My husband and I were frustrated at every doctors visit for my daughter, Bailee, when she was a year old. She excelled in every area of learning, except for speech. We were told time and time again that she would have to take speech therapy if she wanted to stay on track with other kids her age.
Then it occurred to us, why are they comparing Bailee to other children? There’s nothing wrong with speech therapy, we heard great reviews about it in our extensive research. But what was the rush? She was a year old.
A couple months went by and the frustration really set in. Not from us, from her. We soon realized that she was upset that she wasn’t able to communicate, and my heart broke for her. She was familiar with pointing to, and identifying the things she wanted, and I would try to get her to verbalize the words, but nothing.
In a desperate effort to help her, I turned to my best friend, Google. We soon discovered American Sign Language (ASL) and decided to give it a try! Learning and teaching Bailee ASL was the best decision we ever made! Her eyes lit up in amazement as suddenly all the items she could easily identify, had a gesture to go with them.
We started using ASL with words we use daily such as:
Hello, eat, drink, play, bathtime, more, all done, milk, water, happy, book, bed, please, thank you, mommy and daddy.
She picked up the phrases in no time and her frustration quickly disappeared. She was eager to learn more words. Every time we signed a word to her, we said it out loud. Within a month, Bailee was signing and SPEAKING all the words she had learned.
Bailee is now 2 and a half and far exceeds any doctors expectation of where her speech development should be. She speaks in full sentences, and we owe it to our dedication of teaching her American Sign Language (ASL). Our journey of learning a different language won’t stop here!