(Savanna is 2 years, 3 months, and 21 days (842 days total) since her second surgery which completed a full TPO resection. She is nearly 8 months medication free!)
She spoke very little entering that surgery, 4-1-2013.
A “mama” here and there was about it.
A month later, it was gone.
A year later, still no expressive language, I was worried.
The ASD diagnosis helped with acceptance, coping, and moving forward.
On July 23, 2014, I took this phone video and felt enamored she responded with her signing to the question yes or no. She emphatically responded “Yes!” in her own way with the sign. Months of work went into this moment!
She used body language to engage Austin when it was his turn to ‘jump’. You will see it if you watch it twice.
I honestly wasn’t sure she would ever talk. Or, perhaps a better way to characterize that emotion is to say “I was not sure she would ever talk like me.”
The SLP’s (Speech Language Pathologists) that worked with her regularly reassured me: “She will talk!” …..if…. (a huge IF) ‘the seizures stay away’.
Here we are, one year later from this video where I caught her in the background signing “yes!” appropriately.
She thinks, then speaks!
She feels, then speaks!
She reacts, then speaks!
Here is a video from today, one year later. It isn’t with her brother playing, but it is quite representative of where she is today with her expressive language.
It is amazing.
It is beyond what I imagined, but admittedly, not what I dreamed for my daughter at this stage of her life.
Given what she has been through, it is unbelievable.
She is working hard on the phonological part of our language. Blended sounds, sounds that come in the medial and final position are difficult, while by themselves are clear and somewhat easy. What do I mean by that?
For example, the “th” sound. Seems easy, but when in the medial position, such as it is in the word ‘father’, it is very difficult for her to create the proper sound.
When its gets tough to handle, what I need is a prayer.
Prayer to the Lord our God for enabling these magnificent events to happen both in Savanna’s life and mine.
He is in charge.
He provides leadership we need, when we need it. We act accordingly, as disciples should.
For a few moments each day, I try to slow myself down, and listen to what God has in store for me today.
And just Be.
Read the scripture.
It fills my soul with necessary fuel to live each day to the fullest.