You're probably asking yourself, "Why would ANYONE want to have a speech-delayed child?"
You wouldn't! It sucks. I know; I have one.
Now you're thinking, "What could possibly be a BENEFIT of having a speech-delayed child?"
Relax, I'm getting to that. There ARE in fact some pretty badass benefits of having a kid who is...uh...verbally challenged. So if Princess Junior didn't come out spouting Shakespeare, if little Billy isn't waxing poetic in preschool, take heart, and read on.
Top Ten Benefits of Having a Speech Delayed Child
1. You can feign ignorance. Let's face it...sometimes its helpful not to understand a damn word your kid is saying. Case in point: Your kid is in the backseat asking for something, and you're pretty sure it's the Frozen CD. Again. You're sick and tired of Frozen, and conclude your kid wants Flo Rida instead. Excellent! (This might upset your child, but its her own fault. She needs to work on her articulation.)
2. Other parents don't give you dirty looks when your kid is being an asshole at the park. When they hear her speak, they assume she is retarded. Then they feel sorry for you.
3. You get to celebrate swearing. When your kid drops a dozen farmer's market eggs on the garage floor and says, "Oh FUCK," you squeal with delight, high-five your kid and immediately email her speech therapist about the exciting new development. Not only did she use the phrase in the appropriate context, but the articulation was PERFECT!
4. When your kid is watching Wreck-it-Ralph for the 50th time this week, you can justify it: She's picking up LANGUAGE from this show. Just the other day you heard her say "I'm bad, and that's good," and "I live in a dump."
5. If your kid's speech is REALLY jacked up, she might qualify for FREE PRESCHOOL. That's right. FREE PRESCHOOL every day of the week. Yes, please.
6. You can blame her temper tantrums on "frustration" instead of bad parenting or lack of discipline. This technique is helpful in many situations and can overcome a multitude of sins. For example, your kid is freaking out because you won't let her open up a quart of milk and drink it from the carton in the middle of the grocery store. She screams, throws an orange, and bites you in the arm. A horrified onlooker is cowering in citrus. You simply turn to the person and say, "She's speech-delayed." The person will inevitably sigh, "Ah..." then nod in sympathy and understanding.
7. Your kid's speech is so bad, you are forced to find new and exciting ways to brag about your child. When you dig deep, you discover that your kid is actually pretty cool. She can ride her scooter like a champion. She can even launch off curbs (on purpose, you think.) She can swim better than most 5-year-olds and climb up the jungle gym like a rabid monkey, when she isn't busy shoving other kids out of the way or stealing bottles of breast milk from strollers.
8. You can justify sending her to after-care, even though you're a stay-at-home mom...hey, she's learning SPEECH there! Aftercare is populated mainly by kids who are developmentally on-track. After all, what parent would send their speech-delayed child to AFTERCARE if they didn't have to? Me, that's who. Since after-care is made up of mainly "normal" kids, it's the perfect environment to force your kid to communicate with other children with minimal adult supervision. Sink or swim, bitches! Besides, she's learning a heck of a lot more language there, among her peers, than she is at home while you're screwing around on Facebook.
9. If you're a stay-at-home mom, you just upped your street cred by 50%. When people ask you what you do all day, you can add a bevy of other responsibilities to your list. In addition to laundry, dishes, cooking, paying bills, running errands, driving your kids to school/cheerleading/gymnastics, /art/swim/tennis...you can say you drive your kid to speech therapy and OT. You're also busy setting IEP meetings, canceling IEP meetings, rescheduling IEP meetings, reviewing goals, emailing the school psychologist, reading The Sensory Child Gets Organized, making sure she gets her "heavy work" in and practicing biting on her chewy tubes, in addition to reading her like 20 books a day to foster language development.
10. You get to celebrate every little thing. When things come easily to your kid, you take it for granted. They are on schedule, moving ahead, progressing as expected. When things happen more slowly, your forced to sit back and take stock of all the improvements. And these small steps? These little improvements? They are magical.
Oh, what's that? So your kid ISN'T speech delayed? Eat your heart out. (Just kidding. Sort of.)