My son just turned four years old. As this day was approaching, one wish keeps nudging my heart.
I wish for him to talk.
I have high hopes; high dreams that this will be the year where he tells me how his day was. The year where he says mama. The year where I can find out why he is crying. Is it because something hurts? Or is it something else?
I do try to focus on the positive in a lot of qualities that my monkey has. He is a very affectionate little boy. He constantly wants to be kissed and hugged. If he gets in trouble, and we scold him, he will cry and right away wants to kiss and hug us. This is his way of saying he is sorry. He is also a problem solver. He loves to jump on his big therapy ball. But if we are busy and can’t hold the ball for him to jump, he will find a space that is tight enough and squeeze the ball in between furniture. He will jump away on his own.
But the non-verbal aspect sometimes just hits me very hard. I just finished attending the annual IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meeting at his school. One of the therapists was very detailed in her evaluation. She mentioned how he was very excited in going to the sensory room. He couldn’t contain his excitement that the teacher was having difficulty making him wait in line with the other students. I love to hear these stories. I love to hear the details of his day. But if I could, I would move heaven and earth to hear HIM tell me about his day. The therapist mentioned how he loves playing with the therapy ball in the sensory room. And how another student took it from him and my monkey didn’t get mad. He did want the ball, but looked for another toy as opposed to fight for it. This is an amazing accomplishment for any 4 year old. But more so for an autistic 4 year old.
Right now we are fighting to get a communication device for him. It is a very expensive device. But he is using one during his private therapy sessions and the results are amazing. We are also fighting this thru our private insurance. We need to convince the school district and the insurance how much this device could help him on a daily basis. For now, all we can do is keep being his voice.
The first time he used this device he was able to type complete sentences. There are different pages with nouns and verbs. The first thing he did was type the pictures to say “I want candy.” I was shocked that he typed complete sentences. Most kids would just press on the candy button.
I was also shocked to see he knows all of his numbers. He is able to put them in order from 1 to 10. I couldn’t believe it. And when I showed his teacher, she told me she was teaching him 1 to 3. Since he doesn’t talk, it is so easy for us to underestimate how much he actually knows.
Studies show that most autistic kids speak between the ages of 4 to 6. So I am hoping this is his year. The year where he will say Mama, or I love you. A friend of mine told me that the best thing to have is Hope. So here is to hoping this will be our year. ♥♥♥♥♥