Friday, March 11, 2011


Two months ago, when Ava had barely three words, and yet could understand everything going on around her I could see the frustration building. She had so much she wanted to communicate and it was all locked inside her. In fact, I think it was her frustration that was making her so stubborn about even trying to imitate. She wouldn’t even try. That was why we started by giving her completely new ways to communicate. We used signs and the communication boards and you could just see the light in her eyes. She was so excited to be able to communicate successfully.

We also started working on her speech. I worked with her at home and she was seeing first one (twice a week for half an hour – private therapist), then two (once every two weeks for an hour – local apraxia expert), and now three (once a week for one hour – state early intervention therapist) therapists. Once she experienced the tiniest bit of success, and the praise and attention that went along with it, she began progressing quickly and steadily. She went from simply learning how to and being willing to try to imitate, to imitating single syllables with familiar sounds, to imitating single syllables with new sounds, to repeating multiple syllables with those sounds, to spontaneously trying familiar and new words, and finally to making some two and even three word utterances. The progress in speech alone is wonderful and gratifying.

What is amazing is the personality and confidence explosion that is taking place at the same time. It’s like I’m finally getting to meet my daughter and she’s finally getting to meet the people around her too. Her bond with her family members has intensified exponentially. She and her brother are communicating and playing with each other so much more. She’s trying to sing. She’s engaging in imaginary play. She’s initiating play with other children instead of pushing away every advance another child makes. Today, at her two year pediatrician visit, she went through all of the usual things (being weighed, measured, having her ears examined and her heart listened to, etc.) with a minimum of protest. The last time we went, the doctor and I could barely hear each other over the constant screaming. Today we were able to carry on a conversation without raising our voices at all.

The changes are fairly dramatic and almost all positive. Fine, I probably could do without the loud and gleeful shouts of “no” which she seems to use just because she thinks it’s fun. Seriously, there’s an amused gleam in her eye. She obviously finds it entertaining. But overall I’m delighted to see her personality unlocked and I like the little girl I’m finally getting to know.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Web Analytics