I don't think I'll ever be able to measure Rachel's cognitive capacity, yet I am almost certain that she understands much more than she reveals.
A couple of years ago, Ralph and I tried to watch the movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. We couldn't finish the film; the frustration of the main character with his inability to communicate resonated too closely with our perception of Rachel's being. It prompted our grief over Rachel's inability to connect with us.
Hearing someone speak or seeing someone use sign language is a gift. Both are not a part of Rachel's vocabulary.
Today, we went to Mac to discuss her feet and splints. The moment we walked into the clinic room, she looked at the ear/nose/throat tools, then looked at me - and scowled.
No words were necessary. Point made.
I talked with her, reassuring her we were going to only look at her feet - no tools would be used. She continued to scowl - but less so. She banged her hands on her legs over and over while I tried to explain the reason for our visit. When our doctor came in, she was quieter. I talked with our doctor about her responses, and she reminded me of most kids' first word: No.
Of course. Just because she can't speak the word doesn't mean she can't form her opinion - and protect herself.
Our kids' development continues to fascinate me.
Giving thanks to our Creator - and peace to your homes,