The Big Elephant in the Room

Recently, my son Stalen and I were getting groceries.

The cashier was super nice and began talking to me as she scanned our stuff. She also tried to strike up a conversation with Stalen.

When he didn’t respond to her she asked me if he was shy.

I quickly told her that he has autism and is non-verbal.

She asked, “will he ever talk”?

I felt myself cringe and I could feel the lady in line behind me leaning in. It wasn’t the question that bothered me, it was the answer.

How do you tell a complete stranger that you don’t know if the little boy smiling in front of her, the little boy that you love more than anything in the entire world, will ever find his words.

There’s a real sadness in not knowing and an even stronger sadness in the possibility that language may never come.

I told the cashier, “I sure hope so but we just don’t know. I believe it will happen”.

Stalen was diagnosed at 21 months on the autism spectrum.

No matter how many times the question is asked, it doesn’t get easier. It is a reminder of the big elephant in the room-my son is non-verbal.

He doesn’t communicate and has no words.

The big elephant follows me everywhere I go.

It is at the grocery store, the bank and the post office. It is at the swimming pool, the playground and the park.

It comes up at baby showers, family dinners, holidays and special occasions.

It weighs heavily on my mind every day and every night when I’m trying to fall asleep. I can’t blame people for being curious and asking.

Before I had my son, I did not know anyone or had never met anyone that was non-verbal. If I had I would have been curious as well.

Stalen is 4 years old and has at best two words (Mom and Dada) and neither are consistent.

He might say Mom 3 times in one day and then never again for a week or a month.

He cannot respond to questions and he does not point. We have one year left to work hard on communication before he is scheduled to begin school.

I have no idea if my son will ever talk.

The experts and professionals do not know either. Trust me, I have asked…over and over and over!

It is as unknown as the weather. We won’t know if he will ever talk, until he talks.

We have had tests performed. It has been confirmed that nothing physical is preventing S from verbally communicating. His brain just isn’t cooperating and it kills me.

But…

I AM SO HOPEFUL.

I believe that my son will talk.

His little voice will be amazing and his curiosity will shine as he asks me questions about everything. “Why Mama?”

We will sing horribly and loudly in the car and he will tell me silly jokes and riddles.

I dream about him finding his voice weekly. It is a beautiful, amazing, dream every time and it enables me to hang on a little longer.

When you love some one so deeply, you never lose faith. You never stop believing.

I can’t wait for my dream to come true and I can share it with all of you.

Until then, we will keep hoping and believing-trying and pushing forward.

HOPE ON.

JOURNEY ON.

Written by, Chrystal Venator

My name is Chrystal Venator. I am a proud wife, ASD Mom, and Step-Mom. In January 2017, at 21 months my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is four years old and non-verbal. Since his diagnosis, I have become a full time stay at home Mom. I am 1000% focused on raising autism awareness and helping my son live a full and fun life. Follow our journey on Facebook at Stalen’s Way.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

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, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

21 likes
Prev post: Why is he the Hardest One?Next post: The Battle of Perfectionism with a Physical Disability

Related posts

Join Coop’s Troop
Join Coop’s Troop

Become a Supporter of Finding Cooper's Voice and join our online community, Coop's Troop. Membership includes Facebook Lives with our family, giveaways and more.
JOIN NOW

More Than a Caregiver
More Than a Caregiver
Support That Matters
Support That Matters
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
100% of the proceeds go to helping caregivers
About Me
About Me

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!

READ MORE

FindingCoopersVoice
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
Sign up for Finding Cooper's Voice
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS