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Baby Girl and Little Man were in pre-school and doing well, She was working from home and enjoying it even though it was difficult to make it all work, He had a teaching job He loved and Sweet Pea was growing like a weed. Their marriage was stronger than ever. Life was good.
Baby Girl had learned a lot of signs and was using PECS in school and could say a few words…but not many words and she wasn’t very clear. It was so frustrating for her and for Them. All They wanted was for Baby Girl to be able to get her wants and needs across. To be able to say “I want a peanut butter sandwich” or “My tummy hurts” or “I love you”. They didn’t need major language here, just some words. But, man, they were not coming. They had so many conversations about how They just wanted simple words so she could get her needs across to those around her. That’s all. Baby Girl was stubborn though. She wasn’t talking.
At the national Cri du Chat conference a few years before, They had seen a 12-year-old boy with the syndrome use a communication device to “talk” to the crowd. He was completely non-verbal but could use this device. They wanted to try. School had offered several basic ones to try but They wanted to try a “big” one that could grow with her. Of course, this meant tons of meetings to discuss whether She qualified or not and whether it would really work. They were narrowing down devices to buy by trying a new one every month or so.
Baby Girl hated it. She hated pressing the buttons. She hated trying to find the picture for what she wanted to say. She hated carrying it around. She hated it.
So guess what happened?
She started talking. At first They just noticed new single words here and there and were glad that she was adding them to her repertoire. Before They knew it, she was talking. Like really talking. Putting several words together. Being understood. Everyone at school noticed it too. It was kind of…amazing. She was really talking! This was something They had been told from the beginning was very likely NOT to happen. They had been told over and over again that she would probably not ever talk. And here she was chatting away. There was still a lot of work to be done but it was an excellent start. Words, beautiful words.
Before They knew it, They heard the three most precious words They’d ever hear…
I love you.