Sunday, January 03, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

Sometimes when I tell people Jacob is non-verbal, they mistakenly assume he's silent. In reality, there's nothing further from the truth. He has never been a quiet boy.

In the past he's had several sounds that he uses to "speak" with us. First, when he was about 2, he'd growl. That was fun. Next, he said "ma ma ma" for everything. At 4 years old he began with the "eh-eh-eh" sound that he'd use in a conversational tone. That one lasted a few years. The past year or so the sounds of choice were "bo", Ahh-ahh", "na-na".

Right now, and for the past 2 months, he's got a constant, super-high pitched squeal that reminds us of a dolphin. Doesn't matter what he is trying to say or how close you are to him, its a top-of-the-lungs ear piercing, animal sounding shriek.

We all deal with headaches because of it, and no matter how many times we remind to him "speak quietly" or to have a "soft voice", he's just not getting it. We all pray this is a short-lived phase.

Even though it is unpleasant and makes you want to cover your head with a pillow, the fact that he tries continually to communicate with us is a wonderful thing. He wants to talk. He thinks he is talking. And that is something we have to encourage. So we put up with the variety of noises and always talk to him, hoping he catches on.

There has been some progress in his speech. He regularly says these words: out, go, poop, mom, hi, cheese, Jay, kitty, Doo, Bob, ouch, hat, no, yeah. He doesn't say them in a typical tone, and though they are unmistakable to those of us who see him everyday, to a stranger it would be hard to decipher.

There have been several times lately where Jacob has said a word once, clearly and in context, and then we never hear it again. His list so far: soap, go away, help, stop it, don't, Jenny, mine, pop, kiss. Even hearing them clearly and knowing the relevance to what is going on around him, I still question if it wasn't my ears palying tricks on me.

It wasn't so long ago that I was holding my breath waiting for him to say something, anything. Now it is happening, and it is a beautiful thing. I listen to him more carefully then I ever have, hoping to catch a new word, to see my little boy progressing in a way I never thought he would.

Jacob has along way to go to be able to communicate with people effectively. His progress to this point puts him on par with a 2 year old- seven years behind schedule. He may never be able to hold a conversation. But to hear him say "hi Mom!" every time I walk in the door still makes my heart soar. We'll continue in or efforts to help him talk, and he'll continue to amaze us when he does.

I love that kid.

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Oh! This is such a good news post!

Keep the faith.