Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

It doesn't aways "just" happen

When my big kids learned to talk, it just happened before my eyes. I have a video of Tyler as a newborn and Noah 15 months old. Noah is jabbering away, "Mommy? Watch me Mommy. See mommy? See Tyler baby?" I didn't teach him to talk,  he just did it. Tyler had a tough time with speech because of undiagnosed hearing loss for several years, but once we got that figured out and got minimal speech services from school, his speech took off.

And then there are our Serbian American boys. Speech has not come easy for them. They, and I, have had to work extremely hard and for months at a time for every sound that comes out of their mouths. Instead we push for language and communication which comes in the form of sign language. Talking is a bonus.

Axel is saying lots of phrases now, and is starting to be able tell me things that happened in school. Usually that a classmate or teacher was out sick, or what game they played in phy ed. The important stuff, you know. ;-)

But today has been a day of firsts here in the language department.

This morning as he was getting ready to go to the bus, I told Asher, "Say bye." and he looked right at me and said clear as a bell, "Bye mom." Dean and I both about fell over! A few minutes later I told him to say it again, and he did it, again, perfectly clear. "Bye mom!". Oh his voice is music to my ears. Not even two years ago, Asher came to us completely silent. If you've never met a silent child, it is really hard to describe just how silent they really are. And yet Asher has been able to communicate with us quite well. But it's coming...the silence will soon come to an end.

Later in the day Abel and I went to the grocery store. As we got out of the van I said, "Here's the grocery store. We need some things for dinner." Abel replied in sign, "Bananas eat please."

People, this is HUGE!! This is more than him stringing three signs together, which in itself is awesome. Oh it is far more than that! First of all, he demonstrated that he knows the FUNCTION of the grocery store. He knows there is FOOD in there.

It means he UNDERSTOOD me when I said "Lets go to the grocery store."

He made a request for something that was out of sight. Bananas. He knew that in the grocery store there are bananas and we could buy them, bring them home, then eat them. And he requested to do just that!!! You better believe I let him lead us to the bananas and put some in the cart!

Abel came to us just five months ago with nothing. He could mime some things and that was it. He knew virtually nothing about the world around him. His time was spent destroying everything he could or trying to run away from caregivers. Just five months and he has gained 2-3 years in communication skills.

If you are parenting typically developing kids, please...please don't take for granted the fact they just learn to do stuff all on their own. Sometimes...sometimes there is oh-so-much work involved! But I can tell you, it's the best work I've ever been asked to do! 


Stephanie said...

I loved seeing your posts on FB earlier today about this! I'm SO glad it's starting to come for both of them. What an awesome transformation! I feel the joy and excitement when Owen does similar things in the language department; every little thing is to be celebrated.

Melissa said...

I guess I DID take their speech for granted until S lost all of his with the stroke. Wow. What an eye opener that was. S quickly taught himself to sign, but it was HARD! I have huge respect for parents who deal with this for YEARS, when we only had to deal with it for a limited time.

Imogen said...

Beautiful, just beautiful! I bet Abel enjoyed those bananas like no other he's had to date - because he made them happen. Just wow! And Asher.... aww yay! Way to go Spring boys xx