Sydney would grunt and I would point. Do you want this? She would grunt again, this time much louder. Is it this? This? My heart was breaking because Sydney couldn’t communicate verbally with me.
Now the screams would start. She wanted yogurt, not pancakes. She was looking for something else. But, I just didn’t know what that was.
The next option was sign language. The only sign we seemed to use was “stop”. I kept thinking this is not turning out the way that I imagined. Next, I used pictures and symbols. If I was frustrated, I can only imagine how frustrated Sydney was feeling.
I noticed that I could learn how to communicate with Sydney by watching her eyes and body movements. I began to know when she was hungry and when she wanted to engage with others. There were many nights that I prayed that she would express her feelings. God, why won’t she just talk?
Her expressive language began to develop. Sydney was understanding everything we were saying to her. She just needed wait time to respond. I remember on a frustrating day. I yelled at Sydney. “Just tell me what you want. Use your words Sydney!” I hate myself for saying all of those things that I shouldn’t have said.
At six years old the words began to flow from her mouth. I searched The Bible for scriptures where Jesus healed the lame, blind and sick. Surely, he will heal Sydney. These scriptures gave me hope. That’s when I began to trust God’s will for Sydney’s progress.
Sydney earned a reward last week. She picked having a sleepover with me. That night I found myself saying something to Sydney that I never thought I would say. “Sydney, can you please stop talking?”
She wasn’t using echolalia. She was making the grocery list, naming people from Michigan and naming dead relatives. She told me a story about an Egyptian princess, the pyramid, snakes and The Nile River.
I was in shock. Sydney and I were having a conversation. Something that I prayed years for was happening. She was leading the conversations and taking turns responding. I immediately had to get my praise on. I praised God. I recalled a scripture that I focused on when battling infertility. Whose report will you believe? I will believe the report of The Lord. Sometimes you can’t listen to the report of others, family, friends even doctors. Believe God’s report for your life.
Sydney was on a roll. She said, “I need to call Robert Copher.” Bye Felicia!
Tomorrow’s blog: Copher’s Community Takes On The Mall