Have you ever hoped and dreamed for something so desperately that it consumes you?
It’s never far from your thoughts and always in your dreams, prayers and heart.
Even when you try to escape from it, it finds you. It’s in the questions and comments that you get the most. It finds you in the grocery store, at the park,at home and in the community. You see it in the curiosity of strangers and the loving looks of family.
My son Stalen is almost 6 years old. He is amazing. When he was 21 months old, he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He is non-verbal in that he doesn’t communicate with spoken words.
When will he talk?
I get it a lot. I wish I had a concrete answer but there just isn’t one. The experts and statistics paint grim possibilities with each passing year, there is no certainty in the answer about when and if my son will find his voice.
I struggled with this immensely. A verbal voice would change our world. I would love nothing more for my son to be able to tell me if he was sick or in pain, if someone was mean to him or if something is bothering him.
As time passed, my son slowly began communicating through gestures, facial expressions and body language. He taught me that there is more to communication than just spoken words.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned from him it is that there is no right or wrong way to arrive at a goal, complete a task or reach a desired outcome. Instead, there are many ways. The key is to be open and accepting to thinking and living outside of the box.
My son communicates differently and wonderfully!
He is finding his voice through an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. Since I have opened up my mind to communication, his world has opened up.
His personality shines as he uses his AAC device to ask for things, to make comments, to answer questions, to sing songs, to play board games, read books and tell jokes.
He is able to connect with family members who live far away and wish them happy birthday and to tell them he misses them.
I want people to realize that just because my son uses a device and communicates differently, he is just as capable as everyone else. It just shows that he is determined and unstoppable.