Sydney, I Know You Can Talk


Sydney has autism but autism doesn’t have Sydney. I have to keep telling myself that when I think about everything we have been through.  Every autism parent has their own wish for their child. Some want their child to speak, to be potty trained, and to improve their social skills. The list goes on and on.  Don’t mention the mental health aspect and the aggression of autism.

I always felt that Sydney could be successful if she could have her voice back.  Talking about Disney and princesses was her way out.  I can remember the first time she said I love you mommy.  I love to hear her call Harrison or tell him “Wake up brother.” Since we have been in Delaware she has learned all of her relatives names. I love the fact that she still remembers and asks about her family back in Michigan.

When you meet Sydney you can have a conversation with her.  Just remember to give her some wait time to answer.  Last week when Sydney woke up at 3:30 am she came to my room and said “Wake up sleeping beauty.”  I told her it was still nighttime.  She stood over my bed and said “breakfast “.  I still didn’t answer. Then she said “time for breakfast”.  I still didn’t answer.  I wanted her to make the request in a complete sentence. Finally she said, “Mommy I need my breakfast please.”

I learned many things from that interaction.  If I had gotten up by responding to her saying “breakfast”.  I am reinforcing a one word response.  I know she can talk in complete sentences.  She can order her ribeye steak, sautéed spinach and potatoes with ease.  She even says ” with a little pink”, when it comes to preparing her steak.

Another situation happened last night.  We just made it home after a long day.  Her bag was downstairs.  She went upstairs to prepare for bed.  In the past if she wanted something. She would scream at the top of her lungs.  Then I would run to her and play the guessing game on what she needed.

I head her call “Mom”.  When I answered her.  The next reply melted my heart.  She said, “Mom, I need my bag please for bed.” The joy in my heart was that there wasn’t any screaming. She communicated in a complete sentence. This may seem small to you.  But Harrison and I both looked at each other and smiled.

I’ve had to wait a long time for some of Sydney’s developmental milestones.  When they occur, it is a reminder that you can never give up and believe in the impossible.

What will she say today?



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