I've written quite a bit about my oldest boy and some of the challenges he faces. We recently enrolled him in a program called "stepping forward" where he goes to the elementary school and they work with children with all different kinds of developmental delays. They have a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and all kinds of intervention programs they use with the kids. It is a small group of children (less than ten) and there is a teacher, a teachers aid, and all of the other people who work with the kids. It is a great program and we are happy he is enrolled and getting access to some of the services he needs.
Last week he and I met with the speech therapist. We met for an hour and basically did an "intake" and she asked if I had any questions. I asked what we could expect, what we could work towards as far as goals for speech for him. I have always thought that his speech delay is directly linked to his profound hearing disability (which we hope has been corrected by his surgery), but I really thought that once he was done with his surgery he would start talking fairly quickly. I was wrong. We have a LOT of work to do with him and she said she thinks he a realistic goal for him would only be to say two words by the end of the school year in June.
He says things like "ma" and "ya" but she said those are not words as much as they are "sounds" and we can't really count them.
So I tried to talk myself down from my high expectations, still HOPING he would say more than two words by the end of the year.
Yesterday I picked him up and we drove home together. When we got home I asked him to help me to carry the grocery bags into the house. As he picked up a bag two onions fell out onto the floor of the truck. He put down the bag and picked up the onions. I asked him if he was going to carry the onions inside instead of the bags. He looked at me, looked and the onions and said "onion". I was shocked and thrilled and told him to go inside and tell his mom what he just said. He went inside and said "Ma. Onion!" We were both so thrilled we did a happy dance and tried to get him to say it again. He isn't so interested in being our object of amusement and so he put the onions down and went back outside to get grocery bags.
I am still ecstatic that he said his first word!
I think I'm going to get a picture of an onion for his bedroom wall - and now we only have to get him to learn one more word and we have reached our goal for the year!