It’s funny Alyssa has always been non verbal . Although she has always made plenty of noises and sounds ; non verbal does not equate quiet as one may assume .
In recent years she has picked up the ability to repeat and mimic a lot of sounds .
At times it sound may like a word but it not necessarily purposeful .
In the past year and half she has gained many words , some clear others not but I can usually figure it out through context , but not out of context.
She also has what we call the word of the week . It’s a word or phrase that she will say repeatedly. She will say it over and over through the day. It’s almost like she’s practicing , or like hey I can say this . It is possible that she likes the way it feels and it also may be a verbal stim.
I think she has tried to say words for a very long time . It makes her so proud that she can say them sometimes.
Her word of the week this week is Lulu , that is her nickname . She wakes up saying Lulu , Lulu over and over and over 🙃 . I will not complain because for so many years all I wanted was to hear her say a word .
It’s great she is learning to say words . So so wonderful , after so many years I did not think it would happen.
As great as it is my goal for her is communication . I want her to be able to communicate her basic wants and needs, to let us know if something hurts or how she feels .
Alyssa is prompt dependent . It is so hard to get her to initiate anything . It is so frustrating but I can’t push her to hard because she gets really overwhelmed .
Although she doesn’t use her words to communicate , unless prompted she has started doing something new lately .
I’m sure there is a professional term but I’m not sure what it is . She will sometimes label things .
She will have a popsicle and walk around saying popsicle over and over . I don’t know if this is just practice or this is a new skill .
It is moving forward either way . Saying a word any word unprompted is huge 😊
Last night we were watching Tv and Alyssa walked by and I wasn’t really paying attention ~ This is one of the hard things because I am not used to her trying to communicate verbally .
She stops and says candy not 100 percent clear but you can make it out if you really listen . She is standing in front of one of the easter baskets with Hershey kisses .
It finally clicks that is what she is saying and I say you want candy ? She nods and signs yes .
So I say ok how many pieces one or two …. ( I always have to push my luck 😊). She says two and then takes two . Uh what just happened ?!
She said candy unprompted and then said two and actually took two . She used her words to communicate !!!
I get so excited . She is turning 24 and still progressing . This is a big deal . Her doing anything unprompted is a big deal .
Even though it’s only one word she is breaking through a barrier .
It’s amazing ❤️
The hardest part with autism is
It is so unpredictable . A new skill can emerge and then disappear as fast as it comes . This has happened many times before .
It is hard to always have your guard up . I try to keep myself from getting too happy . I can’t do it this is all I have wanted for years .
It warms my heart so much ! The smile on her face when she succeeds is everything. She tries so hard and never gives up .
She truly is my superhero .