Saturday, February 22, 2014

Language Boom!

Just a month and a half ago, I typed up the previous blog.  To quote myself:
"We are still waiting for Travis' expressive language to emerge beyond the basics. "

Well, he's doing it!  Over the past few months, Ken and I have been catching Travis expressing his own thoughts and ideas.  It started one night when we were playing a conversation game at dinner.  Each kid was naming his or her favorite holiday.  When it came to Travis, he began by copying what the previous sibling had said about Halloween.  But then....BUT THEN, he started adding thoughts that no other person at the table had shared.

"I like Halloween.  Remember, I dressed up as Iron Man and Tian was Spiderman. And we went from house to house, knocking on the doors.  They gave me candy and I said thank you.  Iron Man is my favorite. Remember I opened the box you gave me?  It was an Iron Man ornament!"
(This is about the time that Ken and I are shooting looks at each other, as if to say, "Are you seeing this?!?!"  I held up my hands to the other 4 kids, letting them know interrupting was forbidden. This was magic happening.)
"I hung it on the Christmas tree.  Then later, we had presents under the tree. I opened Captain America and Tian got Spiderman.  Christmas is my favorite and Halloween is my favorite."

Wow.

Since that first major expression milestone, Travis has kept his thoughts coming.

Travis is now expressing facts without us having to ask him a question.  He will interrupt Ken to say, "Dad, look! Mom just went down and got my rocket blanket for me."

In school, his class has been studying China for the Chinese New Year.  Travis took some Chinese items with him for show and tell.  When he got home today, he approached me and said, "I want to fly to China soon."  I let him know that we will go visit again, but it will be later, not soon.  His shoulders sunk and he signed, "I want to fly there soon. Why not?"  Oh, bless his heart!

Tonight, when I got home from work, he approached me and asked me to look at his band-aid. In the past, I would have asked what happened and he would have answered, "Hurt."  Tonight, I didn't even have to ask him what happened. He explained, "I was riding bikes with Tyler and he ran into me."  I asked if he cried or if it just hurt.  He said, "I cried. It hurt a lot. Tyler ran into me with his bike."

Wow.  In the past, if I had given him a choice such as "Did you cry OR was it no big deal?" he would have not answered or parroted what I signed.  This time he answered.  Ken validated that everything he said did, indeed happen. He and his friend crashed bikes and Travis cried.  Wow! I feel like Travis now has a whole new level of safety in his life.  I worried that he was an easy target for abuse when he couldn't recount events to us.  Now he can.  Ken and I are getting to know Travis a little bit more every day.  We didn't think we could love that boy any more, but the more we know him, the more we love him.  We are SO very proud to be his parents!

5 comments:

  1. Oh how I cannot wait for this day!!! So very exciting!

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  2. Hello there! Couldn't find your contact info so could you contact me at tawny.holmes@nad.org as I would like to recommend including your amazing story in a video. Hopefully soon, thanks!

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  3. Hi there! My husband and I are in the process of adopting a 16-month-old Chinese boy with profound hearing loss. Neither of us have had much exposure to ASL or the deaf world. How would you recommend we begin/proceed when he comes home? I would imagine we will be quite humorous to watch as we stutter our way through the signs until we become a bit more proficient! Any help or advice is most welcome!

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    1. Hi, Sara! Sorry I'm late in my reply. My first recommendation would be to start now learning ASL and learning about the Deaf community in your area. I'm happy to chat with you if you want to email me! :) mail (at) thebrownfamily.us

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  4. I found your blog today & I am inspired by the progress your boys have made. I just started working with a deaf 6 year old who hasn't ever used ASL for communication in his life. He only knew colors & his name. His behaviors to "communicate" when he is angry/happy are very similar to what your boys did the first few days! I am seeing MUCH progress these last 2 months, but some days I am exhausted & frustrated. Thank you for the inspiration! I should journal his growth so I know we are getting somewhere! :)

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