1. The Love - I believe these words were motivated by Ian's love for particular people. He saw how happy it made Justin and I that he could say "mom" and "dad" to us, and he worked hard to make others in his life happy by saying their names too. He now says Dia (his sister, Lydia), Bapa (grandpa), Gaga (grandma), Noah (his best friend in 4K), Niki (his EC teacher), Em and Al (aunts Emily and Alyssa). There's still plenty of family and friends to learn - hopefully by next year he will be able to say many more!
2. The Want - There's no better motivator than just plain wanting something. Though whining, pointing, and signing had been working for the most part, Ian has learned to say the words that can express what he really wants. I believe the first one was "Bobby", which is shorthand for SpongeBob. After that he said "iPad" and "DS" (as in Nintendo DS) - his two most-requested objects. Next, we started working on asking for things with a full sentence, and last week he mastered saying "I want _______" and then signing "please". That was a big break-though.
3. The Mimic - Ian is both lucky and unlucky that his sister is a little jabber-jaw. She started talking early, and once she started, she never stopped. She overtook him in the speech department easily, but the upside is that he is now copying some words she says. If Justin or I leave the room, Lydia usually follows us, yelling "Wait! Mommy! Wait! Daddy!" After a few weeks of her doing this, Ian suddenly said "wait" one night as I was walking out of his room at bedtime. Now he tells me to "wait" almost daily. His words for his grandparents (bapa and gaga) were actually coined by Lydia, and he copied her in saying them.
|A brief moment of brother/sister love|
The best part of all is that Ian is becoming more conversational with his speech. He says "What?" when you say his name, and "I do" or "I do not" when you ask him something. My hands-down favorite though, is "you too". When I drop him off at school in the morning I say "Have a good day" and he says "You too". I say "I love you" and he says "You too. Bye Mommy." It's not the full "I love you" that I've been waiting to hear for almost 5 years, but for now it's close enough, and I cherish it every time he says it.
Here is a little video of him showing off his words: