Do you hear what I hear?

hear You think I have the wrong photo.  A story about hearing should have a picture of an ear, naturally. But listen… listen to my girl. Listen to her speak.

You will hear her at age 2 and a half.  There are very few words but tons of expression.  You will see that she is thinking. She notices there are cows in the book. She notices that she’s wearing cow pjs. She says ‘eeeez’ for cheese and lots and lots of MAHM (mom) for filler words. She’s in there, and she knows it.

You will hear her at age 4, after 2 years of therapy.  You will hear me prompting every response and you will hear her answer awkwardly but correctly. One-word answers, but with joy. Lots of new words in 2 years. ‘Neigh-neigh’ for horse and purple and Bubba could possibly be the same word… but it’s what she can do. It’s inarguably progress.

And now, she is 6. She speaks like your average 2-year old, but we are MILES, states, and continents from where we started. She has different, distinctive vowel sounds and a regular rhythm.  She is so, so very far behind her peers… but she is moving forward.

It is music to my ears. The difference is stunning. Perhaps you have to have lived through the last four years of therapy to hear it. Perhaps, just maybe, it doesn’t sound like much has changed. I get that. But hidden there in the effort and the smiles and the consonant-vowel-consonant combinations… hidden there is something I have not heard before.

It sounds like possibility.

reading a book (age 2 and a half)

talking about her horse (almost 4)

reading a book (age 6)

doing her vocabulary words (age 6)

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

14 responses to “Do you hear what I hear?

  • Missy

    Well, now, I’d completely agree- progress and possibility and a giggle about the “pot”. Wish I could hug the both of you for all your hard work.

  • Jen

    Yeah Rylie! Way to go!!

  • Karen VanStright

    Great post Kate! Thanks so much! I forwarded it on to Colleen so she could see the progress as well.
    This girl is amazing! So thankful!

  • Julie T

    Yay! Congratulations to Rylie and her whole family. What a lot of time and effort! We lived through years of therapy and I get it. I also recognize the running commentary. I feel like I interpreted/narrated Nick’s life for years. 😉 Good work!

  • Mandi Watts

    Beautiful progress! So proud of Rylie and of you!

  • Christy

    GO RYLIE! She’s awesome! I LOVE her crossed legs when she’s reading…looks like a seasoned teacher:)

  • Tricia

    Oh, I think her progress is obvious and AMAZING! I couldn’t help cheering for every word as she went through her flash cards– great job, Rylie! And I was giggling when she kept turning her head to see what her daddy was doing in the kitchen… I have the same response when I hear something that sounds like a chip bag being opened. 🙂

  • Kalee G. (Mrs. G)

    GO RY! This is an incredible post. Your little Ry changed my life in the short amount of time that I was with her. Can’t wait to see her and hear her speak in February! Thanks for all you do for her, you’re an incredible mom 🙂

  • Kalee G. (Mrs. G)

    p.s. I see the little TEACHER in her 🙂

  • susannah

    yup. this made me pretty teary sitting here at my desk at work. great work all around!

  • renee

    My 6yo is on an almost identical path – thank you for sharing Riley’s progress & making me stop to look at all of our successes, not only think about the frustrations.

  • MC

    She is so incredibly beautiful! I love her sitting there reading like a teacher with her legs crossed…thank you for sharing these.

  • Amy L

    Rylie’s path is not a quick one but she has such determination – and parents that are standing behind her – trusting in Him! Good stuff. Love it all. Nice to see the work is working.

  • Margie

    This is just so – great. The progress is so obvious through the videos. I just KNOW school is so fundamental here – her teachers, the bus, the daily lessons. Bravo for working so hard to get her in and finding the right adults and friends she can grow with. You and Curt were the parents she was meant to have. (And I couldn’t help but love the peeks of your house in the background – would that I could see more!)

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