She speaks. We just need to listen.

It's been a month since our two-year-old daughter was evaluated for possible speech delays. While we were somewhat relieved it was determined her case was not severe and that she did not at this time qualify for speech therapy, it was also a very frustrating result. What were we supposed to do now? Continue working with her as we have been? Wait and hope for her to magically one day start speaking?

Since that evaluation, our always vocal, constantly singing little girl has started pointing to items in books now and labeling them. She has been asking for items that she wants by name. She has been counting up a storm.

What's that? You don't hear her saying the words? What do you mean you don't hear the words?

Oh, you hear what we used to hear.

But then we started listening. Really freakin' listening. Hard. When she speaks, the world stops, and we all lean in closer.

And that's when we hear her. Her words are there. She just doesn't always pronounce the first syllable, and sometimes she misses the last syllable. But when we started really focusing and listening to her we knew exactly what she was saying.

She says some words very clearly. Mommy, daddy, go, no (oh how she LOVES the word "no"!), counting 1-10, and a smattering of other words. She's starting, slowly, to say more words very clearly, with precision. Now we know she actually can say the majority of other words too but not an a way that the average person can understand. For instance, "grapes" may sound like "aeapes" and "snack" is "ack." She says each word with great inflection, and when we are totally focused on her, we understand completely.

So now we just continue to work with her. Her big brother has been a super teaching assistant in her language development. She loves to copy him, and a lot of her speech development has come from her learning from him. It's incredible to see, and just fills our hearts so much.

Of course, sometimes she'll just copy us exactly and say the words clearly. Like this morning. Herding the kids out of one room, my husband said "Let's go peeps!" She promptly copied exactly what he said, clear as day.

We're getting there.


Kelly said...

I, too, had to learn the hard way to give up my preconceived ideas of language and just take my children's development as it came. One didn't utter his first word until he was 3 years old and one has a full vocabulary at 28 months. We are truly an exciting and diverse species!

Also, your tot is adorable and I have a photo of my little girl sitting in that exact same doll stroller. :)

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marlynn said...

Isn't it amazing how the kids are just on their own timelines? Our son started speaking small sentences early - around 18 months- and we've definitely learned to be patient with our daughter. How funny that you have a similar picture with the same stroller! Our son tries to sit in it too...he's five. Doesn't work as well :)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

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kateypie35 said...

Way to go Cate! And way to go Momma for learning to listen.

The Nate dog is 19 months old now. (whoa!) He says Dada and Uh Oh. Once in awhile I get a Mama. He can sign 6 words.
Its so hard to not to worry... and its so hard not to compare him to others his age. I probably would have worried less had the medical community not kept harping on it. I am glad I am not alone with this.

Hey, yesterday, I was leaving the house and I said "bye bye sweetie" and he said clear as day "bye bye" and waved. I cried!

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Lauren From Texas said...

"Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!"

I was particularly touched by this post - my husband had battled with a speech impediment and is now a professional speech therapist. He is an amazing testimony to me of what the human mind can accomplish. Your daughter will get there! Right now, don't worry about that though - she's still so so young - just enjoy how cute she is! Gobble her up! :)

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Adventures of an Innkeeper said...

Hi, I am wondering if you haven't always spoken for her, instead of letting her try and say the words. No matter what, seems like she's on the way to great things.

Thanks for coming to see my blog...
Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest

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Eva Gallant said...

I'm sure now that she has started speaking, there will be no stopping her, and you will wonder why you worried!

just stopping by from SITS to say hi; hope you'll do the same.

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marlynn said...

thanks so much for your support, ladies. it's really amazing: in just a few days, she's even saying more! Not much by most people's standards, but for her situation, it's enough to make this mama cry. music to my ears!

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