Little Miss Adorable, Speech, Language and Swear Words

Little Miss Adorable

Little Miss Adorable has the very low muscle tone of most babies with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).  She is little, floppy, and does not say much.   All Little Miss Adorable’s muscles are affected by the chromosomal deletion that is PWS, including the muscles used for speech.  Little Miss Adorable is a veteran of Speech and Language therapy, and starts to speak in clear phrases as we approach the door of her Speech Language Pathologist’s (SLP) office.  Otherwise, her speech is pretty limited.

Little Miss Adorable had an NG (naso-gastro) tube for feeding (a plastic tube that went into her nose, down her throat and into her stomach) for the first six months of her life; she could not co-ordinate her muscles to suck on a bottle (breastfeeding was completely out of the question) .

At the age of 4 months she should have been making cute cooing noses and smiling.  She was smiling, but would look at you and blow raspberries through her nose.  Everything she does to communicate is slightly different than typical kids her age.  But she does communicate.  And she sure understands everything said to her.

Now we try to follow the advice the SLP is giving.  We are told to ‘hold back’ and wait for Little Miss Adorable to use her words.  So we wait.  And wait.  And Little Miss Adorable points.  And smiles.  And points.  And looks at us like we’re idiots.

Little Miss Adorable communicates, just differently.  When we first enter the room for playgroup, she waves ‘hi’ to everyone there and smiles broadly.  She says ‘hi’ so quietly only I can hear.

I have been working on getting her to say ‘play doh’ for just over 8 months now.  She can say ‘play.’  She can say ‘doh.’  Can she put them together? No.

At home and at the readiness centre I hold a chunk of play doh out of her reach and annunciate very clearly:

“Want play doh.”

She says, “Ya.”


She looks at me like I’m stupid, “Ya.”

I try to give her the instruction to say the phrase (which you’re not supposed to do) “Can you say ‘ I want play doh?’”

She says, “Ya,” and holds out her hand.

I give her the play doh.

I did this every day for 8 months.

At the beginning of this week Little Miss Adorable was going through the craft drawer and rooting through stickers, string, and crayons.  She found a can of play doh.

She turns to me “Open it.”

Her speech is really not clear, and I was distracted, so I asked her, “Do you want crayons?  Do you want to colour?”

“No, play doh.”

YAY!  I picked her up, gave her a huge hug and opened the play doh.  I told everyone her new word, and yes, it only took 8 months.  I was so proud of her.

Fast forward to today.

Imagine my morning: two dogs with upset stomachs, dog puke on the floor, dog pee on the floor, dog poop on the floor.  Hubby and I clean it up.  I get breakfast ready, drop a wad of paper towels on another dog pile, and try to get ready to leave.

I’m holding Little Miss Adorable on my hip, and walk into my bathroom.  Garbage and kitty litter strewn across the floor.  Strangely, my toothbrush has been encrusted in kitty litter.

The word escapes my lips – “Shit!”

What does Little Miss Adorable say? “Shit!” and gestures violently.

I am dumbstruck.  Wordlessly, I escort the two sick dogs into their kennel so I can clean up this next mess.

As I shut the kennel door, Little Miss Adorable says, “Bitch!”

She must of learned that one from her father.  I swear it.


About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
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12 Responses to Little Miss Adorable, Speech, Language and Swear Words

  1. Asparagus Girl says:

    When I was 11, our next-door neighbours had an adorable little baby girl named Sarah. When Sarah was about 10 months old, her ashen-faced father told my mother one day (in my earshot) that he & his wife probably needed to clean up their language.
    Reason: Sarah had knocked a toy off her high-chair tray that morning. Stone-faced, she leaned over the edge, glared down at the toy on the floor and growled, “Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus Christ.”
    I still crack up laughing when I think of this.
    For my part, my mother realized I was an early reader when she had me out for a walk with my baby brother. I was hanging onto the handle of the stroller, aged 2.5, toddling along, and saw the F-word in bright orange spray paint on the sidewalk. As I stepped over it, I read it aloud. My mother didn’t know whether to swat me or be seriously amazed & proud. I believe she opted for both. 😀
    Good luck with Little Miss A. Remain stone-faced (if you can) at all the new cuss-words she will now unveil for you. 😉

    • Angela says:

      OMG – LOL!!! I love that high chair story! For you, I hope your mom was proud of your early reading. For me, as it turned out I laughed out loud at Little Miss Adorable, and then told all the staff at the readiness centre about her new words! (beats the heck out of ‘play doh’)

      • Asparagus Girl says:

        Yeah, every time I think of the high chair story, I picture the kid with a big cigar in her mouth. Just kills me every time. 🙂
        My mum had mixed reactions to my being so smart: partly it was neat & she got “bragging rights,” but I think she found it very threatening too. :-/
        You should teach LMA to say “Oh, PLAY DOH!!” when she’s mad. My best friend says “Oh, cheese-and-crackers” (really!) when she’s ticked off. :))
        (However, when it’s just us adults, much different story… swearing contests… hheheh… I win… 😉 )

      • Angela says:

        In my house swear words are like the air – my Scottish Hubby makes Gordon Ramsey look like Mary Poppins. My 4 y/o would say “Bloody Hell” at 20 months (he had no idea what it means). We don’t notice the swearing in Billy Connolly either. Now that my son is in Kindergarten he comes home and tells Hubby to stop using bad words!

      • Asparagus Girl says:

        Hehe. That’s the downside to living alone — my “potty mouth” goes unchecked (maybe I should borrow your boy for a few days!).
        Tonight I had to have a stern talk with myself about checking to make sure my car window was closed BEFORE calling someone a “f*cking d*ck-smack!!” in traffic.
        And I look like such a nice young lady. 😉

      • Angela says:

        LOL – wish I was walking by your car for that one!

      • Asparagus Girl says:

        You would have seen my eyes sticking out of my head & my hand clamped over my mouth. I have many days where I look at the “speech balloon” going out and think, “Oh man, this is not going to end well!” Lol

  2. Dylan says:

    Oh my goodness, you have such an adorable little girl! She’s so precious.
    A very good friend of mine has a little girl who has a bit of a speech problem. She’s also been in therapy and she still goes from time to time. She can’t go regularly due to financial constraints.

    Like Little Miss Adorable, she seems to have a bit of a hard time putting certain words together…
    BUT…if you say ‘love’, she answers ‘you’ and if you say ‘miss’, she answers ‘you’ as well.

    The oddest thing though is whenever we say ‘ask’, she says ‘hole’ and we think it’s because a certain friend of ours said the word ‘as*hole’ once and she somehow picked up on it, LOL.

  3. So funny! Of course she picks those up quickly! LOL

  4. Mimi says:

    Fascinating and funny post. You have your hands full, but you take it stride. What a mom! You write very well, too. Nice.

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