Another area we are really encouraging is music. As a musician/music teacher/performer myself, of course I absolutely believe in the importance of music for children from a very young age as a supplement to their learning and a vital part of their development. However, in Meagan's case in particular, I see music as absolutely essential to her growth. We have always sung to Meagan from infancy - when we weren't sure if she could hear, we would sing... and see her tilt her head and be interested. When we weren't sure of her vision, we would sing to her....and see her eyes begin to track the toy or item we had been holding. When we weren't sure of her speech, we would sing to her or play music for her - and she would suddenly be babbling and yelling right along with it. From early on, I could tell that somehow music was speaking to her - in ways that typical speech and other developmental tools weren't reaching her. Somehow her brain was connecting to music and producing skills that according to her scans, should be absolutely impossible to obtain.
I started to sing everything to her. What we were doing. Where we were going. Words. ABCs. Silly phrases. Even things like "yes" and "no" and "go bed." Everything was to a melody and last Fall we saw her speech start to emerge. Several of her doctors were amazed, as the speech part of her brain was quite damaged - but one of them said to me... "this is going to sound crazy... but I think she is accessing speech through the music center of her brain." I just smiled. It didn't sound crazy to me at all!
So this whole year Meagan has been immersed in music whenever we can. She is constantly sitting around when I am teaching flute lessons, or practicing for a symphony concert. Likewise she hears her sisters practice their violin or flute and soaks in everything. She seems to enjoy the violin more than flute (seriously!?? How is that possible!? :) ).... but I think it has to do with pitch. I think the pitch of the violin is much more comfortable for her head (sorry Megs). Whenever Reilly practices, we typically see this: