Three Year Wait for Two Little Syllables

Our little guy, Kyan, is being featured in the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center’s April newsletter. Here is our story:

Three Year Wait for Two Little Syllables

Kyan’s mom, Amy, knew something was not right by the time he was six months old. He never really babbled, never smiled, never made a sound other than crying or squealing. When all the other children his age were babbling, saying ‘mamama’ and ‘dadada,’ Kyan just sat and watched. By the time he turned one and still had no sounds, she started to voice her concerns. But everyone kept telling her, ‘His brother is talking for him,’ ‘He’s a late talker,’ or ‘He just doesn’t have anything to say.’ Amy knew in her heart that there was something wrong, but she pushed her mother’s intuition away and waited.

Right before Kyan’s second birthday, they started teaching him sign language. “As soon as he learned a few signs, he became a whole new kid,” Amy said. “He was no longer frustrated because he was able to communicate his wants and needs with signs.” At Kyan’s two year check up, Amy told the doctor he wasn’t talking. At first the doctor was not concerned, because he thought Kyan was saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada.’ But, he had no words, no sounds, nothing.

Kyan came to Columbus Speech & Hearing Center for a speech evaluation, which indicated he has Apraxia. Amy had done research and knew this meant it was possible Kyan might never speak. “I knew I might never hear his sweet little voice,” said Amy. “Our Speech Language Pathologist, Katie, assured us that it would be a long road but that she was positive we would get him saying words. This was music to my ears!”

Kyan has now been in therapy for almost a year and a half. “I remember the first time Kyan used his voice during a therapy session was to imitate ‘ah’ with his mouth wide open in a microphone, and to produce ‘baa’ when we played with sheep,” his therapist recalls. “His progress has been incredible.”

“From the very first session, I knew that Kyan would make progress quickly because of how motivated he was to communicate and how hard his family was willing to work for Kyan to be able to talk,” shares Katie.

Kyan still struggles with several letter sounds. The /m/ is one of those sounds. Amy remembers about eight months ago when he was able to say the names of everyone else in the family but could not say ‘mommy’ because of the /m/ sound. “I was known as ‘ah-ee’ for months,” says Amy. That is, up until a few weeks ago.

“Kyan climbed up into my lap and out of the blue said ‘mamam!’ I just about fell over! He just kept saying it over and over again…‘mamam,’ ‘mamam,’ ‘mamam.’ I was in tears, his older brother was cheering for him, and Kyan had the biggest smile on his face! He finally got it! That sound that he has been working on for months had finally come,” Kyan’s mom proudly explained. “He demanded that we immediately call everyone we know and tell them his new word! The very next day, he switched the ‘mamam’ to ‘mommy.’ Yes, I waited over three years to hear those two little syllables and I couldn’t be more happy to hear them now…over and over again all day!”

We still have a long road ahead of us, but I trust that with Columbus Speech & Hearing Center‘s help, we will get there!



  1. Sara Patton · March 31, 2010

    Wow Amy.. Incredible story, and what an ADORABLE child you have! Congrats MOMMY!!

  2. dgleason · March 31, 2010

    Amy–thanks for letting us share your family's story. It really helps bring speech and hearing problems down to a personal level that touches people's hearts. Wishing you and Kyan all the best! Dawn Gleason, Columbus Speech & Hearing Center, CEO

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