I want to hear your sweet voice Ryan, I don't care which words you want to speak, Ive lowered my once grandiose expectations of wanted to hear mama before dada, no, now i just want to hear something, anything, just let me know that someday you will be able to talk to me. I know that it might not be in the typical fashion but just give me a little hope that some speech is a possibility. It scares me to death that you still don't babble. Yes, you make lots of noises, even lots of different noises and you "talk" to us with expression on your face as if you think we understand but my head knows that you're a long way from actual speech. My heart doesn't want to believe that. My head knows that you need to babble before you can actually form words, my heart doesn't want to believe that. I do think however that the increase ability of being able to chew more textures and move your mouth more is helping you to form a wider production of sounds.

I think its one of the hardest things to accept in this SN world, that your child may never talk, never speak, never strike up a conversation in the typical way. Not even because every mum wants to hear mummy, or i love you, but the struggle is more with simple things, like I'm cold, I'm hungry, I'm sick. We all now know the reason for Ryan's meltdown at Sesame Place last night, he was getting really really sick and he just couldn't tell us. Refusing to sit in his stroller and screaming, and crying were the only ways he knew to tell us something was seriously wrong. It breaks my heart to think he was struggling and we had no clue (although in our defense Ryan has started to throw a few tantrums lately which i think is normal development for his age coupled with the fact that hes getting more frustrated at not having a voice).

His receptive language is progressing really well, just the other day we were getting dressed and he picked up his blue sneakers, i said no not those ones, the white sneakers, and he put the blue ones down and gave me the white ones! Pretty cool, huh? His teacher in school believe hes understands everything so its hard to grasp that his expressive language is still at the same level it has been since he was 6 months old. What is stopping that little voice of his from coming out?

They have been using switches with him at school which Ive been against somewhat as i feel he may use them as a crutch and not progress with his talking but its time to really get serious about this. The boy needs to communicate with the world and frankly it doesn't really matter now in which form. I do however think the switch method is a little rudimentary for him so I'm really excited on how Ryan is going to take to the ipad. There are some really affordable communication apps out there that are much easier to navigate than the usually augmentative communication devices. I'm hoping that the ipad will be a way for Ryan to express to us his needs and at the same time facilitate more meaningful expressive communication. Still in the back of my mind I believe that once Ryan realises the reason for talking, his internal motivation will take over and he will start to talk. Hes always been this way, milestones need to make sense to him. We can only give him the tools to enable him be as successful in the speech area that his brain will let him be.

To end on an exciting note though Ryan is starting to point! Typical babies learn to point at 12 months. It is usually a precursor to actual speech so its a great sign that his want to communicate with us is growing as hes inviting us more and more into his world. So we will keep searching for all things that can help Ryan with his "talking", I refuse to let the world judge him on his ability to communicate.


Kim and Asa said…
Oh, Marie Claire, this is so much like Asa! Do you mind if I link up to this post on Asa's blog? You say it all so much better than me! :)

What apps are you trying? I haven't bought any but I've got Tap to Talk to trial and MyTalk. I'm hesitant to pay when I'm not sure how he'll do. Like you I just want to understand everything locked in my sweet boy's mind!!

Kim and Asa
Erin Mitchell said…
I too have a nonverbal special needs child, although his cognitive skills are way behind as well, so even if he did babble, I don't think verbal speech is in his near future. I just wanted to comment because I know how frustrating it is and very sad too. I try to keep my chin up, but at times, it can be very hard not knowing what the future holds for us and for him. I was wondering if you could let me know what apps you are using for the ipad? I don't think my son is ready for that, but would love to take a look at some to see. Thanks and good luck.
laurelsmom said…
Marie Claire - I believe in all my heart that Ryan will speak. He reminds me so much of Laurel in that he talks with his eyes. You can just look at him and see that there is so much there that he wants to say. He has a spark in his eyes that will one day light a fire for communication through speach. Speach is a skill and I know it will come. In the meantime, you can borrow our favorite saying around our house: its "she doesnt talk much but she sure does say a lot." Adjust for gender - hahaa. On another note - I have never heard that abt pointing. Fascinating. Laurel just started pointing a couple of weeks ago. I thought it strange it was so sudden. Now I'm excited. 2012 is going to be a good year for our children.

RaeLeah Jenis said…
My whole childhood I remember being told "don't point" and now I'm encouraging my daughter to point. I'd even be happy if she'd look in the direction I'm pointing. I glad to hear that your son started pointing.

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