The biggest thing I took for granted was speech. Brayden was our first and we loved those first words (even though it was Dada). He spoke on time and then onto sentences. Ian was what I commonly refer to as a "freak of nature". He was speaking full sentences by 2 and at 2 1/2 knew the full starting line-up for the Cincinnati Reds, their positions and what hand they batted. We never questioned them speaking. We didn't really work hard. It just "happened". It was expected to happen. With Hailey, it is hard. We jumped on sign language as soon as we could. Until she could form her words, we wanted to communicate with her any way that we could learn. We were thrilled when she started signing "more", "milk", "all done" and "eat". (Notice the common theme...her stomach!). Fortunately, her signing vocabulary is well over 100. Verbal words have not come as easy for her. She just recently learned to make the hard "c" sound and the "g" sound. She doesn't always add the end of the word, but this week she started saying "cracker"...the entire word! It might seem small to some, but it is huge! Little by little, she is adding verbal words into her every day communication. It has been a long road and we still have a long way to go, but we have lots of cues that she will talk one day and that it will be clear..."bottle, cracker, purple, bubble, Lambie, doctor, mom, dad, mamaw, papaw and home" are crystal clear (few others, but my mind is drawing a blank!)
There is a great deal of frustration with Hailey's speech. She can't always verbalize what she wants and we don't always understand some of her signs (she knows way more than her mom and dad do!). Other adults can't always understand her nor other children. I appreciate all of our family and friends that have learned some sign language and who are very patient trying to understand Hailey. It means a lot to us. Trust me, that girl is a fighter and she is trying with all she's got. Just like she does with everything in her life....she doesn't give up and neither do we!
|Hailey decided to befriend this wooden bear last week. It was quite funny!|