Thursday, June 13, 2013

Saying "Dada"

Jaycee never babbled much as a baby. That was the first sign to me that something was wrong with her speech. She did babble "dada" around 10 months. We were so excited at first. But then she stopped and not much happened verbally after that.

She was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech when she was 4.5 years old. She wasn't able to speak, couldn't imitate lip or tongue movements, and couldn't imitate most speech sounds by themselves (example: s-s-s-s-s). Childhood apraxia of speech makes it difficult for children/toddlers to move their mouth to produce sounds like you and I do. Children with this desire to talk but they can't. Sometimes, they lose words. They might say a word once and never again. This has happened to Jaycee. She said "dada" a few years ago and then lost the word. It was never an easy word for her to say, so it wasn't surprising to me that she lost it. We have rarely heard it in the past few years.

Jaycee's verbal speech is slow to come. She relies on signs and her communication device to communicate.

Jaycee can say sounds produced by the lips well (m, p, b). That is why she can say "mama," "papa," and "bubba". All other consonant sounds are difficult for her. We frequently ask her to say dad but she signs it. She has given up trying to say it.

But on Sat., we asked her to say dad and she did!!!  "Dada," she said.  My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. I immediately had her say it again and again. I wanted her brain and her tongue to remember how she said it. I didn't want her to lose the word. And so far, she hasn't. She's been great!

It's the perfect Father's Day gift to her daddy!!

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