Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A simple word.
Music to my ears.

I might fall a tad bit on the paranoid side when it comes to the kids.  But they are my kids...why would I not be paranoid about them? 

We never really thought that Noah's quiet nature growing up was actually a sign of his speech delay. I just thought I had the most amazing, quiet child.  He didn't really make too much noise when he was playing.  He did a lot of whispering to himself.  My pediatricians insulted me when the wanted me to fill out an autism questionaire on Noah.  They pushed and pushed about a hearing test until I caved.  His hearing was perfect so off to a speech evaluation we went.  The SLP had the audacity to tell me there was something wrong with my child.  She used the dreaded "D" word in association with my perfect son....Speech Delay.  I was in denial.  Noah was not delayed.  He was just quiet.  So we  started speech therapy after his second birthday.  Ms Barb came to our house every Tuesday to work with us.  Noah did a lot of animal sounds but not a huge amount of words.  He did begin to learn the rules of conversation and looked forward to Ms Barb coming.  Then when we moved, we got a new SLP, Ms Jeanie.  And boy did Noah love her!  Turns out she was married to one of my cousins and when I was very little, we would be at family functions together.  What a small world!  Well from the first moment she spoke with Noah, she nailed it.  He had apraxia. Pretty much he had/has difficulty planning and producing the movements that are required for speech.  His tongue, lips, and jaw don't work as quickly as they should.  She gave us exercised to do to stretch out his facial muscles.  Noah LOVED them.  It was part of our bedtime routine and to this day, he'll occasionally ask to do his exercises.  In the short months that we worked with Jeanie, Noah's speech improved.  On his 3rd birthday, we had to say goodbye to the woman who brought Noah's speech out.  She gave me a boy who has the most expansive vocabulary.  Some of the words he uses I never imagined a 3 year old to say.  He still has some work to do.  He has problems with certain letter sounds and he does something funny with his tongue but I also have to remember he's only 4. 

So why bring all of this up?  Emmy is at the point where she needs to be talking.  You could definitely tell the difference between Noah and Em as a baby.  Emmy is never quiet.  She's talking no matter what she's doing.  Our house has been filled with noise and babbling from the moment she learned she could make noise come out of her mouth.  A drastic difference from Noah's baby period.  Well now that she's almost 18 months, I find myself freaking out that she isn't really saying words.  Noah was only saying maybe 6-8 words by this time so I've been a little paranoid about Em.  But this week she has blossomed into a talker.  She's routinely saying words.  Her vocabulary includes: Mama, Dada, No, Hi, Where, Wow, Uh-Oh, Chest (she says this when she's trying to say Chester...our cat), down, go, and my favorite....Justin.  She sees a cat and says "Chest" and we have to remind her that not all cats are named Chester.  But Monday was the greatest.  I kept saying, "Where's Uncle Justin?" and she would reply either "Where" or "Justin." He even heard her say his name! 

Today, this is what I walked into her room and found.......
She's so smart.  She can read upside down!!!
She's pulling every book off of her bookcase, stops with the dog book, and flips through the pages screaming "DOG" every time she sees a dog.  Can you imagine how nice it is to hear this and see this??? As much as I love peace and quiet some times, I love that she is already talking!  When I became a parent, I never imagined I'd have a child with a delay of any sort, especially a speech delay.  It took us 3 years for Noah to be able to truly communicate with us.  It's been music to my ears listening to Emmy make her first words without having to struggle the same way her big brother did.  

I'm so blessed and can't wait until my house is filled with squeaky little girl words!!!


Every day I am thankful for the Early Steps program for providing us with weekly speech therapy at no charge to us because most insurances do not cover speech therapy.  Because of this program, Noah is back on track with his speech.  I am also grateful that Easter Seals was able to provide us with the most amazing Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) (Jeanie) when we moved to Seminole.  If you are thinking about donating to a local charity, please keep Easter Seals in your thoughts.  They provide services to children and families living with disabilities. 

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