Monday, February 6, 2012

On wanting more, more, more speech progress. Because I'm greedy like that

Max has been on a birthday kick lately. Ever since his own birthday, he thinks:

1) Every day is his birthday. Also:
2) Every birthday party he goes to, he believes he deserves a candle and a round of "Happy Birthday To You."

The second thing can get a little tricky. As for the daily birthday, I have to say, it's not a bad thing to go through life thinking every day is your birthday.

Max also likes to pretend that he is 7 and Sabrina is 9, even though he knows full well he is 9.

Saturday the kids went to a friend's birthday party at a pottery-painting place. Max made a chocolate ice-cream cone. Then Dave helped him with a purple cup, and Max watched carefully to make sure every single bit of cup got coated in paint.

"Dad! You missed a spot!"

At Max's bedtime, we were talking about birthdays. He regularly tells me he wants a birthday party and a Cars 2 ice-cream cake, and I humor him. There are worse parenting mistakes I could make (and, heck, I probably have).

We started discussing how many candles would go on his cake. All of a sudden he said, giggling, "Sabrina is nine, Max is seven!" And I was floored: It was the first time he'd ever said two full phrases in a row like that. The kid could have said "I want to rob a bank, will you drive the getaway car?" and I would have been thrilled.

Max's speech patterns are progressing. He's been talking a lot lately; the iPad and Proloquo2Go seem to encourage more speech, not less (something I know a lot of parents fear about communication apps and devices). I hear him babbling in bed at night, before he drifts off to sleep. He rambles on and on in the back seat, when I'm driving. It is heartening to hear and yet, I'll admit, at times I get heartbroken that he's so hard to understand unless you speak "Max."

Max being Max, he just keeps on talking. He is not aware he is hard to understand; he's just loving the sound of his own voice. And I know I should chill and enjoy the sound of his voice, too, and stop aching for those words of my dreams.


  1. Your Max is so like my Nicholas used to be. Nick is now 23 and still uses Proloquo2Go with some very limited speech. Max has more speech than Nick, but aside from that, they are quite similar. About Nick: he graduated from high school with a city-wide award for academic perseverance and a $1,000 cheque. He is now a seller on Ebay, is an active blogger and has recently applied for a job (paid in the form of free games) to evaluate Playstation3 games for people with disabilities. The last few years have seen many changes in our family and we've been distracted, but last week we hired a new speech therapist to have another look at adding more complex language to the Ipad. Nicholas is 23. Our boys keep growing, keep changing. We mothers need to chill a little, because we're in it for the long haul.

  2. I am with you 100%! I hear words on rare occasions and I just want more!!! It is those fleeting moments that we get to see what is going on in their little heads, because we know there is a lot! I get so excited when I hear a new word, but it is always so bittersweet! I hear a new word ONCE only to not hear it again (no matter how hard I try) for over a year (at least it seems like a year). She IS only three, you know. Months seem like years! No matter how hard I beg, NADA!!!! All I ever hear from people is PATIENCE! I am so tired of that word! I want what other mothers get - Awesome! Yay! She is so smart! Sometimes I feel that the excitement of accomplishments have been stripped from me as a parent, it SUCKS!

    Hugs to you and your family! Max is so lucky to have you guys! You are a mentor to others, remember that always!

  3. Max, you're doing incredibly! I looooove that you use your brilliant words to make jokes! Xxx

  4. Love the purple mug and the fact he has a birthday daily. Happy Birthday Max (again and again and again)

  5. Yea Max!I love your humour!

    Ellen -- do you write down these gems? xo

  6. Thank you, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I've been thinking on this a lot. My son old has mild CP and just started group speech therapy. He's a little too young for any serious one on one therapy so we have to do group; but he's the only child with a disability in the group. The other kids are just non talkers for whatever reason children choose not to talk. I'm having a hard time with that. The other moms keep encouraging me like they do each other that he'll realize talking is fun and just start. They don't realize it doesn't work that way for us, but I wish it did.

  7. I'd like to hope that Max will someday be able to strengthen his mouth muscles and be able to speak clearly enough for strangers. Let's just hope.

    However, he is adorable just as he is! What a cutie!

  8. Awesome. Just so awesome to read this!!

  9. My boys are the same way. They seem to be babbling incessantly to themselves. For Noah it is typically the scripts from his favorite TV shows (Arthur and Wubbzy are his current faves) and Sam will talk nonstop about every musical instrument ever made. All in all I am happy they talk even if it is rarely to me.

  10. Those two phrases! Amazing! It makes you realize how much more is in there just waiting to get out. And it will.

    Moe isn't talking yet, but I have this feeling that when he does, four years of pent up words are going to come pouring out. I just hope he isn't too hard on me :)

  11. Oh Ellen, I feel ya! Emma has been talking much more this past year than ever, but not with everyone. She is shy. I think she is shy because she knows that other don't understand her very well. She has not felt well this past week or so, and she has talked less and mumbled more. It has had me so freaked out. I keep wondering and feeling anxious, "Where did it go?" I know that it is because she feels poorly, but I sorely miss what language she does have.

    I have to tell you that I am very impressed to hear about Max's double phrases. THAT IS HUGE! More wonderful things will come. I just know it. Max keeps proving how bright he his. I agree with you about how alternative communicate can really encourage more speech. Funny how that works. Just following Max keeps me motivated and inspired.

    Thank your for writing this post today. It came at a good time for me.

  12. Magic Moments seem to come just when you need them most. For me it is usually in the middle of the night, after 2 dozen or so trips across the room getting up and down out of bed to turn off the alarm on her sats monitor. 4 years of sleep deprivation, tiredness and frustration make being positive very hard at 4 in the morning. And then out of the blue she whispers "Thank you Mom" My daughter is 13 and bright as a button with a razor sharp wit - her challenge is that for the last 4 years she has been paralyzed from the neck down. Due to a stroke she is a quadriplegic and on a ventilator, so her voice which is whisper soft is the most precious thing in the world. It connects her to us and the rest of the world and I cannot imagine not being able to hear her. The words are precious, the magic moments priceless. Love your blog and the inspiration of your journey with Max. Looking forward to more Magic Max Moments

  13. I'm with you, Ellen. It's the cry of my heart to hear Lily talk. Words! Words! I want words!

  14. I think more yammering is great yammering...I think those stem cells are starting to do their thing! Go Max, go!

    Maybe Max would like a Birthday countdown clock? It might help with number recognition-articulation?

    That's a huge link, hope it "takes!"


Thanks for sharing!