry Becky! I can only imagine the worry this is causing you. I have a friend with a similar issue and she gets tons of help from the state. They even pay for her son to go to school. It’s good that you are taking the necessary steps and your son is so lucky to have a mother who cares about him so much. ((hugs))

  4. La Jolla Mom (7 comments.) says:

    I had a friend who didn’t speak until almost 4. And his mom said he went from worryingly silent to speaking almost like an adult. And straight A’s in school. I am sure it will rectify when he’s good and ready.
    La Jolla Mom´s last blog post ..New Spa &amp Beauty Product Deal Site Launching in San Diego

    • becky says:

      I keep telling myself that, Katie. I sure hope it’s true. Apparently lots of my cousins have had the same thing happen. It doesn’t stop the worry, though.

  5. JenniferFromLaJolla (1 comments.) says:

    I too have heard of kids who go from not speaking to being able to fully and clearly express themselves–almost overnight. I am glad you are investigating the possible causes. Hope you won’t beat yourself up over any of this. ((hugs))
    JenniferFromLaJolla´s last blog post ..Not Wordless Wednesday

  6. Christina (1 comments.) says:


    I empathize w/you. I have been where you are, very recently in fact. It sounds like you have a very specific concern about your son. If you need an ear to bend I’d gladly dm you my email or # over twitter.

    Take care.

    • becky says:

      Thanks. It’s all so overwhelming, trying to figure out if we qualify for free services. We are going back in for an IEP next month, but I don’t know what that means yet. I don’t think we can get into Head Start. I’m sure the waiting list is a mile long. But they gave me a list of resources to try out. I can only imagine how much more overwhelming it would be for someone who doesn’t have my means and education. So frustrating with all of the paperwork and phone calls. I’m fortunate that I can do that. So many can’t!

  7. becky says:

    Thank you all, so much. It’s funny. I didn’t feel like crying until after I’d written this and went back to read it. All of a sudden I’m in tears over the whole thing. I can’t get his look of terror out of my head from when the bell rang. He was terrified. And the other kids were looking at him. He was that strange kid to them and it broke my heart even further. I just want him to be happy. And able to tell us what’s going on with him when he needs to. He is so bright and funny – I want others to be able to see that. Not look at him strangely because he LOOKS like he’s 5 and chattering like a baby.

  8. Ginger (5 comments.) says:

    I “know” (online friends) several people who are going through this. We’ve actually been worried about J’s language development, though he’s younger. I think these delays are more widespread than people realize–I know I had rarely heard of any kids with speech delays until a few years ago, and now it seems all over the place (though maybe that’s because I’m in tune to it–you know, worrying about it, so I see it everywhere?).
    Anyway, I do know a lot of success stories (both with and without therapy), and I also know that the guilt will just eat you alive. Try not to let it–it’s not your fault. There is no fault!
    Ginger´s last blog post ..And then life got a little more crazy

  9. Penny Muscott says:

    One of our sons was slow as well, and we learned much later on that he suffered from allergies so severe that he couldn’t even focus on things in school. Once we got him help he has flourished, and today is an aircraft mechanic who flies all over the world.

    So, keep the faith, leave no rock unturned and do everything possible for your son!
    Penny Muscott´s last blog post ..How a Vacuum Coffee Maker Works

  10. Lori (5 comments.) says:

    You are NOT an inadequate mother. Sometimes kids just have things to overcome. You’re doing what you can, and that’s plenty.

    Hugs, doll. I had no idea.
    Lori´s last blog post ..The Low-paying Rut

    • becky says:

      Thanks, Lori. I see his frustration and I just want to help him so much. But I am so helpless on this one. I talk to him all the time and encourage him to try new sounds, to pronounce things, etc. This is way beyond my abilities as a mom.

  11. Marissa (1 comments.) says:

    Wow, that sounds like my son! He just turned four and I think we waited too long to get help for him too. He’s had a few speech therapy sessions and already I think he’s doing better. They say he’s actually not too far behind but recommended calling the school district to get help,which I haven’t done yet. It’s just frustrating when sometimes I’m the only one who can understand him! He is enrolled in preschool for the fall, so hopefully that will help him out a bit. Good luck!