I have to share this so please read on if you want hope on your Monday!!! I have never doubted my son’s intelligence or that of others with autism! And the saying, no two with autism are alike could not be more true! In C’s case, he is very connected with people, very sensitive, very emotional, looks us in the eye, flirts even… but his disability is his language, whether it be apraxia or autism…

About 4 months ago, C was given an iPad with GoTalk software (basically a speaking device for non-verbal people)… I admit I was skeptical at first. C is considered non-verbal, but he has language, he can communicate his wants and needs all day long. He won’t stop about “pizza” and “basketball!” But he won’t tell me about his feelings or what happened at school today. So I feared getting a speaking-device would hinder his use of the language he has. I was hesitant, even to the point where our teacher had to coax me to work on it at home. We were also “trained,” told to never take our child’s iPad away, it will be equal to taking away his voice! Never turn down the volume on your child’s iPad, it’s equal to not listening to our child speak! Hmm. I was soon convinced knowing that it would be the next step towards typing, writing, help with school work, etc. Ok! So I worked with it, finally. All I can say is WOW!…

About 2 weeks ago, we took C for dinner. Using his iPad, he ordered pizza. Ok, not a shocker, and he could have done it without. But still, cool! But as we were deep in conversation during dinner, C kept typing “I want to say something!” What?! You want to join the conversation?! Holy Sh*%! And he’d smile and giggle… and again, “I want to say something!”…

Last week, C came home after a few days away, went into his room with excitement for his toys and comfy bed, smiling, said (verbally), “Mom, I’m happy!” and hugged me! Again, Holy Sh^$! After more than 12 years, I finally heard my child’s feelings! He was happy! And he was smiling and beaming, and then did a little dance saying, “happy, happy, happy!” (*tears in my eyes*)…

Today, I picked C up from school, his teacher first told me there was an incident where C needed his headphones, noise and emotional students get to C. But… C used his iPad to tell his teacher he was scared! He has never expressed his feelings about the noise, we could only deduce from his cowering or tears or avoidance of noise. Today, he expressed the noise scared him!!! WOWZA!…

Ok!! Done!! I love this iPad. It’s been only a few months, or a few weeks of me committing to it! But incredible progress! I believe the iPad, even using it to talk, but without using it directly to speak, has taught C to express his feelings! I can’t tell you what this does for a parent waiting years and years to hear their child’s thoughts! Now… “I’m happy!” (*more tears in my eyes*)

So a new updated iPad is now ordered… and C requested a green case! ☺️

SOOOO much gratitude to his teacher for EVERYthing she does for him & the other kiddos, for recognizing C’s abilities and fighting for what C needs for his disabilities! For the others on his team who have stayed by him and pushed through the struggles… endless thanks from a mother’s heart!

❤️ #THISisAutism