Breakthrough

I have so many posts in my head, and no time to write them lately. But I have to interrupt my “list o’ topics” to tell you some cool news (okay, cool for me). My little speech delayed son has started doing “animal sounds”. He says “meow” and “bow wow wow” and “ooh ooh ah ha!” (monkey) and we’re working on cow and bird now.

This is a big breakthrough for a child who has said no words or even a “choo choo!” (he’s 25 months old). The speech pathologists asked me about whether he makes animal sounds and when I said no that seemed to be a concern to them. So I am really happy that he has started this.

There’s more to it, though. It’s as if a light bulb has finally gone off in his mind. I mean, we have been able to get him to say “apple” and “up” but only as a mimic of us, never in any context of meaning, never to ask for or identify an apple. It seemed apparent that, to him, they were just sounds devoid of meaning even though he knows what an apple is and can point to one in a photo, etc. In the past, asking him to say words has usually resulted in him shaking his head and acting pissed off that we are wasting his time when he has important requests for us (communicated in his own unique system of gestures and sounds). But now, all of a sudden, it’s like he gets it. That the sound “meow” is an answer to “what does a cat say?”. And I can curse Nick Jr. forever but my little boy adores Dora and Diego and especially Baby Jaguar, and that of course is his favorite sound “meow!”.

I tell you though, it is a little weird hearing him making these sounds. It’s as if the carpet suddenly started talking to you! I mean, I’m so used to him not using anything approaching words that even these animal sounds seem strange to me. I know one day soon he will be babbling away like every other 3 year old and I will have to remember how it was that he didn’t talk. So in a weird way, I’m trying to really savour this time, and really be in the moment. Yes, I want him to speak but at the same time, there is something very special about his own little way of communicating. I suppose this is kind of like mothers whose babies go in for some kind of esthetic corrective surgery and they admit that they will miss that little deformed thingamajig (hair lip, nose, whatever) in a strange way. I think I understand what they mean.

I really need to get some more digitapes for the camcorder and get some more of his language on tape, while he still has it. But I’m still really excited about the animal sounds!

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