But, the first sentence of this post is somewhat misleading and inaccurate. Elijah does communicate. No, he doesn't talk and doesn't use many gestures, but he definitely communicates. If I really think about it, he communicates a lot.
Here's the thing, Elijah has said things before. He said "moo" once when I was telling him what a cow said. He has said Mom a couple of times when I walked into the room (and I think he calls me "Om" at times). When he was under a year, he would say "laboo" in response to his dad saying "I love you." He tells us he wants milk by saying "mmmm" during meals. While I can't say that he has words, he does communicate.
I really do believe that Elijah understands a lot - much more than he is able to give back. And in these recent months, Elijah is finding his own way to voice his opinions.
Just a few things that Elijah does to communicate with us…
-During a meal, if he wants more of a desired item, he will open his mouth big. If he doesn't want it, he will glue his mouth shut (nothing is getting in there!)
-He's starting to touch his highchair as if to tell me, "Yo mom, I'm really hungry. Do you think you could get your butt over here to give me something to eat?!" (Hmm, I think I need to teach him some respect for his mother, don't you?)
-If he wants to go outside, he'll touch the door (as in the above picture). Or he'll walk around screaming because we're not letting him out or we're not doing it fast enough. He's the king of temper tantrums.
-He waves to tell people hi or bye. Inconsistent, yes, but it's happening when Elijah is willing. Sometimes all it takes is a "tell so-and-so hi" and he'll immediately wave. Other times, he acts as if he doesn't understand us (it's just the beginning isn't it?).
-If he likes something, such as having his toes tickled, he'll ask for more by standing by the person who was doing the desired activity. He'll run away (because this boy never sits still), but he comes back and asks for more by standing and waiting for the person to tickle him again.
-The newest development is mimicking. I can't even begin to explain how exciting this one is. Mimicking is one of the first ways we learn – and it's a form of communication. Crazily enough, one of the first things Elijah mimicked was galloping. Then he shook his head. Then he waved. Now, he's doing all of those things on his own - because he learned them (AWESOME).
Elijah's most recent development happened a couple of mornings ago. Andy and I both stood on one foot and told Elijah to do it too. He just looked at our feet and ran away. We grabbed his hands and tried again. Our feet went in the air and little man's foot slowly but surely left the ground to copy us. "Good job Elijah!" we said as Elijah smiled and then did it for us again. "He did it!" we said to each other with absolute joy on our faces. "He copied us!"
It's amazing how a small act, such as lifting a leg, can produce such joy. Communcation is huge and is really more important than spoken words. Irregardless of a person's abilities, many people communicate in their own way. Sometimes you have to pay more attention or give someone a little extra time, but communciation is usually there if you look for it. Don't assume that just because someone cannot talk they don't have anything to say.
Do we get to hear Elijah talk? No, not at this time. But, we continue to believe that he will speak to us. When the time is right and with God's help. He will.