I’ve started noticing that Ariana is becoming less, and less verbal. At one point she was learning and saying new words so quickly, and now it just feels like everything came to a complete stop.
We still practice ASL with her, it use to be our “safe net” just in case she was non-verbal, But now its a necessity. She doesn’t communicate with words. She doesn’t call out mama when she needs my attention. She doesn’t tell me she’s hungry or thirsty. I feel like im stuck in a never ending charades game with no clear winner. I want to help Ariana speak. I want her to be able to tell me something. Anything. I want to hear her precious little voice call out mama.. even if just once.
I just started second guessing every choice I have ever made with her, and every therapy I have taken her to. Why did she back track so much? Am I doing enough for her? What else should I be doing?
We do videos, flash cards, books, therapies on top of therapies… I feel stuck, and overwhelmed with uncertainty and guilt. Uncertainty because I don’t know what my next step should be… and guilt because I don’t know if I’m missing something? Is there something I’m not doing for her?
It’s not like I expected Ariana to talk my ear off anytime soon. But her losing words she already had is hard. Harder on me than on her, I know. It’s just that she worked so hard, we worked so hard to aquire those few precious words that she did have…. it just becomes discouraging.
Sometimes I ask her “Ariana, what are you thinking?” “What’s going on in that head of yours?” and she will just look at me… As if she is wondering the same thing about me.
I wonder all the time what she’s thinking about, how she process things. I just wish I knew, so I could understand better. Help her better. *sigh*
But you know what. There is always a silver lining in everything life throws at you. Ariana put together her very first sentence today! She didn’t speak it, and that’s okay. She signed it! It was absolutely beautiful. She said “papa, (the only word she says now) and then signed “more food.” All those baby signing time videos and therapies, flash cards, books have paid off. She might not be communicating with us using words, but she is still communicating. I am so thankful for that.
Unbelievably thankful and greatful for her way of communicating with us. My cup is not half empty.
My cup overflows with blessings! Psalm 23:5