Once, Charlie said his Feldenkrais practioner’s name: Evelyn.
Sometimes my husband and I will both know that he said “I love you” or “water.”
Yesterday I was sitting on a swing, singing with Charlie, when he said the last few lines of the song with me, “all through the town.”
When these moments occur, the words are never terrible clear–a garbled string of sounds–but with the context, we’re able to figure it out.
Despite Charlie’s challenges, I always thought that he would learn to talk the way regular children do–one word at a time. I thought that one day I’d record that first word for all of you here. These days, I realize that’s not really the way it’s going to go. Things will be different with this little guy. He’s “talking” to us more and more and yet. . . I usually don’t know what he’s saying. We communicate all day long, but not with words–with the cut of an eye, the turn of his head, or a reaching grasp. And let’s not forget the whining and the smiles–they speak volumes.
He’s not terribly interested in communication devices. He’ll use them for a bit, but there’s only so much you can do with four choices and with his other limitations, I’m not even sure how accessible these devices are. The lovely people at school are testing a variety of options, so we’ll see where that takes us.
It’s frustrating, but it’s encouraging too–this revelation has been coming to me slowly over the last few months. He talks. It’s weird to even write it, but it’s true. It’s not what you would recognize as speech and it’s not nearly as often as I would like, but it’s there. Now to figure out the next step–whatever it’s going to be.