Your daughter is non verbal
What does that mean ?
She will never talk , if it hasn’t happened by now it won’t happen
She can not understand without a visual
My little girl is smart . She doesn’t miss a thing. She is Observant and takes everything in . Just try to get something by her , I dare you to-You won’t trust me .
She has apraxia , she doesn’t understand the world around her
I heard this over and over through the years
Her test scores – she’s mentally retarded . My eyes fill up just typing this even after years and years
My daughter is beautiful and bright , how can you look at me and say this. Why didn’t I make my husband come to this IEP . How am I going to get through this meeting without crying or swearing .. God help me I wanted to flip the table over . The speech therapist looking at me like I tried to tell you . Freaking Dorothy I still remember her name after all these years . I told her that Alyssa is starting to understand , I purposely ask her things with no visuals to see . I asked her to get her shoes and she did . I was so proud of that small but huge breakthrough .
That’s nice honey she said . She didn’t believe me , just went on to say how she can’t talk or understand . But she does understand she’s my daughter I know . And she will talk in my heart know she will , she has too
They all sat around that table looking at me with pity . I don’t want your pity . I want you to believe in my kid because I do , her teacher does and If you don’t then don’t even come near her , I rather no speech therapist then one who doesn’t believe in my daughter .
Expectations go a long way , I truly believe that .
For years we never heard a sound .. although it was never quiet . She yelled , shrieked , and laughed . She had the best laugh still does . And she cried
She cried out anger , out of frustration and out of pure sensory overload
She started with the word no
First she would shake her head no she learned that quickly , but struggled with yes . Stubborn as can be ~ strong willed~ she knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want .. Just can’t always express it .
She learned 3 signs more , help , and all done . That was it ~ she wouldn’t do anymore .
She loves Barney and everyday we would say I love you , pointing to our eyes -hand over your heart -and then point to her . Just like Barney . For so long she would just point to her eyes and then she started point to us too . Eventually she said I and then you . She say I , put her hand over her heart and then say you . She could tell us I love you ❤️ That was everything to me .
At times when she would get angry something that sounded like a word would come out . Then she could say mine if you touched something of hers , just came out one day .
She eventually could wave and hi and bye and sometimes it would almost sound like she said .
We tried pictures and the pec system . We did outside speech . We dealt with sensory and aggressions , sometimes really bad aggressive behavior , self injurious behavior and tantrums like you wouldn’t believe . Somethings work at different times , but she would only tolerate it so much and then refuse .
She starting calming down as she got older . She started understanding more and making more sounds . She was able to make animal sounds never did this before , I found out accidentally.
She has some word approximations and could even say Dada and Mama .. sort of
She had some intonations. It’s like she could say the rhythm of the word without the sounds .
One day I yelled okayyy across the house and she said It back .
At 16 we introduced AAC . It was potentially exciting . We got a grant . She did great at school but would not do it at home . Refused she is so stubborn .
She got more word approximations . Not a lot but some . Her behaviors were better , she was happy , and we were content . Acceptance is an interesting place . She has always done the unexpected when you least expect it . Always suprised us so many times .
I accepted she wouldn’t talk or say words , it was ok . She was happy and healthy and that more important .
One day I was driving my other daughter to dance . It was her 14th birthday . So I sang happy birthday to her and the most incredible thing happened , Alyssa joined in . No , not in the typical way but you understand she, she was saying Happy Birthday to her sister . This had never happened before , I was shocked
A few weeks before this we went for a walk and she repeated something’s I pointed out . I realized I had stopped trying . She repeated or attempted to repeat flower , house , and car .
A few days later , we went for another walk this I said what’s this
House flower car . What !! She had never done that before . She was 21 almost 22. Something changed . I don’t how , what or why . She started repeating more and more ans really trying to say words . Some aren’t clear , a lot are approximations, but some are clear .
She is still non verbal . She can not use her words to communicate wants or needs . She can not initiate words on her own .
Until this week ..
Three times she said a word unprompted on her own to communicate a want . Eat ( more cereal ) more please ( she wanted more chocolate milk , and ketchup
( self explanatory)
She was eating dinner , and stood up in front of the fridge and said something I didn’t know what -out of context it’s hard to figure out . She kept repeating herself and looked at the fridge … It finally dawned on me ~ ketchup she is saying ketchup . She wanted ketchup for her fries . I was amazed ~ something in her is changing . Hope . Hope is a funny thing , you need but it has the power to hurt you . This is everything!
All I want is for her to be able to express her wants and needs. This is a breakthrough for her .
Non Verbal , you have listen with your ears , your eyes and most importantly your heart .
Never give up these kids are lifelong learners , believe in them and expect them to be great because they are .