Chatty Cathy

Audrey’s speech and language has been progressing amazingly. We are constantly surprised by what she understands, what she attempts to say or sign and how much she remembers.

I guess this is how it is when something has lowered your expectations – a label is stuck on her warning she will be slow at learning, she will be behind, she will have a disadvantage. So when she excels, we are blown away.

Recently, Audrey pointed to the picture of a red bus on her pyjamas and said “bus”. When police sirens go by Audrey says “nee nar”. We go upstairs and Audrey says “upstairs” and for the first time, we’ve heard her saying numbers. 

A sales assistant wearing a baseball cap is chatting to us and Audrey touches her head and says “hat”. Such minor things that make us so proud of her.

One of her consistent signs with no word has been water. A few weeks ago Audrey started saying “ter” along with the sign, which was great, but now she’s progressed to “ter ter”, I guess this sounds minor, but in our world it’s major.

This week was a big one for speech milestones – Audrey said “Audrey” (and signed it too), having spent quite a while saying “Dee” as the closest to her name and then only in reference to watching videos of herself on my phone! We have also been working on 2 or 3 word combinations and have had some success with Audrey (unprompted) saying “more please” and even “more toast please”.

She is also singing words and will pick out the ones she can say, like “star” and “are” or “head” and “toes”.  

When I collected her from nursery yesterday they said she was shouting out names all day. It’s so nice as her peers have being saying “Audrey” for a while and she can now attempt their names too. I do find she is more likely to try the word if there is a sign attached, so we are still using Makaton even has her speech moves forward. Lots of her words would be hard to understand without combining it with a sign – a good example, some thing we do a lot, say and sign a lot, is… Cuddles. Audrey’s word for cuddles has, in recent days, sounded like “Dennis”, which has been amusing, but it’s taking shape and sounding more as it should as each day goes by. But because she says “Dennis” and signs for cuddles, we’ve been able to understand her which is great.

I’ve been so inspired by all the early years teaching that I’ve taken Audrey to, I am now going to undertake some Makaton training in the hope of using it professionally in the future. I love the idea of helping children progress and communicate through sign and play and singing. It’s all been so great for Audrey’s development. And educating adults too – people need to know what a great help signing can be for progressing little ones’ language skills.

Audrey has changed our lives just like any child changes their parents’ lives, but she’s opened up my eyes to many things I would never have been exposed to otherwise and she has made me want to change my career completely, so she has had a pretty dramatic effect on me! I’m so thankful she’s ours.


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