There is no doubt that Danny is coming out of his shell for communication – and the more he does, the more hilarious he gets!
Moving away from one of his most distressing acts, the dreaded beating his head against things, Danny has developed the preschooler facepalm. This cracks me up to no end! “Danny, we have no more milk.” Facepalm! “Danny, it’s time to turn the computer off.” Facepalm! “No, Danny, you can’t have a third bag of fruit snacks before supper.” Facepalm! He sometimes bangs a hand, or both hands, against a nearby table as well to express frustration, but more often than not it’s a top-of-the-head facepalm that gets the job done. If what I have to tell him is especially distressing, both hands will go up in a double facepalm that gets a good giggle – quickly disguised as a cough, of course.
More awesome than the facepalm, though, is Danny’s desire to communicate with words – and his ability to do so! He is, very slowly, starting to refine his speech, no doubt because he is trying to use it so often. He is very close to mastering /m/ in words! This is a huge step for our kiddo who doesn’t use consonants. His speech therapist has an awesome book full of letters, both vowels and consonants, that he absolutely adores and works so hard with. They work on blending sounds, and it is really paying off. His favorite phrase around the house, for example – I want milk – used to resemble “eeeck ow-k!” Now, with a little prompting on the use of his W sound, it’s roughly “I wah mowk!” Is it a far cry from the real words still? Yes, absolutely. But it’s also a whole lot closer! Milk is also his first word to incorporate a (correct!) beginning and ending consonant. Reciting his favorite book (Brown Bear, Brown Bear), he’s starting to put in effort to get closer to the correct words as well; if I read “Brown bear, brown bear, what do…” he will pop up and say “you sssssssss-ee!” He’s also starting to get the hang of yes or no questions; he doesn’t seem to recognize them on presentation, but if I tell him, “You can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” he will follow up with a solemn “oh” for no or a bubbly “yeah!” for yes. Yeah is becoming one of his most common words too, and he’ll use it to reinforce pretty much anything he wants. Heck, when we’re driving home from school and make the final turn toward our house, a lot of the time I’ll hear an excited “Yeah! Yeah!” from the back seat.
The best, though, I have saved for last.
When Danny sees me and wants me – say if John is carrying him – his face lights up and, clear as a bell, he announces, “Mama!” Not long and drawn out, not repeated like a babbling mamamama, not dropping a consonant, but the clearest “mama” you ever did hear. It is, perhaps, his only word that even the most unknown of strangers would hear and understand immediately from him. (Well, that and ‘yeah,’ I suppose!)
That is definitely not something to facepalm about.
Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you all, and Danny especially. I knew it was there and it is time , and thanks to all his devoted people in his life that work so hard for him. Thanks so much for the update , great news.
Couldn’t be a better word to master at this time I am sure….keep up the good work.
Love the pictures, what a beautiful family , I cannot wait to come and visit. Gramma is getting impatient and is warming up the motorhome!!!! take care and thanks again for the photos.