Sunday, December 19, 2010

Do you hear what I hear?

I'm almost afraid to say anything, because I don't want to jinx it. I need to find some wood to knock on. At first I thought it was just me, but then people kept coming to me to tell me the same thing, over and over.

Seth has been talking.

And not just at home. He's been talking at school. He's been talking at church. He's been talking at birthday parties. He's been talking for my mom when she watches him. He has been talking to everyone. Voluntarily. Without being prompted.

And his teacher, his Sunday School leader, a friend at a birthday party the other day, my mom...they have all commented to me separately, without me saying anything, that he was talking much more than usual.

A lot of it is gibberish, although I've noticed  more structured, repetitive words from him. But he is voluntarily verbalizing when he wants something instead of just gesturing, He is talking to himself as he plays, he is talking to others conversationally. He's talking. I'm not sure what he's saying lots of the time, but he's talking.

And I remember a long time ago that one of his therapists mentioned that the spontaneous, sometimes seemingly random, and voluntary verbalizing had to come before the "real" talking would. That Seth would have to become comfortable with talking, let it become second nature to verbalize instead of use facial expressions or gestures. That after that came, then the words and phrases and sentences would come.

I've thought that Seth was doing that for a while, but it was like he was keeping it a secret and only talking when he felt no pressure and he thought no one was watching him. Suddenly, for whatever reason, he is willing to let others hear his voice, even those he's not close to.

I don't know what's happening, and I have a feeling it won't be downhill from here, because it never is with Seth, but this is big for us. This is Seth letting go of some of the control he fights so hard to have. Normally he has his walls put up very, very high with people outside of my immediate family. The fact that he is putting himself out there so much that each and every person is noticing a difference in's a big step for him. I feel like he's on the right track.

It's basically the best early Christmas present I could ever ask for, for other people to see and hear him the way I know he can be, at his best.

I don't know what's happened, but what a blessing it is. I'll take it!

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