Mum ~ a little word with a big meaning
Wednesday the 27th of August was the day I heard that little word full of meaning come from the little boy of mine ~Mum~ and it made me weep.
He was 32months
In the past there have been times when a sound like Mum has come from my precious boy but those times were always an accidental production of sound, a sound that just came out.
On this day he clearly looked at me and wanting my attention said MUM, with absolute purpose. I was completely shocked and did ask him to repeat watching his jaw and lips to be sure he was actually in control of the sounds he was producing, He was!
You see my little man, Hman, has Childhood Apraxia of Speech and although he knows exactly what he wishes to say the message from his brain to the speech mechanisms don't work. Every word is a struggle... actually forget every word, every sound!
Read more about Apraxia here
To say MUM you need to have good control of your jaw and to move it up then down then up. You need to be able to put your lips together. To do this you need to be able to hold your tongue inside your mouth. You need to use your voice box. Most of us would never even think to consider these things, I know I never did before learning about Hman's diagnoses. Jump to now and watching jaw control and lip position has become habit and my husband and I are often found mouthing words so we can get a good feel of what it takes to execute it to see if it would be a good word for Hman to practice to add to his target words. His focus sounds at the moment are the bilabial sounds, being 'b' and 'p'.
I just have to say that MUM happened to be Miss M's (4) first word too!!
She was calling for me all over the place from as early as 8-9months Mum Mum Mum Mum till I was quite sure I'd go crazy if she kept it up. There was never any doubt over her speech development, which is why Hman's lack of speech was so confusing to me. I remember celebrating her first word by smothering her in kisses and gloating cause I had won that prized position being her first word. It felt good, as it does when your child learns any new skill. But I have to say on Wednesday the 27th of August 2014 upon hearing that sweet voice utter that little word with such purpose... my heart swelled. It swelled full of pride for my champion little man. Then it grew some more with awe at his incredibly fierce determination to communicate. It grew with hope, hope that he will overcome this hurdle and finally love, so much love till it felt like my heart might just burst into a zillion tiny pieces. But it didn't burst and break, like it has so many times before for my precious boy, this time it stayed whole. It was the hope that kept it intact.
Full of the love and pride and awe at the awesomeness!
Do you want to hear it?
I'm so proud that I just have to share. This video was taken the following day and I am pleased to report a full week later and he is still using 'Mum' when he wants me instead of grunting and pulling on me!
Isn't that just the best?!