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Day 116

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

Constance worked incredibly hard at language acquisition when I was teaching her sign language in the mirror while verbally trying to express the words.

More than one speech therapist said Constance would never speak and we should focus on teaching her to use a communication device. I knew how hard Constance worked and I didn’t want to give up on her because she was taking longer than other kids.

The first step typical kids take to expressive verbal language is babbling at 18 months to two years. As a child, I talked so much that my great grandma warned, “Now that she’s started talking she’ll never stop.” This turned out to be too true.

The day Constance started babbling, we were driving in the car together. I was taking her to an occupational therapy appointment. The babbling was so incredible that I silently oozed tears of joy while continuously driving around town. Eventually, she fell asleep.

When she woke up, I was ready with my big box of ABA flashcards. Typically, I would use the cards to work on receptive language like “point to the square.” Then she’d point to the square and we’d celebrate how smart she was. Once she mastered a word receptively, I would try to get her to say it verbally. The day she started babbling, I showed her the flashcard with the square and said, “What is this?” She looked off into space as if searching for the word on the wall, then said, “Square.” Oh, how we celebrated.

What followed was continuous word acquisition and deletion while always building toward verbal expressive speech. Her work ethic was inspirational. Everyone was proud of her—her teachers, her therapists—but no one more so than me. Constance didn’t let a thing like forgetting how to say a word stop her from continuing to try.

We cheered through years of practice and steady improvements. She was so strong, so resilient. Her superpower was persistence and she knew it.


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Jul 10, 2018



Unknown member
Jul 09, 2018

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