Sonya Says DADA!

I believe this week was a turning point for Sonya. On Monday, Sonya watched our speech therapist with such focus as the therapist made the “la la la” sound, that even our therapist was surprised. Sonya moved her tongue back and forth, trying to understand how to emulate that sound. The “la la” game is one we play all the time these days. Sonya loves her little baby doll and will pretend it is her baby as she rocks it and sings to it. Our goal is for her to associate her baby with the sound “la la.”

On Thursday, however, Sonya was in no mood for speech therapy. It had been a long trek that morning down the CHC. Traffic on the West Side Highway was terrible. Sonya hates her car seat and complained the entire time. The only way I can soothe her these days is to put on Elmo’s World. She shouts with delight and shakes her fists wildly as soon as she realizes it is on. She even emulates Elmo’s laugh. I realize that I am the biggest hypocrite as I always judged parents who would stick videos in front of their kids to keep them quiet. But when you are stuck in an Uber for 50 minutes, and your baby is screaming her head off, Elmo’s World is a God send. I used to have a 5.0 rating with Uber. Almost unheard of. Sonya is quickly changing that.

Once we arrived to therapy, Sonya was very quiet. Her attention span was much shorter than usual, and for some reason, each time our speech therapist said the word “yes” Sonya would burst into tears. We couldn’t figure out why. But that night, while Sonya was fighting us putting her to sleep, she erupted with her first word “DADA!” She even pointed at Yan while she said it (although sometimes she points at her stuffed lion…) But it was the most amazing sound. I will never forget it. I caught it on camera the next day.

And while I was just slightly jealous she said “DADA” not “MAMA,” I can only blame myself. I recently bought the book “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA” given the many farm animal sounds in it.

Over the weekend, Sonya has consistently produced the “DA” sound, the “GUH” sound and the “NAH” sound. We can tell she is listening better too. She always smiles when you whisper her name and will listen and follow directions even when Yan is playing piano quite loudly in the background.

Such incredible progress this week and so proud of my girl.


Author: Missy Kvitko

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, I grew up in Minnesota. After graduating from Macalester College in 2004, I moved to New York City. For 10 years I worked in the field of public relations, representing professional services firms and financial services (in particular alternative asset managers) In 2014, my life changed dramatically with the birth of my first child, Sonya Rose. Born with severe to profound hearing loss. Sonya's care has become my full time job. It is also the best job I have ever had. My husband, Sonya and I live in Manhattan. Please feel free to email me anytime at, or find me on instagram (@mmkvitko) and twitter (@HearSonyaRose). Thank you so much for reading.

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