And so another December has begun and Christmas is almost upon us once again. There is something so special about this time of year with the fairy lights, and Christmas carols, children’s nativity plays and the joy of giving. The awe of little children’s faces as they open up a gift that was so wanted, wether it be from Santa or family. That is what parents long for and why families will go to extreme lengths to see a smile on a child’s face.
But what if you have a child who can’t ask for anything? What if you have no idea what they would like because they struggle so much to communicate and play with so little?
Six years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. An I am still waiting to hear him speak.
I want him to argue with me. Shout at me ‘no’ and tell me he is angry.
Because that would be words. And it would be beautiful to hear.
I want to hear him singing little children’s Christmas songs, making up words when he can’t remember them and laughing at the silly versions I sing back to him.
Because that would mean he understands. And that would be beautiful.
I want to be able to take him to a Santa’s grotto and hear him list of a spiel of toys and games he would like even if it would break the bank to buy him them.
Because that would mean he knows toys are for playing with and has the ability to choose one over another. And that would be beautiful.
I want him to have a part in the school nativity and practice lines with him until I could say them in my sleep.
Because that would mean he was included like all the other children and he would be just like them. That would be beautiful.
I want to take him to a toy shop and hear over and over again ‘mummy can I have, mummy look at this, mummy my friend has this and it’s brilliant, oh wow I never knew you could get that’ and so on.
Because while other parents find that annoying and frustrating it would be music to my ears. Words from my child would be beautiful.
When someone gives him a gift I would love to hear his little voice say ‘thank you’. When someone offers him extra pudding I would love to hear his little voice say ‘yes please’. That would be my Christmas dream come true.
To have him say ‘can I have this dvd on mummy’ or ‘I want lifts’ when he hands me the iPad on you tube would be wonderful.
He once said ‘mummy’. I was so excited I put a status on Facebook and wrote an entire blog about it. I had to wait over fifty days before he said it again. That was over a year ago and he has hasn’t said it since. I thought I heard him say ‘on’ two months ago when I did a huge amount of intense interaction with him. If it was a word we have yet to hear anything like it again.
They tell me we need augmentative communication now. In other words we need to lessen his frustration by using pictures, technology and sign language. These are all good. But I still just want to hear my baby boy’s voice.
I hear him cry. I hear him scream. I hear him whine and make baby noises. I love his giggle and I treasure his ‘ahhh’s and ooooh’s’ that does when he is happy.
But all I want for Christmas is to hear his voice.