Sara And Thomas’ Story

Sara And Thomas’ Story

Sara, mum of Thomas aged 5:


“The fact that you are there to ask and guide me has really taken a weight off my mind. I am still waiting for an appointment to see a speech specialist but I am happy to see my son’s speech improving while we wait. He is a lot happier and his outbursts of anger are a lot more manageable. Thanks to some of the advice I’ve been given, I feel a lot better. My family life is far less stressed and we’re not so worried about the future. I know he has a problem with his words and whether it will always be like that I don’t know but I understand more about it now after seeing Sally (Family Coach) and learning more about brain science and how my wee boy’s brain works. My mum had a problem with reading and spelling when she was young and didn’t do well at school. I’m not sure if I do as well really.


I didn’t know any of the things Sally explained to me. She helped me understand how to help him with his words and his behaviour and I practice with him every day. Simple things like where he sits and giving him time to process what I’m saying before talking has changed everything in our house. Slowing down has been so powerful. Everything changed just by checking how I managed time. We are really grateful for the help SLCo has given us. We know we can ask any questions and not feel judged.


You feel as a parent you’re not doing things right. I remember a few years ago I didn’t ask the health visitor much- I didn’t really know what to ask. It was after she’d left the questions came. I contacted them and she just told me to wait until a referral was made. I didn’t even know what that meant. I was just left to get on with it. She just told me it’s probably nothing and not to worry about. I knew it was more than that but I wasn’t sure where to go for help. I wasn’t even told that SLCo was a charity I could contact. I’m glad I stumbled across it. I found out so much. I noticed on Facebook there were a few posts about mums with kids with speech problems meeting up so I went and met Liz, another mum, who helps run it. It was really helpful to hear I wasn’t alone. I burst into tears. They were all really understanding and helped me so much. Their children were like mine. It was good to know that things get easier. I am speaking to Liz every week on the phone and through the Facebook group. It has been an incredible help for me.


Things are slow to move, like waiting for appointments, but I feel I know what I should be asking and making sure I don’t get fobbed off, like other mums have said has happened to them! We had already been to see a speech and language therapist but she discharged my son after about 7 weeks. I knew he needed more help but I thought I couldn’t go back. She more or less said he was doing ok but he wasn’t. She had to go and ask for help to give me some exercises to do with him but they didn’t really help. He didn’t want to do them, he was too stressed. He is going to need a lot of help I think. The nursery staff said the same and contacted the therapy service.


I wish I had known about SLCo before as it’s something every mum who has a child without proper speech should know about. You freak out when you don’t know what’s wrong…and panic because you don’t what to do. I mean how are new mums supposed to know what to do? One hour a week with a speech and language therapist isn’t enough for me, never mind my son. Knowing other people you can ask questions, who help you and tell you you’re doing ok is a lifesaver. Some days are better than others. It’s good to know you’ve got somebody there when you need a hand, nobody understands what it’s like to be a mum to a child who has a lot of support needs. A child that doesn’t speak or understand you, and avoids your eye contact. It’s upsetting to watch. You don’t want to see your child look at you with their eyes pleading for help.


I knew things weren’t right when he was about 2. It’s been all this time and only now are we getting the help we need. People don’t understand how you feel. How it feels when your child is the one that doesn’t speak or gets a bit out of control. Some mums I know don’t even speak to me anymore. They avoid me at the nursery, just turn away and start talking to someone else. It makes me feel horrible. I know that they don’t want me to be part of the chatty group outside school and I’m sure it’s because they don’t want their children playing with my son. God knows what it’s like for my wee boy. I know the staff in the nursery are great, don’t get me wrong, and the wee ones are fine they just accept him. But my wee boy doesn’t fit in with them cos he doesn’t understand speech. So they put him on his own away doing something else. It’s heart-breaking when I come in sometimes. He’s ok playing away but I’m not. I worry about how he’s going to cope, and he’s going to be starting school soon.”