Noah’s regular speech therapist is on leave right now, so he had a sub yesterday. I was frustrated because she spent the 45 minutes playing with Noah instead of doing his usual mouth work and verb cards and things. (We’re hoping to have his regular therapist back in a couple of weeks, so this therapist is just trying to stay on his good side.) Well, in the course of playing with him, she gave him three dogs. When he picked up the littlest dog, he said “baby.” I couldn’t believe it. We haven’t even practiced “baby” yet, we’re still working on one-syllable words, of which he only can say about 20. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but he has been repeating it back to me since then. I’m ecstatic, because not only can he say the word, but he associated it with the smallest of three objects, so he is definitely assigning the verbal word with appropriate meaning. He really seems to thrive in new environments and in communicating with different people. This was just a good reminder to me to not get stuck in thinking he’s going to have to learn everything by a lot of repetition. He is starting to learn simply by exposure as well. So it happens, just not as much nor as fast as with a typical child. The idea that the only things he is going to learn are the things I am very deliberate and intensive about is a bit exhausting, so learning by exposure is good, it’s very good. I love reading to my children, but seeing how he picked up the word “baby” seemingly out of the air is good motivation to me to keep on reading about a variety of topics to him. I’m so grateful that the next thing on my “Must Do” list is something fun!