Thursday, December 5, 2013
It's hard to describe where Millie is at in terms of speech.
She babbles, she imitates (babababa, dadadada, mamamama) and she gets excited when she does it, knowing that she's making progress. And she is, every day.
But she isn't talking.
Though she wants to.
She is signing incredibly well, learning new signs as quickly as we can teach them to her.
She gestures and indicates; she's resourceful in trying to communicate to us her wants and needs.
But it's not the same.
She gets frustrated when we can't figure it out.
We get frustrated when we can't figure it out.
There are tears, on both ends. No matter how many our successes - and there are countless victories on a daily basis - just one impasse, one indecipherable exchange, can set me off.
Even if unwarranted (I know it's not my fault), I feel like a mommy failure when I can't understand her, when I can't give her what she wants. When I finally have to throw up my hands and say I just don't understand. And she throws herself on the ground, crying, defeated, and then she retreats, refusing to sign or communicate at all for a while, sulking, pouting.
Yes, as a whole, we're all doing good; yes, she's doing great.
There's no denying that.
But we need more.
She needs more.
So, after a few months of prodding, we're moving forward toward something that may help her, may help us. In two weeks she'll have an evaluation with a professional to see if she would be a good candidate for an assisted communication device, a tablet-like device that would allow to select buttons (icons) that would speak for her.
She chooses "I want" and then "book" for example.
It surely won't be a golden ticket - even if we're found to be a good match for the program, we'll have to fight insurance a bit I'm sure and then it's going to take some dedicated work to teach her to use it.
But if we could hear her, truly hear her, it would make a world of a difference.
- Bethany :)