Monday, 16 February 2015

My Lipreading Toddler

When I see my daughter looking at me when I speak, I see myself. No, I'm not talking about her physical appearance. I'm talking about her looking at me. Confusing? Read on.

They say that the eyes speak into the soul of a person. In this case, I caught her lipreading me. Lipreading. Oh my. Is that what I look like when I'm lipreading others? If so - I had no idea I looked like I was in deep thought! Then again, I am using up an enormous amount of energy just to understand what's being said.

Rachel is 15 months old going on 3. I swear by it. Her vocabulary has ridiculously expanded since she started uttering her first words at 8 months old ("All gone!"). As part of that, I recognize that lipreading is a very common way for toddlers to pick up language skills. I just had no idea how intense it could be! Whenever I read a book with her (she'd rather read a book than play with her stuffed animals) I'm acutely aware that I need to give proper enunciation and clear speech. Most people know that I mumble, a horrible habit to have as a HOH!
My little bookworm!

But dude. It's exhausting. I love the fact that she loves to read and talk lots, and that is in turn like speech therapy for me. Here's an example of this morning's conversation:

Rachel: Book! Book! Book!
Me: Which book do you want to read?

We end up finding her favorite book, by the Priddy Publishing Company, called 'Colours, ABC, Numbers' - For the bright baby. It's her absolute favorite book and it comes with all kinds of everyday items shown in great sized photos. 

A favorite read in our household. It's a great way to teach Rachel about everyday items!

Me: Can you find the Clock?
*At this point, Rachel isn't facing me, she's facing the book - so I've got to really pay attention to what she says*
Rachel: *Points to the clock*
Me: Can you say "clock"?
Rachel: Clock! (I wish I had this on video, because her enunciation of this word is awesomely clear)

That's just a small glimpse of our daily conversations. I find that the more I talk to her, the more I understand her - although there are times when she'll start babbling away without looking at my face. Those are tough, and admittedly, I do question if she's trying to tell me something that interests her - and hopefully she doesn't think I'm ignoring her intentionally (and I'm not!).

Rachel's communication skills are amazing for such a young child. She seems to get a grasp that both mommy and daddy need to look at her face in order to understand what she needs. Although after talking to other hard of hearing mommies, this may get challenging as she gets older and more fidgety. I'll just hope for the best and pray that she continues her strong, independent voice through her vivacious personality.

Rock on, lipreading, rock on :)

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