On my hip…

We walked into the appointment with Matthew happy on my hip.

Once inside the tiny room, I placed him on his feet and he immediately toddled to the small children’s table and began playing with the handful of blocks that were awaiting him.

Red, purple, blue, a perfect tower, followed by clapping and delight.

How many words does Matthew have? Five? Ten?

With just four teeth, his smile is still the mouth of my baby.


His kisses are still slobbery and delivered with an open mouth. My favorite baby kisses.

Okay, how many signs does he know?

This boy, this beautiful boy, uses his eyes to tell me he loves me because his words aren’t there yet.


I had prayed that he wouldn’t face the same speech troubles that Katie has. I hoped that he would find his voice easily … that one of our children would know the joy of language just coming effortlessly.

Would you say that he follows directions well?

With each passing day, we have had to accept that Matthew will likely have some of the same struggles that Katie has had with speech.

When I look at Katie and I see how bright and articulate she is…how far she has come, I know that he, too, will be just fine. But, I want so badly to spare him that experience … all of that work on something that comes so easily to so many children. I want him, as I had always wished for Katie, to spend his time running and playing…giggling and learning. Not struggling … not hindered by a speech delay.

Okay, I’d like to see him back in another month to reevaluate and refer him for services.

As we left his appointment, my heart broke a little bit for him, for the challenges ahead of him … of us.

Please come visit me over at Sluiter Nation, where I’m guest posting and listing the top ten reasons why I’m excited that warmer weather is finally here: “On a Spring Breeze.”

I’m the first guest poster in Katie’s new series, so please stop by and leave reason why you’re looking forward to summer!


  1. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    Ahhhh Nichole, I am so sorry. I don't understand the whole language thing with kids. Tyler just turned 2 and has a lot of words…but no where near what Sadie had. He does a lot of jibber talk. I talked to the pediatrician last week about it, but he doesn't seem concerned. I guess I just need to watch that boy…like a hawk.

  2. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    You know I completely relate to this. But of all the challenges kids face, this isn't so bad. Not that it doesn't suck. It does. But you know he WILL talk one day soon.

    Also? He's ridiculously cute.

  3. Jessica fourplusanangel.com

    I know that feeling well, a precious little one on your hip and a long road ahead that you would love to spare him from. He will do great, just as Katie has, because he has wonderful parents behind him.

  4. @2bKate twitter.com/2bKate

    Beautiful post! I hope he doesn't have to have therapy but if he does maybe he won't have to work as hard as Katie did. She is a good big sister and will guide him through on a level a parent can't.

  5. I feel like we are in the same boat, Nichole. From what I can tell our 2 kids are relatively close in age (my oldest 3 1/2, youngest will be 16 months this week). I'm in this boat with you. My oldest didn't say a word…not a single word until just after 2. His speech is unbelievable now…very articulate, HUGE vocabulary, completely on par (if not above) his age level. But there was that year of worry in between 1 and 2 that was just full of anxiety. My youngest is showing very similar patterns. No real words yet. Maybe uses 1 or 2 signs. I can tell he wants to speak with us so badly. I can see the frustration in his eyes. I'm already anxious for his 18 month appointment. When you go through something with one, you so want it to be different with the next.

  6. I completely understand… My oldest had a speech delay and impediment… later we learned a processing disorder… but he's smart as all get out he just has a hard time getting things out. Our youngest has Downs… so he has delays. He does not talk at 2 and he does not sign (I think mostly due to his stubborn nature.) But I finally let go and realized he IS happy… they both were and so is your little guy. He is learning, and playing, and laughing and loving. He just has a challenge he will work through with your love and help. And he'll do brilliantly. See your son as you already do, and not the diagnosis. He didn't change with it… Smile sweetie… Know he will be fine :o)


  7. mad woman adiaryofamadwoman.com

    He is very fortunate to have you, Katie and Craig. He'll get there and this will be only be a memory. But I understand and feel your pain.

  8. Okay 1st, his cuteness should so make up for any words he is lacking! =)
    2nd, I feel your pain, my youngest had the same problem! Words did not come easy for him. He's now 2.5 and his speech and language development coach actually told us today "He doesn't really need me anymore"
    Matthew will have no challenges as you and Craig and Katie too will help him get where he needs to go!!

  9. So hard when we want to take on the troubles of our children … I have been there too.
    At least, being down this road before, you know there really is a light at the end of the tunnel
    … and this time you have a better control of the wheel.
    Much love to you xxx

  10. Jennie B wantapeanut.com

    Look at that gorgeous face!

    It's so hard to think about our little ones having to work hard at such a young age. You know I understand what it is like to be right where you are now. Your sweet boy is going to do great, just like his sister.

  11. @OldTweener twitter.com/OldTweener

    Oh sweetie…..you know what? Just the simple fact that you are aware enough to be taking him for an eval is HUGE. Catching anything now that he can begin to work on? That can mean so much down the road.

    And he is just precious and adorable and happy! And his parents? Love him so very much.

    I have a feeling he will absolutely thrive, just like Katie did. And you won't be able to shut him up.

  12. *hugs* your kids are a million kinds of awesome. I know I'm not a mom, but I believe Maria Montessori said that all kids go through the same stages at different rates. it'll all work out.

  13. Krista notmommyoftheyear.com

    None of us want to see our kids (or any child) struggle, so know that a lot of people are cheering for him and will offer you all encouragement. I firmly believe that it will work out, he may have to try a little harder, but he will be chattering up a storm with his sister. And hopefully, this will be one of the few struggles your children have to face.

