My eighth child is so silent, we've had her ears and speech evaluated. It turns out, if you exhaust all genetic possibilities, you do occasionally get a quiet kid.
This does not mean she is docile.
Like the Mighty Sphinx, she sits in her high chair and points at that which she desires. Her loving loyal subjects, (all the older kids adore her), scramble to meet her silent wishes. I have taught the olders how to prompt speaking. Offer her a choice. Show her the choices and ask, "Do you want Milk? Or Juice?" She waits and watches as these simple servants of hers repeat the question solicitously.
Eventually, she wearies of the demand for a decision and renders her judgment with a single point.We try this same technique with every meal, with toys, with clothing and with activities. Do you want to read a book or color? Would you like a shower or a bath? Her response is always the same, quiet indifference until she finally deigns to let us know what she wishes.
The other day, I served ice cream to everyone and she dropped the pretense. Her eyes bugged out. "Ice Cream." She refused to surrender her cup when she finished until the last trace elements of her dessert were gone and this was just plain Vanilla bean. We asked at several intervals, if it was good and got nods, smiles and even a rare "Yes."
Handing us the cup, the Queen put her fingers together contented. Then she realized, she'd been talking with the plebeians and went back to the stony "I shall not be moved." stance by shutting her eyes and turning her head away.
It took all my mom discipline not to yank her chain by asking, "Hey Baby Girl, do you want some more ice cream?" Who knew frozen dessert could thaw the ice princess? Next week, I'm going to really get her, I'm buying Rocky Road.