Gaithy can make all the noise she wants, more so while on the vent, but can make some while off. Still, she only knows "Da Da," and she is over two years old. I've seen Jacob sign, and it IMPRESSES me so much. I WISH that Gaithy were able to do that, which is kind of the opposite of what Shari is wanting. I guess the ultimate situation for our kids with trachs is that they could do both (sign and speak) so that they could optimize their communication abilities. Gaithy only communicates with the word "da-da" (which she only says straight to my husband), and with gestures--like reaching up for someone to take her, bouncing up and down when a therapist comes in with a big exercise ball (she knows that means she gets to bounce!
, and other stuff like that - no rocket science yet!! I find myself thinking that she just isn't smart enough to sign. That's a terrible thing to say, but it seems to be true - BUT then again, we don't really work on it, and I know it takes a lot of work, as some have told me this. Honestly, it is all quite frustrating, as we all know! Gaithy was without voice for most of her life until this summer. She had some granulation tissue removed and we thought that would cure it all. Still, it was a few more months before the voice came loud and clear. So, we were very grateful to finally have it!! Anyway, this doesn't really answer Shari's question, but only attempts to relate in some way. I'm hoping Jacob will vocalize soon as well!!