“Look at them. They act like it’s so easy. Connecting with another human being. Don’t they know it’s the hardest thing in the world?” … Taken from the final episode of Dexter, Season 5.
I had to write about it. That line got to me. Dexter does not have autism. He does, however, have some deep emotional issues. For those of you not familiar, he is a serial killer killer. Yeah he kills serial killers. Check it out if you like.
I know I said before that Jay doesn’t talk but we’ve been working so incredibly hard on getting him to use his words. He started (not consistently) saying “hi” about a month ago. It’s actually gotten more and more common to hear him kind-of say hi as he awkwardly waves. I’m hesitant to talk about it though because about 8 months ago I really thought he was saying the word “eat” and I started telling everyone we know. He then stopped and I haven’t heard it since. No-one but his OT and I heard it. All the people I told probably think I made it up. Maybe I was just grabbing straws and I started hearing things. Maybe he really was saying it and then stopped. Who knows.
In any case I think I’m ready now to tell you that my Jay is saying the word “hi”. I’m over-joyed. It’s such a simple word and is so easy for most kids to say but for my boy it’s incredibly difficult. Not just the act of saying hi but also the reason we use it. We use it to initiate conversations with other people. To acknowledge that other people are around and we see them and want them to see us. We use it to SOCIALIZE. I don’t mean to yell at you. You, afterall understand what I’m trying to say here.
So here’s the big part of the story … We went to the park yesterday and Jay randomly went up to perfect strangers and awkwardly held his hand up and said HI!!!!! He then ran off to the next unsuspecting person. They all smiled at him and said hi back. I wanted to hug each one of them. They don’t even know it but in their own way they are helping my son to learn what it’s like to make a connection with someone. Had they shot him a “weird-kid” look I would have been crushed for him. But not yesterday. Yesterday all was well in my little world.
I’m a mom in heaven. Once again it’s the seemingly smallest things that have the biggest impact and make us as moms feel like our kids can conquer the world. That one small word makes me realize that all the therapy, and repitition and work is not in vein. It propels me to keep working, to keep working for more small progressions. One tiny word today … One pre-k chatterbox tomorrow.
Oh … you haven’t really met Jay yet. Well here he is … Hi World!!!