Category - Speech Delay

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When Your Child’s Speech Delay Gets Worse
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I Have A Few Choice Words For That Judgemental Woman
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The Time I Told My Child With Speech Delays To Stop Talking
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My Child Has A Profound Speech Delay
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The Sweetest Voice
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Signing With Your Child With Special Needs
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Include Classmates Who Have Special Needs
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Her Voice
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Singing and Signing

When Your Child’s Speech Delay Gets Worse

We started learning American Sign Language as soon as we found out about our daughter’s genetic disorder—one that is almost always associated with severe speech issues. We relied on a variety of ASL resources, but a favourite (and the most fun) was a PBS show called Signing Time. A friend gave us the DVD set which we watched a hundred times. It’s no longer on television, but you can find it on You Tube.  As Avery started verbally saying words, and eventually longer more complicated sentences, sign language went to the wayside. She was talking with actual, understandable words and it was the sweetest sound.  Two years Avery was formally diagnosed with a profound speech delay. We weren’t surprised, but we were hopeful that with maturity and hard work, her speech would improve. And it did. For a little while.  Since then, her speech has declined even more. Especially in the past few months. I tend to panic when I don’t know why things are happening. And for no apparent reason.  The ideas are there—she knows what she wants to say and she wants to say it, but she struggles to get the words out. Like, really struggles. It’s hard to watch.[…]

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I Have A Few Choice Words For That Judgemental Woman

My daughter is CHATTY. There’s rarely a moment of silence with her around unless— a) she has a mouthful of food. b) she’s sleeping (though she talks in her sleep a fair bit). c) I’m brushing her teeth but even then, she manages to hum. d) she’s absorbed in sending a text (which is essentially digital talking) or watching TV.  Her chattiness is amazing considering her “profound speech delay.” Perfectly formed sentences be dammed, if she makes an observation or has a question, you’re going to hear about it.  She might know what she wants to say, but finding the right words is a struggle. I’m having a similar issue at the moment. I’m forgetting the names of simple household items and stumbling over my words. Turns out this is a very real and very annoying side effect of peri-menopause. Oh hoorah, good times ahead.  Anyway, that’s to say, I get it. It’s incredibly frustrating to know what you want to say, but due to wonky wiring between the word bank in your head and your mouth, the words escape you.  As Avery’s family, we almost always know what she’s trying to say and we usually let her finish on her[…]

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The Time I Told My Child With Speech Delays To Stop Talking

  Yesterday I posted a story about our daughter’s “profound” speech delay and you left such kind and supportive comments. It means a lot to my husband and I that people care so much. But it also makes me feel like a bit of a dick. Like my sharing/over-sharing about recent trials is an attempt at garnering sympathy or even worse, asking for a pat on the back for stellar parenting. I’m not a stellar parent. I’m just a parent who is crazy about her kids and wants the best for them. Pretty par for the course I’d say. We all want that for our children. We can’t even help it—it’s instinctual. A few people commented on how patient I am. Very lovely to say, but it made me laugh. If only they had seen me this morning… We were running late and I asked Avery to put on her socks. The first time I made eye contact, got her attention by saying her name, and spoke slowly and simply—”Avery, put on your socks.” She didn’t put on her socks. I found her a few minutes later playing with ‘Veterinarian Barbie’ so I asked, “Avery, what did I ask you[…]

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My Child Has A Profound Speech Delay

  My parents claim they’re grateful that our early home movies are without sound because….me. Blab, blab, blab. I’ve always been a chatty Kathy Lisa. I have a lot to say, but I listen too.   My son conversates just like me (real word even though Spellcheck is screaming “Can’t you see the red squiggly line??”). He starts talking from the time he rolls out of bed and continues asking questions and sharing ideas and jokes and facts and observations all. day. long. But he too knows how to listen. His big brown eyes open wide while I’ll telling him a story and he pauses before he speaks to make sure he really processes what’s been said. I love this boy. As for our daughter, she has a lot to say as well. The trouble is her “talker gene” is broken. She knows what she wants to say, but struggles to get the words to line up in an orderly fashion to march them across her vocal chords and out to listening ears around her.   When Avery was a baby we were advised to teach her sign language as speech would not come easy. In fact, we were warned that[…]

