When we first brought Cary Lynn home to live with us she was little, observant, and non verbal.
At nine months old when babbling and words are starting to kick in my daughter remained silent.
That was our first meeting. Mind you with a mouth full of binky it's hard to say anything. And in the beginning that binky was a staple for every one's sanity!
But that didn't mean she didn't communicate. My daughter knows how to get her point across. The first week when we landed in the hospital the doctor came in and made the rounds. He stood by my daughter's bed and compared her intelligence level to that of a slug. Or something uncomplimentary. Anyway, he then stuck his finger too close to her mouth to poke at her. She bit him. Hard. Yup I thought, she's a keeper. It was at that point that I really fell in love with my new daughter.
We dutifully did what all good parents did and signed up for speech with Early Intervention. Her teacher came weekly and her goal was speech. But still the words didn't come. You see Cerebral Palsy robbed my daughter of so many things. Looking at an MRI we saw that her language center is roached (not a medical term but you get the point). Asking her to learn to speak is as pointless as asking me to learn Sanskrit.
But lack of speech does not mean lack of communication. Those are two different things. Even though the words didn't come the sounds did. Clicks, raspberries, facical expression and various vocal tones erupted. Even though words weren't there sounds were. Soon it dawned on me that she had a lot to say. So I started to listen. Soon I found myself understanding Cary Lynn's primitive language. I also got to be her interpreter.
But I wanted more for her. I wanted HER to say words. So by then we were outpatients at Children's Hospital. They introduced me to the big mac switch.
Here's Chip your new personal communication assistant, said with a smile. The Cary Lynn proceeded to push Chip off her tray in an effort to kill him off quick. And laughed. Because you know destroying a $7000 device is all in a day's work.
NO NO NO YOU DON'T THROW CHIP!!!! So Chip needed a second and so did I at that point. I took a breath, turned him on and started playing with Marvin. As I demonstrated Chip to Marvin I heard interested grunting coming from some little person. I asked her if she wanted to try again. A click meant yes. So I handed over Chip. Carefully.
Chip and Cary Lynn have started bonding. She still likes to try to send him to his untimely demise but she is starting to understand that her words have power.