Autism and Waiting On Those First Words

Autism. That word describes so many people. So many…different people. Have you heard the saying, “If you have met one person with autism, you have met that one person with autism?” How true is that?

If you live on this roller coaster ride, that is autism, you know this to be true. You can’t talk to someone else about their journey, and expect yours to go the exact same way. You just take YOUR journey, one day at a time.

I had to learn this, the hard way.

“When did your child talk?” That was the one question, I asked every autism parent I met. I had several people say two years old. That year came and went. So did three. And then there was the lady that said, “You know, it’s possible he may never speak.”

That was the day I stopped asking that question.

Until my son, Carter, was around 4 1/2 years old, he was considered non verbal. This whole non verbal thing, was the hardest part of this experience for me. The heartbreak of longing to hear your child’s voice, is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Hearing your child’s first words, and having them ask you a million questions, seems like such a simple thing. Simple things, that so many people take for granted. I can’t tell you how many times, I prayed, cried, screamed, and begged God…for just one word.

Just one, “I love you, Mom.” I even asked that if he could just say it one time, that would be okay. That one time would be enough.

I don’t know why I needed to hear that, so bad. I guess I just needed to know, that he loved me. I needed to know, that I wasn’t completely screwing up, and that I was the right person for the job. One of the worst feelings in the world, is wondering if you are enough for your child. I went a very long time, thinking that it was somehow my fault.

Mother’s Day 2016, is a day I will never forget. I decided, I wanted to spend my day, with my three favorite people, doing our favorite thing. Hiking. Carter Rue is someone else in the woods. Out there he is just a typical boy, running, playing, and climbing. He’s calm and happy. Out there, there are no labels, and no diagnosis.

On this day, I received a present, that money couldn’t buy. We were hiking on a new trail, when we came across a small, Carter sized cave. He climbed inside, and laughed. His face lit up, when he heard his echo. He started saying different peoples names, and talking about pirates, and then he turned around, looked right at me, and said, “I love you, Mom.”

Since that day, my boy has made lots of progress. With the help of two amazing SLP’s, an AAC device, and lots of hard work, Carter is saying several three to four word utterances. This is just a part of the journey.

We face different challenges everyday, but I do feel like, together, we can do anything. I can’t promise I won’t have days when I want to give up, but I do feel like I am the right person for this job.

I feel like…I was meant to be Carter’s Mom.

Written by, Samantha Fawns

Her son Carter Rue, thinks he is a pirate. He also, happens to have autism. Everyday is an adventure, when you are a part of “Carter’s Crew.” Sam shares their journey at The Au-Some Pirate.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.
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