When Alison and Henry were small and just beginning to talk, we kept waiting for the "verbal explosion." All the books we read -- and we read a lot of books -- told us that one day the words would start coming as if they were never going to stop. But it wasn't to be. Neither Alison nor Henry were particularly big talkers; in fact, we were so concerned about Alison that we took her to a speech pathologist when she was just a bit past her second birthday. We had been promised a verbal explosion, a tidal wave of words, and we couldn't understand why we weren't getting it.