Caller Tells James O'Brien How His Son Ended Up Unable To Speak At School

31 July 2018, 11:59

James O'Brien told his caller he was the reason he comes to work every day after his brutally honest account of how his son ended up being unable to speak when he went to school.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds today announces a new plan to deal with the quarter of four-year-olds who are unable to speak in sentences when they go to school.

James was sceptical about the figures, but Billy called from Welling to explain how simply not changing their busy lives when they had children meant that his child grew up not being able to speak properly.

He told LBC: "My eldest is seven now, but at a young age, he was unable to communicate. Not for any medical reasons, he just couldn't talk.

"And we didn't notice.

"Our heads were in our tablets and phones and we weren't singing nursery rhymes to him at his level, so he didn't see our mouths move. We weren't doing that interaction with him because we had busy lives - work, family commitments, tablet addiction.

"Our family friends told us that he should be talking at that age, so we took him to speech therapy class and it was fantastic. They were sitting down and singing nursery rhymes and I thought 'Really, is this all we have to do?'

"It was our first kid and with our tunnel vision, we didn't change our behaviours with the first kid. We didn't know how to raise a child and there was no background help."

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

James praised Billy for his honesty, saying: "This is amazing. I need calls like yours to make sense of these issues. You're a good Dad.

"Billy, you are not only the star of the show today, you are the reason I come to work every morning."

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