Truth be told, one of the hardest things about the last year has been watching Rowenna slowly slip away. Where she used to want hugs, seek comfort, imitate signs and sounds, we watched her retreat into her mind and didn’t know how to help her.
A month into therapy and two months into the school year we are starting to see some changes. We are incredibly lucky to have found both a school team and a therapy team that seem to be exactly what Rowenna needs at this stage of life. They are so respectful, so mindful of who she is and what she brings to the table. Her cheering section got a lot bigger in the last two months.
I am seeing things that make my heart soar. She is pulling back the curtain now and then to let us peek inside.
For the first time ever, I saw her point to something she wanted.
She has started signing “more” again to let us know she’d like to continue an activity. (“All done” was one of the few verbal expressions she had kept. She is quite good at establishing her boundaries.)
She put together her first two word sentence to sign “more outside,” standing patiently by our back door with her shoes and coat.
These things may sound little, but to us, they are a glimpse into what is on her mind. We are learning to be quiet and still to catch these fleeting moments.
We don’t know what the future holds. Maybe someday the door will open and we’ll be able to always know what’s on her mind. Maybe we will have these glimpses through the window. Time will tell.
No matter what the future holds, we will continue to find ways for Rowenna to have a voice.