No Excuses

So our favorite Early Start person, Dawn, came to visit on Wednesday and we talked about Laelia’s language development. And let me just start off by saying that Laelia is as smart as any other gorgeous baby genius out there, but we always wonder when she is going to decide she wants to say some words. She only has a few words with meaning: Ut oh (when she wants you to pick up something she dropped), Ah (when she wants you to put something in her mouth) and occasionally she’ll say Cat or Gaga (her designations for everything under the sun).   :)

Dawn informed us that Laelia will have some language delays (when pressed she gave a guess that Laelia will start saying 10-20 words around six months from now), and these delays are due to her arthrogryposis (with amyoplasia) making it impossible for her to fully explore her world. This is the concept of kinesthetic learning: that things must me experienced and touched in order for babies to learn about them. A baby needs to play with a ball and see a ball and manipulate the ball in her little hands in order to easily say the word “ball” and associate that with any real meaning.

But that doesn’t mean she isn’t right this moment banking mad vocabulary! Dawn asked her to grab her toes and she did it! Then Dawn asked her to hand me the dolly and she immediately worked towards getting it and shrugging in my direction (her way of handing something to me). She understood us! I was amazed at all she knew!

I am glad Dawn came and alleviated my fears. I was so worried that Laelia wasn’t getting enough language learning while I was at work. I work at a Deaf owned and operated publishing company that sells Deaf Culture and American Sign Language-related products.   I do a bit of interpreting for Deaf associates as well.

Okay so all of the above is a lead up to my story with the hairdresser I’ve entitled, “No Excuses!”

Ah hem.

So I got my hair cut the other day (which my husband failed to notice, but that’s another story), and went to one of those cheapy places because of our new ridiculous budget. The gal doing my hair started the traditional questions about my life including how many kids I have. I mentioned Laelia’s name and age as usual. She asked if Laelia could speak much yet, and I mentioned that she wasn’t talking much and it was hard on her sometimes because she would get frustrated when we couldn’t understand what she wanted. (A normal parental complaint, or so I assumed.)

Then the lecture began.

Apparently I have NO EXCUSE for not communicating with my child because there is Baby Sign Language out there, and ANY baby can communicate all of their needs through signs. I mumbled something noncommittal and tried to change the subject. Nope. Sign Language was the answer to my dilemma and not teaching this to my baby fell somewhere between ignorance and child abuse.

(As an aside: I very much tried to teach Laelia a few signs. We even adapted them for her. So for example the sign for “food” was done at her tummy because without biceps she can’t reach her mouth to perform the sign correctly. But her arms are not going to be what she relies on in life. And a language involving body parts she doesn’t have, no matter how badly I wanted her to learn Sign Language like her mommy, will not work.)

So I broke my long-standing rule of not mentioning her disability to people who I have brief encounters with. I talked about her disability, the joint contractures and the loss of muscle, and how that effected her arms and legs. So actually Baby Sign Language won’t work for us. There. I had an excuse.

“Have you tried taking her to the doctor?”

What?!! That’s your response?! Haven’t I tried maybe taking her to the doctor to get this little problem fixed already? My “excuse” for not learning Baby Sign Language was not good enough yet. Accc! :)

So in conclusion, we took Lali to the doctor and got her arthorgryposis fixed, used an air pump to fill in those missing muscles and taught her Baby Sign Language and now she has no problems communicating.   :)


The memory of this conversation is still making me laugh. :)

3 Responses to “No Excuses”

  1. Geri says:

    I like the skiing accident response It is funnier and you can LOL for a long time after.
    Thanks for all the pictures and videos

  2. Linda Wesley says:

    “Have you taken her to a doctor?” You are kidding me!! “Actually, no. We diagnosed her with this disability that you could not pronounce, let alone spell, all in the comfort of our own home. We never thought of taking her to a doctor before! What a great idea!” Seriously. PS, I like that you can be angry and amused at the same time.

  3. Laelia Sky » Blog Archive » Abortion says:

    [...] want to revisit my experience with the hairdresser for a moment. (You know the hairdresser, right? The one who cut my hair all cute and then my husband [...]

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