Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There's A Lot Going On Upstairs or What's Going On With Della Part 4 of 4

Let's (finally) end this series of posts on a high note. Here are a few examples of the serious progress Della has made recently...

The past 2 weeks Della has been "babbling" which means she has been vocally producing a consonant-vowel (CVCVCV) pattern. At first I thought it was something she had stumbled upon and wouldn't be able to duplicate it later. But not only has she been "talking" all day everyday she has added gestures and intonations that mimic speech!  Della is able to consistently (although not always on command because she "doesn't feel like it" because she is a stinker) produce reduplicative (same CV pattern: dadadada) and variegated (da-ma-be-ga-buh) babbling sounds. I caught her new trick on video last week...

If you made it to 1:30 in the video, you also can see another major development demonstrating her strength and balance.

Della "gets it" when it comes to using things around the house. Here she is doing her best impression of an average 13 year-old girl (minus the diaper of course)...


Here's Della "playing" (in her mind) the Wii with Uncle Devin. She used to be content sitting on the lap of whoever was playing the video game (preferably Mario Kart) but last month she wised up and started demanding an actual controller...


She tucked her baby doll in for a nap and then decided to she also wanted to lay down...

Della likes to help me clean but she requires her own rag. She also likes to wear eye-protection, just not on her eyes...

I made her clean all of the splatters off the wall from various foods she has thrown. She didn't seem to mind her punishment...

These are just a few examples showing that Della is understanding the world around her. It proves that she is capable of higher cognitive functioning. She is doing the things that toddlers do, from tantrums over food to mimicking conversation to wanting to do things that big kids get to do. We need to take some video of Della using her "Talk Box" because it's pretty amazing how well she can work it. She can navigate from the home page to the food menu, ask for yogurt, then go back to the home page only to pull up a new menu where she tells me she wants to watch "Fantastic Mr. Fox."

I'll end with a picture of Della in her favorite spot...

In spite of all the frustrations we feel over tantrums, and the exhaustion we experience carrying her around, and the fact that she pulls Archer's hair at least 5 times everyday, we love Della sooooo much. Sometimes I get the impression that people think I have some kind of extra patience/goodness/strength or some other special skill. I assure you that this isn't true. I am the same as everyone else. Imagine how it would feel to have a handicapped child. I know it is an uncomfortable thought that we tend to shy away from, but go ahead and put yourself there for a second. That is exactly how I feel. Now imagine all the care that your child might need from you in those circumstances. Would you deny them of your time by not putting in the hours it takes to coax any kind of communication out of them? Would you let them cry it out after a night terror wakes them up at 3AM because you didn't want to get out of bed? Would you leave them in front of the TV all day everyday because it would just be easier? OK-sometimes I do let her watch more TV than I should but my point is, I am not doing anything for Della that you wouldn't do for your own child. We all struggle and sacrifice both as parents and in our everyday lives. My struggle just happens to be one that is more obvious than other people's. I promise you, I gripe and laugh and worry and have fun just like everyone else. I don't ever want to give anyone the impression that I think I'm better than anyone else. I am not trying to put up some perfect but false image of my life. I am just writing as honestly as I can about my experience hoping that another mother, especially those who have a special needs child can understand that the emotional ups and downs of life are normal and that they aren't alone. Overall, life is good and we are truly blessed. We are happy even though sometimes things are hard. Just like everyone else.

6 comments:

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

I love the goggles.

And hurray for the Talk Box! I'm so grateful that we live in a time when things like that are available.

Bartlett Pair said...

This one made me cry. I just LOOOVE how Della is touching Archer's life making him an extra special big brother to her. Also, I know you have got angel wings waiting for you in heaven girl. Thank you for touching OUR lives <3

Science Teacher Mommy said...

I was amazed at how much I was able to love my own children. Even in the best of circumstances, little ones are incredibly demanding. Somehow, miraculously, it is in the most mundane service for our family that we learn true charity. Our kids transform us. When I meet moms of special needs kids, that transformation is deeper and more profound. It must be God's blessing for the truly great work you are undertaking for him. I am blessed for having "known" Della, but even more for having known her mother.

Marissa said...

So cute! The video reminded me of Seth and Aubrey, they do that alot too. Yes, she even pulls Seth's hair. :) So excited for Della. Keep up the good work, girl!

Beth said...

Loved the video! What a sweetheart Archer is. He is the best big brother.

Love the goggles too,
Thanks for sharing your children with us.

Amy said...

Archer is such a great big brother. I know that with my kids, they don't realize the extra amount of care, of self control, of kindness, or compassion that they are learning and giving. It is a blessing to all.
I am so glad that I have always had you to be in cahoots with.

Love Della! Love you! Love how Chad has become this amazing father. Love Archer and all he is.