There is nothing more exciting, as a parent of a child with a hearing loss, to hear their first words. With sweet tot R, we get the amazing privilege of hearing and seeing her words as she develops language.
R has been babbling and speaking Mamma and Dadda for a few months now, but at 13 months, her oral language and ASL are growing. The utterance of the spoken language on her lips, melts my heart every time. Putting those hearing aids back in for the hundredth time in a day, not so much.
R loves our cat, and enjoys repeating “deh-yah” for our cat Bella. Bella even has a keen liking to her, much more than to big sister, A. When changing her diaper, there is a butterfly hanging above, and I would say “butterfly” orally and sometimes in ASL, to help redirect her to sit still for changes, she recently has begun to orally mimic it as “buhbuhy” and is sweet kisses to my ears.
She was stubborn on ASL for a while, just watching the signs (of novice signer, Mommy), with a smug look on her face. Now, she is excited to sign, “ball”, “hat”, “milk”, “more”, “eat”, “water”, and “want”. Her favorite, is “hat”, she loves hats! So, if you make fun hats, I’m sure she would love to wear it.
We have officially begun ASL as a second language, as a family. We are very excited to begin this journey to have alternative communication with our children, and to help when there is struggle with relaying orally. I have a head start on daddy as I have had more exposure and am a tactile/hands on learner, but he will do great, and as a family, we will succeed! We can also thank Rachel Coleman of Signing Time for bringing ASL signs into our home. It is an amazing series, that we have been blessed to receive as a gift from a family member, and I cannot give enough praise on how wonderful it is as a tool for families of all children with any ability or disability. It provides opportunities for children to learn and to sign as a form of communication, with or without speech delays. It has even helped Miss A, learn all the colors of the rainbow by 2.5 years of age!
What were the first words spoken or signed by your child? So beautiful, isn’t it, until they don’t stop talking? 😉