I have to start by saying this one is a big dose of reality… but you have to know the bitter to appreciate the sweet. While what I am about to describe is the BIGGEST challenge we have in our lives, we also know it is part of God’s path for Blaze. For this reason, we hang in there and do our very best to not let it bring us down (anymore) because we have the utmost faith that God loves Blaze as we do and that he will do what is right for him.
They say that English is like a second language for Blaze. His first language is to think in pictures. Think of it like going to Google and typing in “lasagna” and a bunch of recipes come up. You also have the option of going to the “Images” section and doing a search that will pull up several pictures of lasagna. Essentially, Blaze’s brain uses the “Image” section of Google; his brain sees pictures instead of hearing words. At the age of 3, a child should be using 2-3 word sentences. For the most part, he is still using
one word sentences like “cars” or “cheese” and many times those words are repeats of words we just said. He knows hundreds and hundreds of words, but doesn’t use them spontaneously.
I know this sounds obvious, but words are how we express our needs, wants, thoughts and desires. Can you imagine living in a world (as a 3 year old) where you could not tell someone that you are hungry, thirsty, hurt, etc? For the most part that is what it is like for Blaze.
Blaze has been working with a speech therapist every week since January 2013. Beyond the speech therapy, our home is like one continuous speech therapy session. Everything is a speech lesson. Alan, Nanny Crystal and myself are always repeating our words and asking him to say words and sentences. He has made progress, but it is a slow. But that is not the point, the point is there is progress!! There are those wonderful moments when he does communicate with us by using the sentence we have been practicing for months now; “I want____.” We have our little celebrations when this happens because you have to take the victories when you can! The rest of time we have to rely on our observations of his behavior and take a guess at what he needs or wants.
The thing you have to know about Blaze is that he is wildly intelligent, has an exceptional memory and knows things that other kids his age won’t know until they are much older. His biggest hurdle is overcoming his other challenges (will explain in future posts) and getting it out of his brain. We always tell people, “don’t let him fool you. Just because he doesn’t talk doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand. “We never want anyone to underestimate him or expect less from him; we just want people to understand where he is coming from.
We pray each and every day that he will start to talk and see how wonderful it is to communicate with people and see how the world opens up for him when he tells us what he wants and what he thinks. We want to know our boy.
I could have never imagined how much I would yearn to hear one little person’s words. For this reason, I swear to you that I will never tell Blaze to be quiet. My daughter is another story.
I’ll keep you posted on his progress. Any prayers you can throw our way would be so appreciated