Doesn't she look so big in the pictures ?
Now for the update :
1. Sign Language: It is somewhat controversial to teach a hearing impaired child sign language when that child has the ability to hear through hearing aids. One of the thoughts behind this is that a hearing impaired child will tend to hold on to signing and will not want to use their voice. A non hearing impaired child will drop the sign language easily and talk.( I am sure there is a ton of research and info out on this topic and I am just skirting the issue.) So we had a decision to make a while back - to teach Maggie sign language or not. Her Auditory/verbal teacher felt Maggie had just as much ability to speak as she did to sign. But, she left the decision up to us and also Maggie is not your typical child. She has other issues: orphanage,severe lack of stimulation as a baby and developmental delays due to orphanage. There's no nice color coded chart that tells us what to do with Maggie. It has all been trial and error so far.
We decided to slowly introduce Maggie to signing. Communication is very important and she had no way to tell us anything - except crying and taking our hand to show us something. It seemed cruel to not teach her a way to communicate while we wait on her language development. I see sign language as a bridge to speaking. Plain and simple.
We started with one word - milk. Then we added more and all done. The following are the words Maggie can sign on her own using the correct context:
rock the baby
shhhh ( or night night)
2. Speech : It has been a long road to get Maggie to talk. Sometimes I thought she would never talk. When she played she was so quiet and she babbled off and on, but not a lot. In November she started saying ahhh
with a good open mouth sound. I was reading to Maggie one day about colors. I said "red, red you say red", and she said ahhh. I know, it sounded nothing like red, but it was the first time she copied me and tried to repeat a word. From then on anytime I asked her to say the name of something she would say ahhh. For example, yel-low would be ahh-ahhh, blue would be a short ah. Very exciting for us and for Maggie. She's trying to talk.
Last week she started saying baaa consistently and when asked to say blue now she says baa. Oh, she's so close ! Sometimes she actually says the word. I have heard her say purple and apple. Random I know.
Here's a list of words Maggie can say all by herself and in context:
ma-ma ( more)
gu-gu ( dog)
That's a terribly short list of words for a two year old, but we are so proud of our little girl. She is working so hard and is really making huge leaps and bounds toward catching up developmentally. Tonight she danced and danced and laughed. I was caught up in watching her joy for life and her happiness was almost too much to take in.
God has done so many Miracles for Maggie and for us. Just the fact that she is in the living room twirling and dancing is a huge miracle. So, we are rejoicing at this small little list of words Maggie is saying. It is our Big Christmas miracle this year.