From Non-Verbal to Verbal

I decided to take a much needed nap yesterday while my baby slept.

You know that old saying…sleep when the baby sleeps? I was practicing that. For the first time in ages. Because my baby, well, he is giving me a run for my money in the sleep department. I thought my older son was a bad sleeper? Ha. The newest Swenson says, ‘watch this.’

Anyhow, I slept for two glorious hours. And I woke up to the most beautiful sound. One I had never heard before. One I had only dreamed about.

‘M-O-M?’ (Said slow. Each syllable pronounced as if he had to think about each one and he exact order.)

Silence.

‘M-O-M?’ (Louder. More determined.)

And then a response from my husband.

‘Mom is sleeping buddy.’

‘M-M-M-O-O-M!!’

My son was looking for me. He was calling out. He was wandering around because I could hear his voice getting louder and quieter. He was asking his grandpa and dad where I was.

Why is this such a big deal? I mean, my son is nine. He was asking for his mom like every other kid does a million times a day.

Except, that’s not the case for him.

My son didn’t say a word until he was eight. Not one word. Not even an attempt at a spoken word.

Cooper was nonverbal. We didn’t know if we’d ever hear words. And we accepted a forever without them.

But now he has some. He asks for a snack and help and socks and home and paper and cookie. He asks for school and his brother and choo choo shop.

One word at a time. Slow and deliberate. The effort it takes to say the words very obvious.

Not conversational. Not yet. Instead he asks for things he wants and needs. These are the things he loves. That’s how it starts I guess. Spoken language.

Most people can’t understand him. But I can. I know what every sound means.

It’s beautiful. It’s everything I have ever dreamed of. And honestly, if he never gets any more words I am fine. Because this is my greatest dream. Communication.

But I’ve always wondered what he thinks when I’m gone. Because without communication, a parent like me has no idea. Do our kids wonder where we are? Do they want us to come back home?

Yesterday, for the first time, I got my answer. One I didn’t know if I’d ever get.

Mom.

I lied there for five more minutes or so listening to him ask calmly for me. I couldn’t stop smiling.

He was talking. Communicating. Driving his dad absolutely crazy.

It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.

Find the joy in anything and everything you can.

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.

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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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