Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The power of voice - or not!

What's it like to have a child that is unable to utter one word let alone a string of words?  Strange, frustrating, sad, unbelievable, astounding, astonishing, did I mention sad?  Thinking back over the past eleven years I thought I could honestly say that I haven't been too concerned about Nick's lack of speech (mind you, at a team meeting many years ago I was asked what I wanted from Nick - I was so blown away by the enormity of this question that I couldn't find an answer and therefore blurted out "I want Nick to talk").  Writing this paragraph has dredged up all  those emotions that I have managed to conceal from myself - who am I kidding - deep deep down I would so love my child to 'speak' (says she with tears rolling down her face - shit, where did that come from!).

Ok, ok, back to the bright side.........................................  For a child that is unable to utter a word (although he does have a few sounds!) Nick has become fantastically apt at communicating, although only with people he knows extremely well.  When he was a wee boy we introduced PEC's (Picture Exchange Communication) and basic sign language. Nick has a large repertoire of signs which he is competent at using, although we don't have the need to use PEC's any more.  What he has become good at is the use of 'non verbal communication'.  By that I mean, we are able to communicate using the power of facial expression, eye gaze, referencing a person's face and body language to gain information.  This doesn't mean to say that Nick can communicate with ease - absolutely not, we have a loooonng way to go!

~*~

6 comments:

  1. Really touching. You write totally from the heart which makes reading your blogs incredably touching and moving. Wendy xxx

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  2. A huge hug from me. Rhi

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  3. Here's some perspective. Nick is a much better nonverbal talker than Pamela was at that age! :-) She had words and could put them together. She knew signs but didn't use them. She had NO IDEA how to communicate with her body or understand what people were saying with their body. She could barely make out what they were saying with their mouths.

    It is a hard, hard journey. Hugs!!!!!!

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  4. Dont you just hate it when that sneaks up on you!!!!! You are awesome Di!!! Just wanted to let you know that!!!

    Kathy

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