Silence isn’t Golden

“It will get easier when he talks,” said my mom, to me, a first time mom.

I’m rocking my crying newborn and googling reflux, colic, and “breast is best.”

“It will get easier when he talks,” said my mom, to me, a slightly concerned mom now.

Zachary is barely making milestones on time.

The doctor ask, “Is he rolling from his back to belly yet?”

“Almost!” I said, trying to convince the doctor and myself.

And sure enough a month goes by and he does!

I assure myself God is testing a new mother’s patience.

“It will get easier when he talks,” said my mom, to me, a former emergency room nurse.

If this baby was brought to me in the ER  to assess I wouldn’t be checking off these milestones …

Zachary is 9 months old.

He is not pointing, babbling, or able to tolerate any food that isn’t stage 1 baby food.

But he is flapping his hands and screaming “Ahhh!”

I have already looked up red flags. I show them to my husband.

I’m told numerous times my baby is fine.

“He makes great eye contact.”

“He is still so little.”

“He is a boy…it takes longer for them to do things.”

“It will get easier when he talks,” said my mom, to me, a fatigued mom.

How many hours can I stay up at night and google?

16 months old and he still isn’t pointing.

16 months old and he still isn’t babbling.

16 months old and still can only tolerate baby food.

As every month passes by the list of missed milestones keeps piling up.

My mom doesn’t say “It will get easier when he talks,” anymore to me, a proud special needs parent.

Zachary is almost 5 years old and has nonverbal autism.

Zachary is pointing now.

Zachary is making purposeful vocal sounds now.

Zachary’s favorite foods are granola bars and fruit.

My mom wasn’t wrong though…

It did get easier once we gave Zachary the right tools to communicate.

It started with pointing and I thought wow!

Then some sign language was added…

All done.

More.

Book.

And I thought I was finally getting a glimpse into Zachary’s mind.

Now a communication device using his iPad.

Life changing for us as a family and Zachary!

I didn’t realize how badly he wanted to communicate until he started “fighting” with me using his device.

“Zachary we are going to speech therapy today,” I would tell him.

He grabs his iPad and tells me “playground.”

“Playground.”

“Playground.”

“Playground.”

I think to myself this is what my mom was trying to tell me.

I don’t have to guess anymore.

Zachary can tell anyone what he wants…

“Pizza.”

“Trampoline.”

“Mom.”

All with his communication device.

Silence is not golden.

Being able to communicate basic needs is everyone’s basic human right.

Communication difficulties is a small piece of the puzzle to autism.

But it’s a piece that makes it easier to see the whole picture clearer.

Written by, Melissa Owsiany

I’m a nurse, wife and mom to two wonderful boys Zachary, who has autism, and Landon.

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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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