Today was one of those days; the kind where I am filled to the brim with hope for all that Evrett can achieve in life.
Despite the rainy, windy, slightly chilly spring weather (which I actually love! The snow is almost gone, and our grass is already becoming green) keeping us indoors most of the day, our darling bug flooded our home & hearts with sunshine as he showed us some of his new words and skills. It can be weeks in between new words/skills sometimes, so when these days happen, they are something to be celebrated in our house!
Evy spoke his longest sentence ever!! He said “3,2,1…GO!!” as he pretended to race 2 of his cars along the foot of our bed, and it was amazing for us to see!! (I should give a brief background about where this came from: Cody plays a racing game on iPad, and Evy has mastered it along with him! They start the rounds with “3,2,1, Go!”, and our sweet bug is learning, even from something as seemingly noneducational as a race-car game!) It was inspiring to see the wheels of his brain turning, the muscles in his mouth & face moving & even twitching as he tried to coordinate what he wanted to say. (This is extraordinary really, because a few months ago, we weren’t sure what all he was retaining for information, and working hard to verbally communicate his own thoughts to us wasn’t happening much at all.) He worked at it again and again, trying to say the “three” with precision; he only managed to say something resembling the proper sounds of the word “three” once, but he kept on trying, and not once did he become frustrated with himself!! He just kept plugging away at it, and having fun while doing so. And his “2,1,…Go!” were spot on; crystal clear, with proper vocal inflection and all. YESSSS!!!!
<insert happy mommy dance here!>
A few months ago, prior to the MRI, I began reading “An Early Start for your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn” by Rogers, Dawson & Vismara. Although we now know that Evy is not on the autism spectrum, this book is still VERY applicable to his development. I’m about halfway through it now, and I have applied many of it’s ideas to our daily routines. So today, just before bath time, I shared a new idea from this weeks reading with Scott about using bath time as learning time. Since Evy naturally LOVES the water, we can capitalize on his energy & attention in the tub by seeing what games he wants to play, creating a routine out of it, and playing along with him. Facing him, practicing turn-taking, maybe throw in some color/animal sounds/shapes/etc. I also suggested that Scott try using the bubbles to wash ducky, using simple language such as “ducky goes quack, quack”, and so on. Scott agreed that it was a good plan, and I left them to it. A few minutes later, I was called in to the bathroom to see Evy say “quack, quack” as he pretended his ducky was swimming through the water. Oh my heart!!! Not only is “quack” another new word today, but the act of pretending is also relatively new for him, and indicates that he is progressing along the developmental path. Aaaaaand, he also started his own “3,2,1..Go!!!” to make the ducky jump off the side of the tub into the water. YESSS AGAIN!!!!
For a few weeks now, at the recommendation of our awesome Speech Language Pathologist “K”, Evy has been using an app called “Speech Blubs”. He thinks it’s hilarious! Little does he know, he is also LEARNING while he plays or even simply watches. In fact, MUCH more often than not, he doesn’t try out new sounds or words as he plays with the app at all. Instead, he sits with a smile on his face, listening intently and giggling. I wondered how much he could possibly be getting from it if I couldn’t coax him in to starting to try sounds out along with the demonstrations…but as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about there; he is indeed learning from it!! (He made monkey noises for the first while, and now makes “roar” sounds for a lion!) After watching the video about shapes, taking a liking to the “oval” shape and pronunciation demonstration just after lunchtime, he then began saying “oval” only a few short hours later! He was calling the bowls in our sink “ovals” (Close enough!) as he played with water. And at suppertime, he kept looking at the shape of my glasses, attempting to remove them from my face (and being rather successful a time or two!) calling them “ovals”, as the lenses are shaped somewhat similar to an oval. Adorable!!
As if allll of this was not enough for one day, my darling little angel did something else that topped it all: as he sat beside me in my bed today, him playing his big brother’s race car game, and me meditating, he reached for my hand. Usually he does this to use my hand as a puppet to fix something on the app…but not this time….this time, he was genuinely just reaching out to hold my hand. He has never done that before….and it brought tears to my eyes as we sat there, me finishing a few more minutes of meditation, as my little sweetie pie held my hand tightly in his little grasp.
Please darling Bug, hold mommy’s hand every day.
Hold my hand, let’s keep working hard, and you will “3,2,1,….GO!!!!!” wherever you want in life.
~Thank you for reading, and for supporting our darling Bug on his journey. It would mean the world if you would help show support for our darling Evy, and help raise awareness for rare diseases, by following us & sharing. If you have a helpful, positive, or supportive comment in mind, please leave one for us! We deeply appreciate you taking the time to be here.
Warmest wishes on your own journey.