Courtney was labeling pictures of the family one night. She said “dad”, “mom”, her approximation for “Courtney” but when she got to Alyssa she said “baby”. Whenever you ask her what Alyssa’s name is she says “baby”. Alyssa said to me during this moment, “mom she can’t say my name. Why can’t she? I don’t want her to call me baby.” I explained to her that her name is difficult for her to say. Her response was that she wishes she could say her name. I immediately sent a message to two of her therapists saying that I wanted it a goal to get Courtney to say an approximation of “Alyssa”. Alyssa will likely be Courtney’s caregiver someday and if she wishes her sister could call her by name, then gosh darn it, that will be our top goal.

Courtney loves pictures and loves to label things in pictures. She is doing this verbally more and more. So Courtney’s speech therapist recommended modeling “Alyssa’s “ name as much as possible especially when looking at pictures and yo see if Courtney eventually comes up with an approximation. It worked! She has come up with an approximation for Alyssa! She is saying /didi/ or sometimes /idi/.

Alyssa is thrilled but you can tell she is still trying to understand why it doesn’t fully sound like her name. What I was most excited about was bringing Alyssa’s wishes into deciding what Courtney needed to work on.

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