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THIS Makes It All Worthwhile

My Son is 7 years of age and has Autism, and this past week was a milestone that I’ve been waiting for ever since I became a Dad.

Most parents love it when their child starts talking, and that usually happens around 2 or 3 years of age.  Well, our son is just starting to take on the challenge of 2 and 3-word sentences.  Most of the time he has pointed at something and said what it is, for example:
– “juice” or “milk” means he wants a drink
– “pillow blanket” means exactly that – he wants his things so he can lay down
– “car” means that he just wants to go somewhere

There are a couple of dozen words that he uses to communicate what he wants, and over the past year, the pronunciation of those words has become easier to him.

Dialogue, that moment where two people converse, began this past year – but primarily with us asking the question and him repeating the word, or with him saying ‘no”.  A repeat meaning yes.

However, this past week was when two examples of dialogue happened – that wasn’t just a ‘repeat’ of what was being said.  These were moments that took his thought process from mental – to verbal.

In short – he created conversation – or at least participated in the appropriate conversation.

The first occurrence happened last week, while on the front patio of his grandmothers home.
A helicopter was flying low, and he asked, “what is that?”
His Grandmother answered, “It’s a helicopter.”
He asked again, “what is that?”
She answered again, “It’s a helicopter, in the sky”

He looked up into the sky, looking for the sound, then sat back down on the patio furniture.

This was the first actual dialogue where he initiated an actual conversation.

I was proud to hear about it, but also a bit bummed I wasn’t there.

Then over the weekend, as I was tucking him in with his ‘pillow/blanket’ I said, “I love you, buddy”
He responded, “I love you [pause] Dad”

The appropriate response….

While other dads are playing ball with their son or heading out with a group of 6-7-year-old boys to an after game moment at the local pizzeria… having conversations about what tv shows, games, and baseball or football….

My son said he loves me, and that’s what makes it all worth it.

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Joel Manzer
Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!
Joel Manzer

Joel Manzer

Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!

0 thoughts on “THIS Makes It All Worthwhile

  • That almost made me cry. My little brother has severe autism and at 18 years old, isnt very far ahead of your son verbally. I never get to see him as I live in NY and my family is in GA, but that made me miss him like crazy. It’s the little things that mean so much.

  • As a mother of a son with autism, who waited years to hear those words from him, I have to say this post brought tears of joy to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it.

  • :: tears up ::

    I remember the first time my daughter responded ‘I love you’ without having to be prompted. It was such an emotional moment for me and I had to just say good night and turn the light off like usual when all I wanted to do was grab her in a big hug and say thank you. But that would have scared her so we stuck with our routine.


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