Other people noticed my son was different long before I did. I would become very defensive when people would question his repetitive behaviors. I was also in extreme denial about his lack of progress in certain areas of development. Once the munchkin was finally diagnosed with autism, I was ashamed of his disability.
Let’s face it, unless your child has high functioning autism or Aspergers, it can sometimes seem like no one really cares. The munchkin and I faced countless rejections from day care centers/ providers and schools with the most common complaint being “ he can’t talk” followed by “he doesn’t adhere to verbal instructions”.
At this point the munchkin and I started practicing some basic sign language so that he could communicate.
When it comes to some forms of autism, the spoken word can be a very precious commodity. It’s something a lot of parents wait years for.
Now, at the age of 15, the munchkin is using language and context to try to get me to give him things he wants.
“Mom, can I have fruit snacks please?” the munchkin now asks me. He has actually picked up on how to butter me up to ask for things he really wants.
He calls me “Mom”.
Normally the munchkin calls me by my first name prefacing sentences like “(insert my first name), come turn my light off please” or “(insert my first name), close the door please”. I really know I’m in trouble when he calls me by my last name only.
I tell the munchkin I love him often. For years I wondered what feelings if any, he had for me. A few days ago I noticed for the first time that instead of literally repeating what I said, the munchkin stated “mommy loves ME” and pointed to himself. Something registered in his brain the actual connection between us.
That moment and those words mean the world to me.
Please comment down below, is your child with autism a “late bloomer” when it came to being a verbal communicator? If so, what did/do you do to encourage communication?