|Evie was signing "L" for Laurie Berkner here.|
What I had to learn, however, was that “communication” patterns form in the brain whether the speech is verbal or not; so by teaching her sign language, we were actually helping Evie develop the “firing” patterns in the brain that were required to develop spoken speech.
Evie’s speech therapist had us using auditory bombardment. We had lists of words that began with the same letters that we were to read to her over and over again so she could hear the same sounds repeated. We read them to her when she was eating, bathing, getting her diaper changed; anytime we could.
Baby, bananas, bath, born, bagel, brown, black, bat.
Pancake, purple, pink, popcorn, positive, penguin, pistol, paper.
Can you imagine being 5 years old, at school, away from your family, and only being understood 20% of the time?
Needless to say, her after-school hours were spent expressing very angry frustration. She couldn’t develop friendships at school with peers because they couldn’t understand her. Even adults had a hard time understanding her but they were able to reason through some of the communication issues at least.
She would often say a word clearly one moment, but then it would sound totally different the next.