She tries to speak, but her body won't listen...so my daughter must fulfill her human drive to communicate in other ways. How would you do it?
Through sign language, grunting, pointing, screaming and "approximating" (sounding out words as best she can), she gets what she needs. The larger challenge, however, is understanding and expressing her feelings, motivations, abstract thoughts.
While we focused on teaching her to "look into our eyes" and "properly" play with dolls, she taught herself to read and write (with some help, of course, from phenomenal teachers and therapists). How lucky we are that we have access to technology that can serve as a surrogate voice for this expressive, nonverbal 7-year-old.
Often, it's still easier and more satisfying for her to stage a tantrum, but slowly we are uncaging our daughter's inner voice.
Perhaps the words never will readily flow from her mouth, and that's okay. That's not really where words come from anyway, is it?