Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tucker's Journey to Language

Tucker has Expressive Speech Delay, which means that he understands what we say to him, but when he wants to respond, words do not come to his mind as they do for other children.

He has qualified for speech therapy, which happens every week in our home. Every Wednesday morning, Miss Nicole comes with her bag of tricks, and she plays with Tucker for an hour. His therapy is completely play-based, and he is having so much fun that he doesn't even realize how much he is learning!

Miss Nicole is an expert in her field, and I am honored and most fortunate that she is becoming an expert on my son.

He has finished two weeks of speech therapy, and we are already seeing great strides!
Tucker picked up on sign language so quickly. We had tried it before with him, but he was reluctant to use the signs we taught him. Actually, we thought he was reluctant; we now know that this was another piece of his language delay; he was absorbing the signs and their meanings, but he could not use them to communicate. We finally dropped it, in hopes that he would use words instead, but we have learned that sign language will bridge the gap for him. Signing will lower his frustration level, since he'll now have another avenue for communication until he can use words.

In just a matter of days, he has picked up the following signs: please, thank you, more, all done, eat, cracker, banana, fruit bar, drink, bubbles, Mickey Mouse, and down. There are several others that he imitates when he sees me sign to him, but those are the ones he has taken in and signs independently. It is such fun to watch him growing in his communication skills, and after all this time, it is a relief to know what he's really thinking about and asking.

He has even started using a few words! He now says: Dada, Mama (although it comes out in various forms... me-me, me-mah, ma... but I'll take it!), and baby. He knows all the people in his family.

Just yesterday, he was standing in the kitchen, perusing the pantry, and honing in on the shelf where I keep his bubbles. He stared at them, looked and looked, and then he softly said, "Bub-bo. Bub-bo."

I looked at Robb, pointed to Tucker and said, "Did you hear that??"

Tucker continued, seemingly trying out these sounds. "Bub-bo. Bub-bo." Then he looked at me, and a sweet smile crossed his face. He signed bubbles, and used the word at the same time! "Bub-bo!"

As you might imagine, we dropped everything, grabbed a bottle of bubbles, and headed outside.

The boy wanted to blow some bubbles!

Many of my friends who are mothers have said that there will undoubtedly come a time when I will wish he would just give me a break and please stop talking. I'm sure that's true, and indeed that day will come. But I do hope, in that moment, that I will look back on all of these days, weeks, and months when I wished he could let me hear his sweet voice... and I hope I'll be patient and listen instead.


allidunham said...

You are such a gifted writer, Tricia. And I am learning a great many things from you. SO glad to get to read along while you walk this road!

Robin said...

Tricia, praise God! I am thrilled to hear of Tucker's incredible progress!