Language Is Something So Many Take for Granted

As I sat on the floor beside the bathtub last night, I had a full on back and forth conversation with my daughter.

Language is something so many take for granted it’s something I took for granted before I had a child that didn’t speak.

If you would’ve told me that my daughter would speak her first word at five I would’ve thought you were crazy.
But at five years old it was the first time my daughter spoke.
And today, my daughter is a couple of months shy of her 13th birthday and truly talking up a storm.
I’ve said it before it’s as if the world has opened up and makes sense to her now. Watching her read signs as we drive by or listening to her ask me questions is a feeling that can never fully be described to someone unless you’ve lived it.
There were some fundamental factors in my daughter, speaking first and foremost, her hard work and dedication. And I’ve spoken many many times about Jackie, Kya’s Speech language pathologist. She was instrumental in this process not only for Kya but for me as well.

And truth be told I am not sure where we would be without her.

Jackie taught me how to talk to my daughter and not at my daughter and not for my daughter. Those were some hard lessons.
And even now I give her the time she needs to process what I’m saying in order to answer me.
I vividly remember asking Jackie if Kya would ever speak and she said I don’t know Jennifer. I wanted answers, but nobody had a crystal ball and I couldn’t be given the reassurance I so desperately needed. But what she did give me was a foundation to build on and support that I had never received before.
Autism is one word, but a diagnosis that is very vast. I have learned more in Kya’s twelve years of life than I have in my 50.

Watching her grow every day and listening to her language, and how far she has come is truly incredible.

A calm has come over her and it is unexplainable, but that calm has allowed her mind and body to relax and I truly believe that calm has brought her a peace she’s so desperately needed.
Keep talking my girl mama is right here, listening and waiting for every single word you speak.
Written by Jenn Dunn of Keeping up with Kya
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Jennifer Dunn

My name is Jennifer Dunn, I am the mother of a 12 year old girl with autism. Kya and I live in Vancouver, Canada. I work full-time and manage her therapies. I co-host the Table for Five, No Reservations podcast and write about our journey at

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