Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Smallest Words Can Mean The Most

"Ja-mie," the speech therapist said as she tapped Jamie's hand to his chest.

"May-mie!!" he shouted in return, tapping his hand to his chest.

"Good job!" replied the therapist.

"May-mie!" he shouted again.

I sat watching this exchange and I was torn between wanting to melt into a puddle and total astonishment.  Jamie has never had any kind of word that he used to identify himself.  Of course he knows his name and he responds to it but he wouldn't even attempt saying it.  He keeps shocking me with the things he's suddenly willing to try saying.  It's like he's finally figuring out how much easier life is when he can communicate with us.

And then there's the melted puddle part.  His evident glee at being able to say his own name is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  I'm so glad he can do it and so glad he is so proud of himself for it.  In the same breath, there were definite overtones of "Ahhh! Finally!" to his newfound ability, as though he's wanted to do it for a long time and just couldn't.  I feel bad that he's been locked away in his own head for all this time.

He's consistently built up his vocabulary since we started therapy but this one word meant so much more than the others.

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