As you probably know if you follow me on twitter or anywhere really, I have been having a lot of anxiety around Lily’s speech. At first we thought perhaps it was due to her hearing as her Dad has severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, he’s deaf, in layman’s terms.
Lily has had various hearing tests including an AABR test, which have come back okay in the end, so we are now pretty confident that she is hearing fine and her delayed speech is not due to that. The audiologist in her last hearing test did suggest perhaps she has had fluid behind her ear drums which has only just sorted itself out but that was just a stab in the dark.
She still doesn’t try and repeat the sounds we make to her which is worrying me a lot. We have an appointment with Speech & Language mid November and I’m worrying slightly less now as we have had a few new words.
My wonderful friend Zoe @MummyandLiss, wrote a post about what her little girl could say not long ago, and as Lily has finally said new words I felt like I really wanted to document this moment and record her progress, so took inspiration from Zoe’s post and wrote this! So here is an insight into the world of Lily’s speech:
Duck: This was her first word back when she was 10 months old. The reason there is such a concern with Lily’s speech is because she hadn’t progressed at all in nearly a year. Duck sounds very much like “ku” but she recognises them and points when she says it.
Cat/kitty: Her official second word and the word she says the most. Everything that remotely resembles a cat is a “ca”or a “key”. She LOVES cats, she will hug and kiss actual cats, photos of cats, drawings of cats and will shove crayons at me and make me draw the same cartoon cat face 30 odd times in a row. Here is a video I uploaded on twitter of her saying “kitty”.
Hiya: This is probably the word that sounds most like what it’s meant to be, hiya is “iya” or “iyiyiyiy” in Lily language and she will wave and smile as she’s saying it.
Drink: Another newish one, we have a lot of “k” sounds it seems and not much else, drink is “kkey”, very similar to her kitty but the “k” is a bit more pronounced. The only way we can really tell which she means is by what she’s pointing at.
Milk: This used to be “ulk” but after her not saying it for months and yanking my top down instead she has started calling it “kee”
Pig: This is her newest one, sounds very much like the above but more of a “g” sound. A lot of “k’s” and “g’s” going on. She will point to pigs in her books then point and say “g”.
What’s that?: She will point to random stuff (everything) and say “ha-saa” and will seem happy once I’ve told her what it is. She loves pointing to cats and Eloise for this one but anything goes.
Eloise: I’m including this but she also says this sound for other things but I’m pretty sure she’s trying really hard to say Eloise but it sounds rather more like “isa”. I’m sort of on the fence as to whether she is saying “Eloise” or “whats that” or both. She also appears to have a lisp which we were expecting anyway because of her tongue tie so I’m wondering if that is another thing which is impacting her speech development. Or maybe I’m just reading far to much into all of this.
Another thing the audiologist suggested was that she is more than likely saying words in her own language and to her, she is saying a specific word perfectly and we just aren’t understanding it. He also said not to correct her if she pronounces something wrong (which we weren’t doing anyway) because to her, she is saying it perfectly. Saying. “no, you mean _____” could end up knocking confidence levels which is something that made perfect sense to me as Lily will chatter away to herself and you can tell she seems incredibly confident in her sounds, and because we aren’t fluent in Lily Language we aren’t able to assign her babbles. He just said to keep saying the words how they’re meant to be said but praise her, for example, Lily says “ca” for cat so we will say “well done Lily, that’s a cat!” and as her language develop she will nail all the sounds.
I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t make me question whether I’m a shit parent when someone else’s kid who is younger than Lily is spitting out the dictionary or when I’m told Lily has “failed to progress” because it makes me feel like I’m the shittest of the shit and failing her somehow. I know that every child develops at their own pace, and I am absolutely not shit at all but on the shitty days I can’t help but question myself.
I hope this gives people a little insight into how differently children develop, Eloise was saying so many words I’d lost count by now and she was beginning to form sentences whereas Lily has a handful under her belt at a few months shy of 2 years old despite me doing the exact same things with them both.