Speech Development In Kids – Are We Becoming Too Obsessed With The Milestones?

This morning I had the pleasure of having some alone time with my son, David, and was overjoyed by the number of two and three word phrases he’s using. Hearing him talk this morning was thrilling, but it didn’t take me long to miss his baby talk and wish that it would last just a little bit longer.

Watching my kids’ speech develop is the most exciting thing I have ever witnessed as a parent, maybe even more exciting than seeing them walk, but I wished that I had allowed myself to enjoy the stage before this one a little bit more and worried about it a little bit less. I wished that I hadn’t focused as much on the milestones.

There is no doubt that we need to be concerned about our children’s speech development. Speech is needed for communication and is indicative of proper brain function. So we need to be alert as to the issues.

That said, I wonder if we have become too neurotic about our children’s development? Has the rising rate of autism caused us to worry endlessly about our children and whether they are developing “normally”? This issue is complicated because there lots of kids out there who are not getting help soon enough, but are we spending too much time measuring our kids against a yardstick? And if so, is that keeping us from enjoying them the way that we should?


  1. I am guilty of this, but only because I come from a family with a high rate of autism and learning disabilities. I have two first cousins who have autistic children. I also have three first cousins who have moderate to severe learning disabilities. Given my family’s genetic makeup, I am a bit obsessed with milestones, especially talking and eye contact. Other than that I try take the moments as they come and just focus on being a good mom.

    • It’s so hard because the problems out there are real, but it feels like we all have so much anxiety about our kids. I know I do. My kids were born very early so I do need to be concerned about the pace of their development, but there is a point where the anxiety takes over. I also wonder about those milestones and its effect on the way we see our kids if they don’t measure up to those milestones perfectly. I completely agree with you though. Focus on being a good mom. It is the best medicine for every child.

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