Give Me a D!

A few years ago, when Micah was very much nonverbal (like now) and I didn't have answers on why, I wondered about the day he'd learn to talk. Would he babble like a baby did when it was learning to talk, even though he was older and obviously knew some words? (That would seem wierd, but it's all my mind knew.) Would he just figure it out someday and start speaking in full sentences? (Because THAT wouldn't be weird at all.) My mind had a million possibilities of strange and normal all mixed together into a stew of confusion and wonderment.

As time went by, I gave up that silly notion of baby babbling. Especially when apraxia was diagnosed. The funny thing about babbling is that kids are practicing sounds, but not just any sounds - beginning consonant sounds. M's and D's and B's are so common. A little apraxia trivia for those who don't know - kids pick up ending sounds and not beginning sounds. Way back when we were trying to be Incredibly Helpful Parents for our nonverbal son, we tried shortening Becky's name to one syllable like her brothers' were. We figured Beebee would be a nice shortened version. (Hush with the "it's the same number of syllables" talk - it's a single sound at least. AND WE WERE JUST TRYING TO BE HELPFUL.) Turns out, the joke was on us since the boy shortened it himself to EEEE. You know, the ending sound of Becky. We're pleading ignorance, because it applied.

Micah has been in speech therapy 2-3 times a week for the past 6 years. (Wow, where does time go?)  They've been working on things like M's and D's and B's for quite some time.  Sometimes he'll repeat them, and other times he just can't. (Apraxia Trivia Bit #2 - the brain has problems remembering how to make a sound that the mouth has already made.) While we're incredibly grateful to the therapists who invest so much time into Micah's nonverbal state, I really have to wonder at times if it's doing any good. My boy is motivated. If he *could* talk, he would. He doesn't take "you can't do that" very well at all. I'm thinking that when the boy is ready, he'll figure it out, and in the meantime nothing we can do will make a difference.

Still, we've gotta try. We're parents.

Last week, while listening to Micah playing, I heard a break from his usual constant yell of AAAAAAHHHHHH. You've no idea how old that AAAHHHHH gets. Probably because it can be heard all over the house and OH MY GOSH THERE IS NOWHERE TO GO TO GET AWAY FROM IT AND FOR THE LOVE OF SILENCE CAN YOU JUST TONE IT DOWN WHILE I'M ON THE PHONE kind of loud. Seriously, I lock myself in the laundry room while the washer and dryer are running just to be able to hear. But last week I heard something altogether new. In 8 years, my boy has never said Dadada. Last week he did. It happened in a split second, and in that tiny moment my world stopped while my mind went back to the babbling days of the other kids, and I marveled at what my youngest son just said.

My boy. He babbled for the first time in his life last week.

And over the weekend he continued to AAAAAAHHHHH right up until Sunday morning when the van was overheating and we had to pull off along side the road (stupid van. I don't want to talk about it) and while everyone was busy being upset at the incompetent and ancient piece of transportation, I marveled at my son who, from the back seat, said, "mamamama" and "bababa."

After all these years, and all my silly wonderment, babbling is really happening. I can't wait to see what's next.



Kaycee said...

Life is all about the small miracles. Babbling is a small miracle; we just don't always notice it. Thanks for the reminder! :)

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

I have dreams sometimes where Peanut just start talking in full sentences. **sigh**

We get a lot of that AAAAHHH around here too, but lately Peanut has been babbling a lot. I've wondered the same thing. I hope this is a sign of good things to come for both Micah and Peanut. That babbling is just the sweetest sound in the world, isn't it?

Burgh Baby said...

I have no doubt that Micah will always be full of surprises. Always.

Annette W. said...

My heart was heavy as I read this...I experienced near-silence for only 2 1/2 years...not anything like you.

My gut says esp with the apraxia that he needs the specialized therapy to learn to talk. But 6 years is so long.

I'm so glad you heard some dada and mama and baba! Now let's see if in a few months he'll be able to give you and your husband a name!

Trisha said...

Wow! That is amazing. Micah is always full of wonderful surprises, isn't he?

imbeingheldhostage said...

That is so awesome!! Micah is such a blessing at teaching us to enjoy the miracles.
Now let's hope that he doesn't translate what you were really saying at the van ;-)