Non Verbal or now I suppose they want us to say non speaking, it doesn’t really matter both terms are confusing and don’t convey understanding to those outside our world.
This is one of the hardest parts of autism for me to come to terms with. Not so much the fact that she can’t speak but her inability to communicate her feelings.
My daughter is a great non verbal communicator. She lets you know when she is not happy about something. There are ways she can tell you want she wants. She gives lots a clues, can answer yes and no, make choices and once in a while can even Verbally give an answer. These are great strides for her.
She had come such a long especially in the last few years. Her communication skills have grown so much. She has word approximations, words, and even a few phrases.
She will try to say anything. She has apraxia and the world often come out unclear, with sounds transposed, dropped and difficult to distinguish.
I try my best to understand her. In context I can usually figure it out. Out of context It is much harder.
I hate that she can’t communicate when she is upset or something hurts. She tried last night, she tried so hard as I was hugging her and trying to calm her. She kept repeating four words and they were unclear to me, I couldn’t even guess what they were. It was apparent that she knew what she was saying.
That disconnect is so frustrating. My chest squeezed so tight imagining how that must feel. I began to feel tears coming and I held them back so she didn’t get more upset.
I am her mom and I want to help her and understand her. This most difficult part of this life.
The never knowing and always wondering what could it be is so hard.
The fear and anxiety of missing something because she can’t communicate these things.
This is why I will continue to work with her, teach her, and push her to communicate in anyway that we can.
I will never give up.