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.