July 09, 2014

We Used to Fear He Would Be Non-Verbal

It wasn't until last year that the Little Man started speaking sentences, and even then, only we could understand him (and only sometimes). That's not so much an autism thing, but an apraxia thing. I mention it also because not a lot of people, including professionals, know about Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). It's a motor-planning speech disorder. Therapy helps, but it will never go away completely. It means, for the most part, he understands very well, but his body is not reliable when trying to express what is in his brain. The whole body type of this condition is called dyspraxia, which he also shows symptoms of. In fact, I often believe his apraxia/dyspraxia is more challenging to him than autism is. It is quite a double-whammy of communication challenges.

Anyhow, we were at some point very concerned and thought maybe he would never be able to make himself understood verbally. With lots of speech therapy, he went through a huge leap in development and now speaks TONS. I have yet to capture one of his amazing monologues on video (he tends to get shy around cameras) but I can try to capture his more verbal moments by writing them out from memory.

Here are two recent events where he got really excited and the words just came flowing out.

I took him with me to the garage to get the tires changed:
"I love this place! We need these tires! We need these...things! (Those are rims) We need those rims! (Those are too big for our car). Oh we need these ones. What are those? (Those are windshield wipers) Look at them! They cost $150. (No, those are 15" blades) Oh my GOD! There are magazines here with monster trucks! I love monster trucks!"

I took him to his great-great aunt's house for her birthday:
"I love your place. I love your door, there's a flower on it. Oh look, you have a table. She is in this house again (This is Aunties' house. She lives here). It's your birthday. I made a blueberry cake for you. You need to eat it now! Eat it, eat it! You want to share with me!"

LOL. This kid cracks me up and I enjoy every moment. Believe me, after being silent for so long, we never tell him to stop talking. 

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