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For Moms of Nonverbal Children

Some children with autism can talk.  Some cannot.
These are the children with a language we cannot decipher
They communicate differently
Yet they are called nonverbal.

Their moms try just as hard,
Use just as many therapies,
Research just as many options
And still – their child cannot talk.

These moms yearn to hear their child’s voice.
These moms daydream about what their child is thinking.
These moms think “someday I’ll be able to ask him”
These moms anguish when their child is in distress and can’t say what is wrong.
These moms wonder what their child’s inner world is like.

I know these moms feel pangs
When they hear us moms of verbal kids complaining,
When they read my description of yet another conversation with my son.

Is it enough to say
I have a glimpse of what you must endure
When my son can’t say what he wants
When my son can’t tell me that he’s had a sore throat for a week
When my son can’t tell me what happened to him yesterday
Is it enough to say
I feel your pain
though I have only a glimpse?

We cannot compare our kids
Or, better, we should not compare our kids
It leads to more grief
But know that I understand
Even when I’m sharing yet another useless anecdote
Even when I’m trying to compare my apple to your orange
I get it.

Though I wish it were different
Though I wish I could help

Is it enough to say
I know

It’s hard
Here’s my shoulder?

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0 thoughts on “For Moms of Nonverbal Children

  • I know what you mean about the comparing!  My son has echolalia and we took a Speech class with several other moms and children the same age – some of which were not speaking at all.  Some moms thought because my son was speaking, he didn’t have any reason to be there. 
    I resented their judgments.  My son repeats everything he hears.  Just like them, I have not had a spontaneous conversation with my child, and my heart aches to hear ‘I love you, mommy’ or him singing a song just because, or for a neighbor kid to knock on the door to see if my son can play. 
    Our child’s diagnosis may not be the same, but our circumstances are!
    Thanks for the blog.

  • I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    We are Producing a Mid Summer TV Special on Autism, starting with Autism Tomorrow and
    the Autisable and the Autism Communities.

    Perhaps, with your OK I could create awareness for the Blog subject you just wrote.


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