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The Sweetest Voice

  No matter how often I hear my children’s voices–and I hear them often since I gave birth to two chatterboxes–I’m never deaf to how sweet they are. Not the words necessarily, but the actual sound; the unique pitch and tone that make them easily identifiable in a crowd. Didn’t I read something about that and penguins? Oh nature, you rock my world. As we sorted through Christmas ornaments last week the kids sang carols, in the way kids do–loud and out of tune. My son sang in a prepubescent high pitched trill that only dogs can hear. While my daughter hummed in tone than can only be described as the lowest on the register. Granted the girl has a cold, but wow. Coupled with her inability to carry a tune we jokingly referred to her as “The Monotone Baritone.” Out of tune and off pitch, it was still music to my ears. Listening to them talk to each other, uttering phrases they’ve clearly heard from me, like mocking birds, makes me smile and reminds me that little ears hear all. *mental note: quit cursing* As I walked my girl through the school parking lot she chattered away, repeating herself,[…]

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Signing With Your Child With Special Needs

Sign language–I can’t sing or sign its praises enough. Signing with my speech delayed child from the time she was an infant, helped us communicate and has played a tremendous role in her development. For those who doubt the validity of signing with your baby, the science backs it up. But I don’t need scientific evidence, the proof is sitting right beside me.  Our daughter is still significantly delayed in expressive language, but she’s able to put together simple 4-5 word sentences. To be frank, the girl never stops talking. Like, never. It’s a steady stream of questions, comments and a running commentary of observations over here. Music to my ears.    Do we still sign? Absolutely. You’d be surprised at how handy (pun intended) signing can be.   Last summer when the kids were out on the lake tubing, Avery signed “Stop!” to me in the boat. Then she made the sign for “cold.”    It was too loud to hear her words over the boat motor, even if she’d shouted. Two simple signs and her message was clear.    Potty sings are also a subtle way for her to tell me from across the park that she needs to[…]

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Include Classmates Who Have Special Needs

My child is different. Her genetics make it so. Due to a random stroke of fate, a chunk of her DNA is missing. Nobody knows why.   But old friends don’t search for what is missing. They just see what’s right there in front of them—the joyful light surrounding this happy girl. They love her big laugh and even bigger hugs. They embrace her mischievous streak of curiosity. They accept her just as she is.   But new friends, some adults and children, hesitate. “What’s wrong with her?” they ask in hushed voices…which we can totally hear by the way.    There is nothing wrong with her.    She may have trouble communicating succinctly. She might stumble over her words or repeat herself, but she has something to say. She wants to contribute to the conversation.  She doesn’t always understand when you’re making fun of her or that you’re leaving her out, but as she gets older, she is more aware.  When your child, with a disability or not, comes home from school in tears because they had nobody to play with at recess, it stings.  She doesn’t need to be invited to everything. (Side Note: Number of parties she was[…]

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Her Voice

  We all want our daughters to have a voice. I need my daughter to have one.  I won’t always be around to speak for her – to explain to others why she may not understand, or to make her understood. Before my daughter was born, deep down I worried there was something wrong. All the prenatal testing indicated she was fine, but sometimes a mother just knows. When she was born, and I held her in my arms, I saw only perfection. I still do. We soon discovered our girl was special. In fact, she’s so unique there isn’t a name for her particular syndrome. She has come miles further than we were told she could. Her future is bright, yet shadowed by developmental and medical challenges. Our daughter doesn’t understand the rude looks or ignorant questions. A stranger’s comment about her “walking funny” results in a carefree smile. Teasing, from a neighbourhood kid earns him a giggle. One day, she will understand and feel the sting of hurtful words and actions. The most important thing I can do to prepare her is to help her to find her voice. My girl is a mess of blonde curls, big brown eyes and pouty pink lips. She’s beautiful. People want[…]

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Singing and Signing

  My daughter is not a fan of long car rides. Our saving grace is music. As they say, music soothes the savage beast. Not that Avery is at all beastly, but strap her into her car seat and drive for more than half an hour and she definitely becomes a little savage-esque.   Her favourite CD is Name Your Tune. She can (and has) listened to it a thousand times. Children are egocentric. They LOVE hearing their name in the context of the songs. Truth be told, if I heard a few “Lisas” thrown in, I’d dig it too.   My friend Erica (head mummy over at The Yummy Mummy Club) did a voice over for Five Little Monkeys – Avery’s most requested tune. It’s strange hearing Erica’s familiar voice serenading us in our mini-van. When she sings, “I can seeeeeee you,” Avery gasps and says, “She sees me??” Makes me smile every time. Later, when Erica says, “Be very careful,” Avery responds, in a whisper, “Very careful.”   Shout out to our friend Scott too! He’s the manly voice in the Monkey duet.    Thanks Candace for making such an amazing product. I’m putting “Name Your Tune2” on[…]

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