Often I get asked the question: “How did you know when to put your twins in Speech?”

Here is my best answer:

When Gabe was a baby, we dubbed him a “late talker.”  In comparison to other children his age, he had fewer words and poor pronunciation.  Nevertheless, he was able to communicate well enough for others to generally understand what he was trying to say.  Speech rarely left him frustrated.

Still…we worried.  He reached all his other developmental milestones early.  Why not speech?  When he was 4, I enrolled him in Speech Therapy.

In hindsight?  It was an unnecessary expense.  His speech may have been delayed, but it was not a handicap.  The lessons served more as reassurance to me, rather than required therapy for him.

As for the twins?  That’s an entirely different story!

Despite their best efforts, they could not verbally communicate with anybody but each other.  Without a doubt, they shared their own twin language.  It was only when we learned to adapt to their language that we could ever understand them – even then it was minimal.

Their speech was painfully unintelligible.  They could not mimic sounds or words.  This communication barrier caused an inexplicable amount of stress in our household.  I knew we needed help – there was no doubt about it.  Their inability to communicate was ruining our family.  They threw temper tantrums when they weren’t understood.  We threw temper tantrums when we couldn’t understand them.

At 2 1/2 years old: Things were not getting better with age – they were getting worse.

I am not a doctor.  Nor am I an expert in speech.  But hindsight tells me that if you are at a point when your child’s inability to speak/communicate is affecting your entire family in a negative way – then it’s time to get help.  That’s how you know.