Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Autism: A Speech Milestone

We all know that coping with speech issues can be a priority issue for most families living with autism. Getting these kids to repeat words can be a milestone, never mind having them utter a spontaneous sentence. Nolan shared some spontaneity back in September that prompted me to post this short article.

Since then his speech has been getting better, and he has been repeating a lot of things we say. He's also been doing a great job of responding to different questions we ask, and his replies have been quite appropriate. But getting him to just say a sentence is something we had yet to experience. Until today.

We wait for the bus with Nolan and his sister about a block from our house. Since its been getting colder, we've been standing by in the idling, warm Jeep. Nolan knows when we see the bus turn up School Street toward us, it's time to unbuckle and get outside. Usually, we have to ask him, "Is that the bus, Nolan?" He will of course, answer, "Yes."

Today was a shock. A big, in your face, exciting shock. As the big yellow tube headed for us, Nolan said most assuredly, "Look, I see the bus." Now, some of the words were garbled, and he dropped a few consonants, but he said it all by himself! No prompting. No questions asked. Since Mom and I were both reading, we hadn't even seen the bus for ourselves yet. This was all Nolan. And it was wonderful.

Who knows when the next sentence will happen? I don't even think I care. To me, this says that he has an excellent chance of "making it", to overuse a phrase. Whatever...we're proud of him.

Good stuff, huh?



Trish said...

How awesome! Hearing stories like that still make me tear up because I remember how it felt, and how I still feel when my little guy does something new. Enjoy every minute of it!

Deanna said...

AWESOMENESS Jon! I'll never forget the first time Jimmy said "I love you Mommy", using every word. It was the greatest feeling. And watching his speech abilities grow since then has been wonderful.
So happy for you!

Rachel said...

It's wonderful that Nolan is taking his time with words (which means he's taking care of himself), and wonderful that you appreciate these moments that he can stretch and reach a new milestone! It sounds like he's making very good progress navigating between the autistic and NT worlds.

From my autistic perspective, I know how hard it is to switch from thinking visually/associatively to verbally/linearly. It's an effort for all of us. With your love and support, it sounds like Nolan is integrating different ways of thinking and relating. Not an easy task, but he sounds like he's coming along fine.

Jon G said...


Thanks for this! We're excited by this while at the same time, things happen that discourage us. It's like that, isn't it? One day up, two days down?

Never could the accusation be made that we have been BORED!!!


Jon G said...


Nolan is saying "I Love you", but we fear at this point it is nothing more than a motor response. Nevertheless, he gives hugs, headbutts and loves to squeeze --- all at what feel to be appropriate times! So we'll take it knowing our son truly does love us. the words would be nice, but we don't NEED them!

Jon G said...


Your comments are always beautiful to me. To me, hearing from "the source" is the best perspective! I am so happy you visit my site and am honored when you comment. Please come by often.


Anonymous said...

Very good!

Jon G said...

Therextras, You can say that again!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon, and thanks! I'm glad you're here sharing the journey with all of us.