I have four kids who have basically been on track developmentally their entire lives. They all had to do some time in the NICU when they were born due to being premature, but it was never anything life threatening. There were differences in the ages of when they rolled over, crawled, and took their first steps, but nothing outside the norm.

Then our youngest daughter Alexis still wasn’t talking at 2 years old. And I don’t mean not putting words together, I mean she had a handful of words she used and everything else she said was unintelligible, even for me, who was home with her all day. She understood everything we said to her, but she couldn’t talk to us beyond ma, da, up, and that.


Our pediatrician originally brought up Alexis’s lack of talking at her 18 month check up. It wasn’t a concern yet, just as something to watch for as she got closer to turning 2. When we went in for her 2 year check up I wasn’t surprised when the recommendation came to have her tested for speech delays, but I wasn’t ready to say she needed help. My older two kids had a big verbal breakthrough at just over 2 years old, and so I waited to see if the same might happen with Alexis, even though I knew she wasn’t picking up on everything like my other kids did.

By December, Alexis was almost 2.5 and still hadn’t made much progress. Her and I were getting into serious meltdowns because I couldn’t figure out what she wanted, and she couldn’t figure out how to tell me what she wanted besides just pointing, babbling, and then crying and screaming when I had no idea what she meant. Luckily we came across Zia Therapy, and got her tested. She qualified for services, and although I went back and forth a lot on actually signing her up, I ended up enrolling her.


I know there are plenty of kids that need help learning to do things. That’s why they go to school, and parents teach their kids things constantly, but I was stuck on the fact that Alexis needed outside help. She was going to be in speech therapy. Therapy. For some reason that word just lodged in my brain and I couldn’t shake all the negative associations I had with it.

Intellectually I know there’s nothing wrong with therapy. It’s there to help people until they don’t need it anymore, not a sign she’ll wear for the rest of her life. Everyone I told reacted positively and was excited that it was going to help her, and one friend even said she had been thinking of testing her daughter because she wasn’t talking either.

So what was my deal?

I’m a little embarrassed I’m even saying this, but I was embarrassed she was in therapy. It’s 100% all in my head, but I was embarrassed she needed help. I didn’t want to admit to anyone that everything wasn’t just going along perfectly in our little idyllic life. I also think part of it came form her being a twin. Her brother is off the charts verbal, and I was so worried someone would compare them and she would be the dumb twin because she was in therapy and he was telling me about the purple umbrella in the picture he’s coloring.


But once I opened up a little, I was rewarded with so much support from all our friends and family. They have all checked in with us periodically to ask how it’s going with her, and how she’s doing. The friends we see regularly have commented on how much clearer she’s talking and how well she’s doing. There’s no backlash on her for needing this, and I’m 100% convinced it was the right choice for her.

I’ve gotten over everything now, and she’s made amazing progress. 4-5 word sentences, dozens of words, and most importantly to me, she can communicate what she wants. She’s still stubborn as a mule when she wants to be but I think that’s just the personality of our little spitfire. No amount of speech therapy will change her saying ‘No, I do it!’ into something else 🙂

Jennifer at Sweet Discord Jennifer is a stay at home mom with two sets of twins. She copes with having four kids ages 5 and 3 with wine, desserts and cooking. But at the end of the day she wouldn’t trade her crazy life for anything. You can read more from Jennifer at Sweet Discord.

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25 Comments on Getting Over The Embarrassment About Speech Therapy

  1. My son had the same speech problems. By 2 he could say 2 words and they were not even correct. “galk” for milk and ‘Kee’ for Mickey. We called speech ‘talking school’. That got him excited that he was going to school like his big brother. We never really focused on the fact it was for his speech. He is now 9 and doing great in school!

    • That’s good to hear! My daughter will be moving into a preschool that has continuing speech classes for her now that she’ll be over 3. She really likes it and I think she’ll be excited to go to school like her sisters.

  2. As a public educator I have been around speech therapy for 25 years and I can say that my speech therapists were always the most kind and hard working people! I can understand the stigma, but think of it this way, if a child comes to school needing therapy and the parents didn’t provide it, well, you can understand how we might feel about that… you, on the other hand, are taking good care of your child’s needs!

    • @Terri Thanks for supporting Jennifer! I think it is so rare for other moms to stand up and say good job! We need to hear that most in those moments we are second guessing ourselves.

  3. My youngest started Early Intervention at 18 months and aged out at age 3. Then he went into private therapy after that for about a year. It never crossed my mind that it was something to be embarrassed about – a lot of kids need extra help.

    • Before this I worked for about 7 years with kids and families receiving early intervention. Every single parent processes their kids need for services differently. Some parents blame themselves, some become proactive and turn over every rock to get help. My twins needed EI at at age 2 and even though I knew how beneficial those services are, I kept feeling like I did something wrong.

    • In my head I know it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I had to have physical therapy for my hips when I was a baby, and I know plenty of kids, multiples especially, that needed help.

      My personality just makes me want to say that everything is fine, and I have a hard time asking for help. I don’t know. It’s a weird thing.

  4. As someone who has speech problems I love that you’re doing whatever you can for your daughter. I had a pretty bad stutter as a kid and even now sometimes still have it. I wish more had been available for me as a kid, so don’t be embarrassed, embrace it!

  5. I’m glad she is doing well in therapy. Perhaps like one of the other commenters above state, it would be beneficial to call it school.

  6. I think that feeling is common, especially when there is so much judgement and so little support amongst moms these days!

  7. My twin boys had speech therapy. I loved it. It was like play time for them. Plus the therapist came to our house so I had an hour to myself. They learned so much so quickly.

  8. My daughter is in speech therapy and it was definitely hard for her. She has a hole in her palette so s’s and x’s are hard. The progress is amazing though. She almost has it figured it and she’s only been in for a few months.

  9. This is something we are dealing with now. My 5 year old has severe trouble with the R sound, and while we don’t have any trouble understanding him, others do sometimes. There definitely is a stigma involved with speech therapy.

  10. I think it can be hard to deviate from what you thought was going to happen, but I am glad you opened up for help from family and friends!

  11. I’m going through an issue with my 15-year-old that required me to get over my embarrassment too. I understand where you are and I appreciate you for sharing your story!

  12. I think it is a common response to Mom’s to be embarrassed when things aren’t perfect with out kids. We all have ideas about how things should be.

  13. I’m glad your daughter is doing well with speech therapy! It’s totally understandable to have a little catch in the back of your mind when you first start doing any sort of therapy for your kids — we all want to be perfect mamas and if something needs a little extra ooomph we feel like we should just be able to fix it ourselves (and we also feel sort of like a failure if we can’t do it). We’re so lucky to have an abundance of professionals to consult with and there is no shame in drawing on those resources. =)

    • That’s exactly it – I feel bad it’s something I can’t fix myself, but that is why we have professionals. Thanks for helping me put into words another part of how I feel 🙂

  14. I can relate. That was my 2nd son, the one who is autistic. My 2 older kids all started speaking right on time with an extensive vocabulary but my son was able to string a sentence and was barely intelligible. No one knows your child like you do so I was able to get him the services he needed. My youngest Madison was also in speech therapy but she’s doing great now. Kids develop differently because now I’m like “don’t you ever stop talking”.

  15. I’m glad your daughter is getting the therapy she needed and is doing so well. Another year and I bet it will all be practically forgotten.

  16. This is such an important read! I’m so happy that your little one is doing well in speech therapy. I totally understand why it can be hard to accept needing help, I’ve been in a similar situation myself, now it’s just the funds to get the help now that I’ve accepted I need it!

    Be the author of your own story,

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