I wanted to mark this day - the 1st of July - as one of great importance to me. And it is all a rather long story... so sorry in advance!
As a child, the moment I found my voice and words I ran with it. My mother often tells me that she always knew where I was and what I was doing because I talked constantly. I talked to myself, my dolls, my dogs, even to flowers and stones and insects... Everything was alive in my mind, there was no difference between talking to my sister, my dog, or a stone - I shared my fantasies and thoughts with everything that crossed my path.
Words were very important to me and this love for words never faded. As I grew older, it became a passion for reading, then a passion for writing. And when I had nothing to write about, I would find inspirational writing and just re-write it in one of my countless notebooks. Just for the feeling that I got when putting pen to paper. Just for the feeling I got when words were strung together in such a way that it made my mind stop and my heart open up.
Then Malakai was born and we went through our process of grieving, acceptance and eventually the daily celebration as he continually showed us just how amazing he actually was.
But Malakai was very quiet verbally. In fact, he was so silent that he only really cried for the first time at 3 months and only started babbling well after his first birthday. I knew this would be the case, and I always wondered how I would teach my son a love of words, like I had, when he wasn't able to use them. It broke my heart.
But we started early - with signing and with literacy (using the Love & Learning programme). The research was clear on signing and looking a bit deeper into the literacy programme revealed how children who are visual learners learn language not by hearing it, but by seeing it (through sign and letters).
By 18 months Malakai was signing 30 words regularly and had about 150 signs that he could do when prompted. At 2 years old, Malakai could sight read about 20 words as well. And from the day he was born, he has had an absolute love of books. He will choose to read above all else - and so, I knew that he had my love of words as well... but he expressed it in his own way.
So, today when my son said the word 'bus' as clear as day, pronouncing all three letters clearly, and he could repeat the word at will when I asked him to... I just beamed from ear to ear. My son is talking. He is saying whole words clearly from beginning to end. He is talking.
I couldn't help but cry after I dropped him off at creche this morning, after singing the wheels on the bus all the way there in the car. My boy has been talking with his hands and gestures for almost three years and today we've opened the door to verbal speech just a crack, letting the light through and filling us with possibilities.
Thank You Lord 5 years NED 16 January 2013
4 years ago