Saturday, September 17, 2011
Seeing the light
Cadence has been a barrage of sound since she came home from China. She soon had all of the vowels down pat. She formed her first real word within a day or so of having her cleft lip repair in January - "Mama"! (Sierra swears she said "antelope" when we were at the Inner Mongolia Museum, but I'm not buying it!) On the way home from the hospital after her lip repair she put her lips together, for the first time ever, and said "mmmm.." Basically, that was the end of her consonants. We started speech therapy in February where we spent one hour a week with her therapist observing her. Yes, basically observing her for about 4 months! I knew it wasn't going exactly as I hoped but I have never seen a 21 month old child with a cleft lip/palate learn to talk! For anyone else starting on this journey - be PROACTIVE! If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't!
We started with a new speech therapist in the beginning of June and she has been amazing! She works relentlessly with Cadence, challenges her, and cheers her on! Since that time Cadence has thrown out a few more consonants - b, p, w, c/k, n, d, g, h, l(!). But it has felt like such a long road. Girlfriend is very smart (aren't they all!), strong willed, determined and knows exactly what she wants. I mean Exactly! She is right on target with her receptive language and knows a few signs, but I am longing for the day when she says "Mama, can I have some juice?". Heck, I'll even settle for "Juice?". I am so ready for the days of pointing, whining, groaning, and crying to not be the beginning of all of our conversations.
Alas, I saw a light last week. A small light, but it was there! I was reading her a book at bedtime and she was pointing to the pictures on her quilt. "Ball" and "block" fell from her lips. What?! Okay, so not that clearly, but I knew what she was saying and the biggest thing - she initiated it! It wasn't in response to me saying "Is that a ball?" or "What is that, a block?". She said the words, all by themselves, all on her own. Within the last few days she has said "cup, drink, cat, cow" and a few other words with no prompting!
I see the light and now this tunnel doesn't seem quite as long and scary!