The Importance of Video for our Children

We live in a state where technology surrounds us.  It is a part of all that we do. Quicker access to take pictures, and video, of our daily lives seem trivial to some.  But, as we are getting back into the swing of things, this state is not lost on me. In fact, I noticed something last night that made me pause. Something awesome.

In the middle of archiving a video that we shot a few weeks ago, I decided to watch it. Normally, I do not do this. I just drag it to the archive, wait for the prompt to finish and move on. But, I double clicked, and it played. Having some time, I decided to sit back and watch the video play.  I listened as my beloved narrated the scene, and watched as Zoey and David played.  Their laughter filled my ears.  I listened as Zoey ‘spoke’ with David about the tower they were building. Upon hearing this, I was startled. I sat up and rewound it. Playing it over and over again. With each repeat of Zoey’s ‘speech’ a smile broadened upon my face.
Zoey building a tower for the videoDavid getting ready for a video about building a tower

Why did Zoey’s ‘speech’ on the video cause me to pause?

I reference Zoey’s speech abilities with quotes here because, well. Let’s talk about that for a second. Due to the structural issues that Zoey was born with, due to her Craniosynostosis, things like eating and speech have never come easy to her. We have been thankful that David, since very early on, seems to be able to understand her, perhaps even better than we do.

But that is the thing. Kati and I can often understand what Zoey is trying to say. We live in this world where many around us look to us with a perplexed smile as they wait for us to decipher.  We roll with it. But, we often lose sight of the advancement she is making.  Watching this video, I realized that in just the last few weeks some astonishing advancements have been made.

It caused me to reflect to the other night.  After cleaning up the dishes from dinner, I handed Zoey a bowl of ice cream. As I stepped away from the table a sweet sound came from behind me.  My daughter saying, clear as day, “thank you daddy”.

Why the video we take is important to us?

The videos that we are capturing are not for vanity. They are to show us the steps that our children are taking. They are moments in time, forever captured, to show where they are.  Down the line, we can reflect at where they have been, and see the huge strides they have made along the way. These videos are the archive of our successes, and failures, as we teach our children how to…

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.


Speech time with Mr. Potato head. She calls that bag his pizza.

There has been such a marked improvement in her speech over the last month or so.  I think that it is partly due to the change in speech therapy as well as the advent of her little brother becoming more verbal.

Strange thing that we have noticed though… It is like her and her brother have their own language.  Kind of like the idioglossia that can be exhibited by twins.  They both CLEARLY understand each other.  This is to say that they do not have to be facing each other, one can call out for the other to bring something for some toy they are working on and they will bring it.  

Sadly this is starting to decline as the verbal readiness of both kiddos is increasing.  I am going to strive to get some of it on video to archive until they are older.

I AM A CRANIO DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and having kids that can understand each other, but that we cannot understand, is funny sometimes.

Cognition/Speech Assessment

Ever since Zoey was about four months old, therapists have been remarking on three common themes: she seems to be cognitively aware, advanced in problem solving skills, and inhibited in her speech/eating by a few physical obstacles.  This past year, Zoey has shown a tremendous improvement in cognitive, problem solving, and eating skills.  So much so, in fact, that she has flown through all of her therapy goals ahead of schedule. The two major age groups near her that have clearly defined benchmarks are at 18 months and 24 months. Zoey is days away from her 21st month. The good news is that, according to the charts, Zoey has already passed all major milestones that are considered age-appropriate for 18 months.  The harder news is that there is a huge learning curve before the 24-month list, which includes, most dauntingly, a 50-word vocabulary.

This afternoon we met another therapist named Nancy who tested Zoey in all three of these areas to help determine what sort of therapy and goals would be appropriate for her.  As I had come to expect, generally speaking, Zoey is well-ahead of her peers in problem solving, around age-level in cognitive and language skills, and lacking in her ability to create letter and word sounds. Although we will decide with a few other key players what Zoey’s final plan will be for this year, Nancy’s assessment suggests that Zoey would benefit from specific attention to speech therapy.  It also suggests that she no longer has any need for additional educational therapy.  I’m thinking we may be switching out an OT for a ST some time soon.

A huge benefit of Nancy’s visit for me was the recognition that Zoey’s language skills are not delayed, and that she simply needs some extra attention in forming the words she is trying to use.  It’s hard to know how long this therapy will need to continue, but I’m encouraged that, just as she has impressed everyone between her first and second years, she will continue to impress us with her persistence and growth between her second and third years.  She started with many obstacles against her, but at only 21 months, Zoey has already considerably narrowed the gap between herself and her peers.  I’m so proud of my little girl!