I love words.
written or spoken.
and it bothers me immensely when people mispronounce words. Or rather they have learned to pronounce them differently and therefore are wrong!
people emphasizing the wrong syllables drive me nuts!
I have always been this way and from the day I found out I was pregnant I was determined that my child would love words as well and would learn to read at an early age. of course what did I know?
the boy was 4 months old (almost 5 months) when he stopped cooing and gooing and making any noise whatsoever. he also had his first ear infection at that time. it took a while but I came to realize this was no coincidence and it was down hill from there.
he growled and grunted for about five or six months and then started making this nasally noise that didn’t correspond with anything.
we had his hearing checked. They said he was fine.
I started seriously teaching him sign at about 12 months or so he finally started using it after about a month. He was doing really well. Really well. and I was proud of him. but it still made me sad.
he didn’t talk.
what was I doing wrong? of course it wasn’t anything I was doing wrong and I know this but I still felt horrible. you just wait until he does talk people would say, then you’ll be wishing he hadn’t started. their kids talked at a “normal” age. they don’t know what it’s like.
we started speech therapy when he was about 18 months old. he was tested to be at a pre-12 month age for speech. at first they put us in a program that was geared towards late talkers. it wasn’t what he needed. the therapists all figured that because of his understanding and ability to follow simple and complex instructions that we just needed a little guidance. it wasn’t what he needed.
he started saying mama and it had purpose. he was over 2. I was over the moon.
they put us into a one-on-one therapy and he would see the therapist every other week. he was very set in his ways and the therapist had a hard time getting him to focus. they started throwing around words like autism and motor planning.
we had him tested for autism. he doesn’t have it.
motor planning is harder to figure out and for a while now we’ve just gone with the approach that this is what he has and how we work with it. basically we have to teach him from the beginning how to use his facial muscles to build sounds.
things that normally wouldn’t bother him started too make him cringe. he would cover his ears with more frequency. and get frustrated and yell.
the speech therapist started demanding more and more from him and we started going weekly. it got to be too much for him and he had a meltdown. I felt awful.
nothing was working.
and then one day about 2.5 months after the surgery something clicked. he started trying. and trying some more. he started paying attention to try to figure it out and not just because I was making him. we had turned a corner. and it felt wonderful.
my wonderfully bright and energetic three year old boy who has the vocabulary of a 12 month old finally gets it and is trying. I have never been so proud in my life. it feels like we’ve finally reached the summit of the mountain and we can just enjoy the view for a while because HE GETS IT. I can’t imagine that everything will just fall into place from this point but it is certainly on its way.
and for all of you who say “just wait until he starts then you’re going to regret wishing for it” I can’t begin to describe how VERY WRONG all of you are. hearing my boy finally find his voice is the best thing on the planet.
and now I love words even more.