I asked her if I could take a few pictures of her signing (sign language). She told me, “No.” and then laid down like this.Three is a challenging age. At three, kids are developing friendships, learning to play together, learning to express themselves verbally and a whole host of other things. So many of the changes revolve around communication. Being three and unable to communicate all that is in your head…well it is especially challenging.
My daughter consistently surprises me with all she has figured out about the world around her. Yesterday I left the dishwasher door open and walked back in the room to find she had unloaded the bottom half and put everything where it goes. I thought the boys were playing a trick on me at first. She is so observant…always watching and learning. Being born with a cleft lip and palate and not receiving corrective surgeries at an early age has led to a very significant speech delay. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for her to know what she wants to say and yet be unable to communicate it. I imagine she feels trapped in many ways.
Speech therapy is a big part of our lives. It will be for a very long time.
Sign language continues to become a bigger and bigger part of our world.
Three is challenging though. At three she goes to Sunday School with kids her age who are talking back and forth. Playing. Communicating. Telling stories. Kids that don’t always have patience to figure out what she is trying to say. Though most three year olds are content playing with or without words, we are beginning to see parts of a rough road ahead. And it is hard.
It is hard to meet new adults and not want to explain why they can’t understand what she is saying.
It is hard to make sure those she is with always know her key signs.
It is hard to see progress in the midst of the challenge, but progress is being made. Friends remind me often of how well she is doing and how far she has come regarding speech. It is so good to have others that can hear what I often overlook being in the middle of it. That is parenting…and life in general, I suppose.
The truth is she’s awesome. She’s got more family and friends cheering for her than she’ll know what to do with one day. And despite all the frustration and challenges she deals with – she smiles. Beams actually.
This girl she’s got a fire in her and a lot to say. And as we work together to get those words out, I’ll be here waiting to hear it all.
I am confident so many of you reading this have dealt with similar speech issues (many of you cleft related), if you have any tips/resources feel free to share!