  14. I'm sorry, sweetie! You know I understand this. It hurts to see your child struggle over something so fundamental as language. It may not seem like a big deal to some, and in the big picture it really isn't, but it is still very difficult. I know. But, as you know from your experience with Katie, early intervention is key. You're doing what you can for him by getting him evaluated now, and services if he needs them. And, you know he will eventually overcome this. Your love and support will play an important role in that.

    Speaking of summer, you totally have to come over and check out my post today:

  15. Klz

    He is very lucky that you are on top of things for him…you are a wonderful, loving mother. Good luck moving forward

  16. Peggy

    Wow, I'm really surprised that he isn't saying any words yet. My surprise is mostly because siblings will be absolute opposites, even for things that would seem out of their control. It could be that he is just the strong, silent kind of guy. Try not to feel too bad about him struggling. I'll bet if you asked Katie how much work it was to talk, she would say "work??"
    Love this picture by the way. Such a doll!

  17. Katie sluiternation.com

    Eddie is 21 months and just starting to have words. I think I got him to say "momma" yesterday. I think.

    It's so hard.

    We know things will turn out, but while they are happening (or not happening), it just…hard. We know they won't remember it. But we will.

    It's just…well…hard.

    We want them to have the ease and delight that could be had.

    And thank you for being my first Recruit today! Love your post! Thank you for being so supportive to me…always!

  18. your son is just gorgeous, those eyes, those chubby cheeks.
    I am sorry that he is having some trouble with his words, but my kids didn't have a lot of words and then they did..just like that. I always hated when people would say that "boys get language later than girls" etc. However, I found that with me letting go of the expectations (mine) and just let them develop the way they are going to, the time came and so did the words. Wishing him and you lots of luck as he "Gets there".

  19. What a sweet little boy. Thanks for sharing his story — I know just what you mean about wanting your kids to have speech come effortlessly and on time. It is so hard to watch them struggle.

  20. Dude, you're his mom.

    He's gonna be great.

  21. Oh honey, he's perfect. I completely understand the need to want them to have things easy, without struggle. Without fear. But he's perfect. And I know he's got some great teachers :)

  22. *heavy heavy sigh for you*

    Yes, I know he'll be fine.

    But yes, I wish you'd been spared all the effort and energy it takes the second time.

    And yes, he is just perfect, even so.

  23. Paula Kiger waytenmom.blogspot.com

    I went through something similar with my son. He's 11 now and we look at each other frequently and say, "this is the kid who wasn't going to ever talk"? Our town has a phenomenal Center for Autism and Related Disorders that does very early screenings for "pre-speech behaviors" sort of like the stuff you're talking about – is he pointing? is he making eye contract? on and on. My DS failed all of that at one. My pediatrician said the most assuring thing: "If he were my kid I wouldn't be worried." I still was. I can't promise your child's outcome but I can promise support from the cyberverse!!

  24. I am sorry you are feeling worried, but you are such a wonderful advocate for your children. He will be absolutely fine, and he will never remember this, but you will, and that is one of the things that can be heartbreaking for mommies :(

    Wandering over to Katie's house to talk about summer, although it is never coming to Michigan, I'm convinced.

    I worry about Dylan's speech, too :(

  25. tracy sellabitmum.com

    How beautiful is he, are you? So hard to me a momma sometimes. He is so lucky to have you. xo

  26. Yes to everything above. All the good stuff. Because there is so much good stuff.
    But you knew that already.

    Love –

  27. CDG

    I want to hug you and remind you not to fret. He's so young yet, and he has Katie to speak for him. My little brother didn't speak until he was nearly two, and the doctors told my parents, pointing to me (figuratively), "he didn't need to, he has a full time interpreter right there."

    But if there are challenges, you'll meet them, and as everyone has said before me, you have resources and understanding now that you didn't have before.

    And he's just delish, but you knew that.

  28. Mama Track mamatrack.com

    I'm sorry you're worried but I know he'll do great. And so will you.

  29. Jayne goteamjayne.blogspot.com

    My son is 17 months old. He is a physical dynamo as well. He is funny and sweet. He laughs all the time, and makes lots of babbling consonant noises. His face is one of the most expressive I have ever seen. But words? Signs? Following directions? No. I'm terrified of his check up next month….sick to my stomach every time I think of it.

    I wish you all the luck in the world! I'm sure he will blossom just as Katie has.

  30. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    Ah, that face! He's is simply precious, Nichole!

    I'm sorry that you are going through this again.

    I will never take for granted all the words Lucas has, when I know so many children struggle to find their voice.

    Sending hugs your way, my dear sweet friend.

  31. Stacey staceysmotheringmoments.com

    He is a beautiful boy! I'm so sorry that you have to go through it again. I guess the bright side is that you've seen the progress that he will eventually make. You know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Hugs!

  32. C @ Kid Things kidthings.net

    I have a son who will be 5 at the end of this month with a speech disorder that he goes to therapy for. It is so hard to see them behind and struggling in any way, but talking is such a prevalent issue. Especially when I also have 2.5 year old daughter who does have the whole speech thing come easily. She's about on par with her older brother as far as vocabulary. While I'm so proud of her and so thankful she doesn't have those problems, it's also just a reminder of how so very far behind my 4yo is. But I also know, after taking my son to therapy for more than a year now, that he's not alone and there's nothing I could have done and in the grand scheme of things, he's going to be OK.

  33. Frelle jennafarelyn.blogspot.com

    thank you for pouring your heart out, and speaking honestly about the thought process and journey to acceptance here. *HUG*

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