Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Speech Update

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:
all done
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:
bye bye
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.


Suzanne said...

Yay, Maggie!!! :) Thanks for continuing to share the journey you all are walking.
Though Cate could hear, I chose to use some sign language with her since that is where we could have some common ground...this momma knows maybe 2 words in Chinese and of course, English might as well have been Greek to Cate.
It helped so much and I have precious video of her using some signs...especially the one for "milk." :) She would use the sign and say, "Num-i-na" (Have no clue how she got "num-i-na" from milk). And, she loved the "Baby Einstein" DVD called "My First Signs."
I know you are loving being at home with all 3 of your treasures this Christmas.

Sure do love having my Asian Angel with me.


Courtney said...

Way to go Maggie. It sounds like she is progressing wonderfully!

Jodee Leader said...

Way to go, Maggie! She is just adorable!

Waiting For Bella said...

Praise the Lord!! Yes, this is indeed an accomplishment to be proud of!! She is growing and she DOES look so big in the pics.

Hope you guys have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!!

Waiting For Bella said...

Praise the Lord!! Yes, this is indeed an accomplishment to be proud of!! She is growing and she DOES look so big in the pics.

Hope you guys have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!!

Mama Hen said...

She has come so far in a year Kathy. She has had lots of love and it shows.

Rachelle said...

That is wonderful! We have twin boys, both with cleft, adopted at 3 from China. They could not hear before we got ear tubes for them, so they never had language. Speech is a SLOW process for them. After 2 major palate surgeries and LOTS of speech classes and work at home it is finally... slowly coming. It's a process for sure. Congrats on the new speech developments with your sweet girl. The Lord will bring it all together for our little ones good. He is faithful!

Nicole said...

That is wonderful about Maggie's progress!
We have had our struggles in this area too. But it is not with Pei (microtia) but Ava. Ava has no hearing issues but was severely neglected and housed in a hospital in Russia waiting for an opening in the orphanage.We started with ECI in our district and since have qualified for speech articulation through the district 1 x a week.We also have a private speech therapist 1 x a week.
Ava was globally delayed coming home. She now has made such progress and speech is our one remaining delay. We also started doing some signing . When we did the sign for more we would also say the word more. Eventually Ava would say the word and sign :)
I was just thinking the other day that she has been home two years this Sept and things are finally falling into place. If we could only start counting their age when they came home and then look at their development!
Keep the course . What a great advocate she has in her momma!
Merry Christmas!

Nancy said...

The list is HUGE! Good work Maggie! congratulations. Isn't it just amazing how God shows though so clearly in these ordinary miracles.
Merry Christmas!

Annie said...

Mom, you know Maggie and you know what is best for her. I think it is great that you have made a decision that you feel will give her the ability to begin more communication through signing! Along with continuing working on her speech and it is awesome to hear that she is making effort to speak and making progress! Keep up the great work!

Penny said...

I have followed your journey to Maggie from the beginning, THANK YOU. She is beautiful. I love checking in and seeing how she is doing.
I know that I can't really compare, but our Caelyn, from Guangxi,would not talk for so long, we had her evaluated and she was 11 months behind not just in one area. But the biggest issue was CONTROL, was she ready to give it up. With time it all came together, I wonder when I read your post if CONTROL has any thing to do with Maggie. Maggie is sooooo beautiful. And Thank You for sharing your journey.
Penny in PA
Mom to Ciara Jiangxi 8 yrs old, Caelyn Guangxi 6 yrs old.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wife of the Pres. said...

Great for Maggie!

I think you are one wise Mama for giving her language with signs. I personally think signing helps them to realize their is a whole new world of language. We taught S at 3 years old to sign against the wishes of everyone on her medical team, even the ped. I didn't care what they said b/c they didn't live with her and see her frustration. I think it helped unlock the language world for her.

I totally understand you celebrating each and every word, even the substitutions for a word. S is 5.2 and is at a 2-3 YO level in articulation, though she is speaking long sentences. It can be a long journey to language, but celebrating each step, each word .. yeah I get it totally!!!

BTW, I'd love to chat via PM. It is personal, so I don't want to ask it on the blog. VIA PM, you can tell me nope, that is too personal L or you can answer my question. Either way, I understand; just trying to find some answers of my own.

Hugs, L

Jewels of My Heart said...

What a beautiful family you have and Maggie is too sweet! I love what Jesus can do if we only allow Him to.
Welcome home little one....
Thank you so much for helping us bring our Isabella home.
God bless you,

melody said...

Your daughter is so adorable. We are an AWAA family who got our sweet little one last year. It is so comforting to read blogs like yours that are so real with the hardships. God Bless

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
We have a daughter !!!!!!
Maggie Caroline was born Oct. 29, 2008.
She is in the SWI of Gaozhou City,China.
Guangdong Province)