Over the last 4-5 days, Q’s progress has EXPLODED!! From the beginning of our journey with our wonderful and supportive early intervention educators, there has been a continual commentary from all, and in summary they have said that they were giving Jim and I the tools to keep up with Q, because he will soon erupt with amazing process.
From Jim and I’s point of view...three years of no significant progress, we were definitely wary of their advice. They encouraged us to learn as much as we could, our sign instructor especially, because once Q ‘got it’ he would be handing us objects, and pointing out items requesting we identify them with signs.
I’m thrilled and humbled to say how perfectly correct and on target our team has been.
Over the last three days Q is suddenly signing his ABC’s, with anticipatory movements and flowing to the next letters with recognition!!!!!!!
He has identified mommy, Dad, and his own name Quinn.
Of a morning he now comes in and tells us “Awake, please, go” and then signs "light" to turn our bedroom lights on. Our sign instructor encouraged us immediate rewards, and the attention required to do this is incredible. Sometimes Q signs SO FAST, and with his own intention. As I’m beginning to learn, we look more for the intent. The focus, the eye direction, and some ambivalent form of the sign. As he grows and is more agile and his hand skills more finite - the rest will flow naturally.
Being a perfectionist ASL has been challenging from the standpoint that I have a weird embarrassment if I’m not doing it perfectly. I’ve had to let that go, and just trust in muscle memory - but more importantly facial expression and body language.
Thankfully, I’ve got that part down. I didn’t speak until I was five. My folks took me to all sorts of therapy, testing, meeting with SLP’s and even an IQ test. Shortly after that we lived in the Philippines for many years, and I became reliant on facial expressions, body language and slights to understand as I progressed in learning Tagalog.
It’s funny how sometimes life spends years preparing you for what lies ahead, but I digress.
With Q, Jim and I have been so completely attuned developing our own system and communication basics without realizing it. When one of our first SLP’s came into the picture, they expressed how much we were already doing and how well Q was communicating, and at an especially hard time when Jim and I were scared and facing so many unknowns and feeling pretty badly about ourselves...it was such sweet and wonderful news.
Back to last night and our ABC’s!!! I’ve tried to get video, so stay tuned! Q knows when I’m trying to video and will walk away or stop doing it, which cracks me up.
This morning Q signed “outside feed chickens!” Which is our routine on Saturdays! He even said “Out” nearly perfectly.
Saturdays I make coffee and send him out with treats for our girls, and we all have some fresh air, giggles, and entertainment to fill our morning. I’ve been working on “FIRST Q eats, THEN we feed the chickens”, but even mini farm life is demanding!
In further wonderful news, Q has an official start date at the UVM Children’s school. I’m simply in awe of their program, their knowledge, and already their love for Q. I’m in constant wonder of these educators, providers, and even doctors and specialist and the work they do. It’s one thing for Jim and I to adore and deeply love our child - and it’s another incredibly humbling and moving feeling to work with folks who also love him and want the best for him. I can’t express enough how thankful we are for the village in place for our fella.
Cheers to hopefully a Saturday filled with Sign!!! If it doesn’t rain we are headed to pick strawberries!