A Wish for Words

When New Year's came this year, I didn't set any typical "I want to lose 15 lbs" goals.  I've set that same goal for the last 12 years, and it is yet to happen, so I decided to forego that one in 2018.

What I did do was make a wish. 

 I wished, or rather hoped, that Colin would get three words this year.  That might not sound like much, but on January 1st, 2018, he had zero words.  He had very few speech sounds at all.  I didn't want to say, "Oh, I want him to get 25 words," then if he didn't, I would be sad.  So I thought, "Three.  Surely he can get three words."

We are halfway through August, and he has blown my goal out of the water!!!

First, he started using his AAC device in March. He can tell us what he wants - food, toys, bathroom needs, really anything that he wants.  This alone has been a HUGE thing for our family.  It has relieved frustration for everyone across the board.  He has a way to communicate his wants and needs, and that is life-changing. 

Research shows us that the use of AAC promotes verbal productions as well, and Colin is a testament to that.  He now regularly uses the following words:

1. bye
2. da (dad)
3. no
4. set, go
5. ju- (juice)
6. poo
7. open
8. down
9. pea (please)
10.  Ow (when he gets hurt)

Because of ABA therapy, he has learned to imitate.  He imitates motor movements (large body movements and oral motor), and he also imitates speech sounds now!  He has recently started to imitate almost everything we ask him to say.  Here are a few things he has imitated in just the last week:

1.I... love... you
2. mom
3. t...v...
4. nigh' (night)
5. shoe
6.  Chee...ball (cheese ball)
7. chi (chip)

People often ask me what my "end goal" is for Colin.  I don't know that I have an "end goal," I just want him to continue to make progress.  I don't think he will reach a certain point where I say, "Okay, we made it!  He's done," because I hope and pray that he always continues to grow and learn and develop new skills.  The sky's the limit for this boy.


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