Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Lately we've seen big improvements in Ava's receptive and expressive communication. I have lost track of the number of signs she knows. Last I counted it was 35. Since then she has learned airplane, banana, and dance. When her daddy holds her she signs "dance" because she LOVES to "dance" in Daddy's arms. She raises her hands over her head and lets him swing her around, giggling and squealing. She signs "home" when we pull into our long driveway, and "jump" when she hears the kids outside on the trampoline. She understands and follows a few commands: put it in, give it to Mommy, come here, where is ____?, etc.

Many times she can't do a sign or speak a word for something but she can certainly get her point across with a grunt, an expression or body language (and yes, she even has temper tantrums occasionally!)

We have been working on pointing to her eyes, nose, ears, etc. It took a while, but she is starting to cooperate. Recently she started crawling onto my lap with a book, letting me know that she wants me to read to her. Her speech therapist told me that her speech development was consistent to that of an 18 month old! Considering she was testing at a two month old level a year ago, I am extremely pleased with that report! 16 months of development squeezed into a 13 month period. Not bad.

Remember how excited I was when she made her first babble sound at the age of 4? I never imagined I'd be so excited to hear a "B" sound. (It's funny what excites a parent of a child with a disability. Can anyone relate?) Well I am HAPPY to tell you that not only can she say a "B" sound. She can now say 7 actual words:

1. Daddy ("Gaggy")
2. Cookie
3. More
4. Mama
5. Bubba
6. Good-girl ("Goo-goo")...which she says when she does something she knows we'll be proud of. :)
7. Thank you ("Kay kay")

And here is my favorite of all: When I sing to her at night now, she sings along! Of course not everyone would recognize it as singing, but I am her mother and I KNOW she is singing. Sometimes she even does the little signs that go along, like the itsy bitsy spider, a song they sing at school called "Special Me", where she pats herself on the shoulders indicating she is "special", and of course my favorite, Jesus Loves Me, she does the little sign for Jesus when I sing it to her.

I sure do love that little girl!


Dalene said...

Mom of the Year!

Oma Roberta said...

I wonder what her analysis of your family would be if she could blog. I think she would say,"My family is finally understanding me when I want something! Like dance with dad or "more candy, Oma". We too are thrilled at her progress and can't wait to see you all in a few days. Love says it all!!

Tim Rovenstine said...

I don't know which is the biggest miracle, the lady..or the little girl, but this story needs to be told.

The Monroe 6 said...

I love reading your blog, you have the all time best and inspirational stories!!!
Thanks for sharing.

Loren Stow said...

I am so very happy for Ava! I am sure you are one proud mommy and you deserve to be!

DoveFamily said...


soontobemomof9 said...

Just makes my day! Followed Avas story silently for so long.... It just makes me think anything is possible! Go AVA!

Beth said...

This is wonderful! Terrific to hear of her progress. This girl has an agenda!

Cammie Heflin said...

That is amazing improvement! Way to go Ava! When are we meeting this summer little girl???

kirsten said...

Maybe it's lack of sleep, but I am totally tearing up! So, glad she is communicating so well...only wish I could see and hear for myself. You are Mom of the Year- Dalene's right:)

Arizona mom to eight said...

Ahhhhhhh, what a sweet post, and I am so proud of you and Ava, she needs you to learn, and obviously you are teaching her. :o)

RoverHaus said...

We sure do love that little girl too!

Bubba? That needs some explanation!

Justine said...

This brought tears to my eyes! I'm so proud of Ava and of her family!


Wendy said...

That Ava is one smart girl!

Macey's "That One" or "That Way" = "What What"
(I really think it is too cute)

Sometimes her Russian language really gets in her way when trying to learn our constants and vowels!!

Bethany said...

That is awesome ... she is amazing!