first realized that our son was not just on the spectrum but had the
classic autism disorder I had to go through a form of grief. I had to
let go of the idealistic dreams and get real. Yes, our son can still
achieve many of those dreams through the Lord's blessing. He will
simply have a harder road to travel to obtain them.
Our son is considered non-verbal. At 3 years of age, he chatters like a
child of about 10 months of age. He doesn't connect words with their
meaning. One example being that he will say "da-da" continually
throughout the day, yet he isn't saying it to mean "daddy." It is
simply a sound he can say and he says it repeatedly. When I say a word
like "eat" to him, he knows it means that he will be eating something.
He cannot use the word himself though. For this reason, I have always
believed that we should never baby-talk around him. I read to the kids
each day and I speak to Micah as though he understands. I am also
signing to him often when saying simple things like, "Micah want to
eat?" or "Micah want to drink?" I feel it is important to fill his
mind with the words and to introduce him to the sign language. I use
hand-over-hand technique to aid him in signing one word responses in
order to teach him how to communicate in a non-verbal way. I am giving
One day in late September, we were blessed with a glimpse of the Lord's
grace in Micah. We were at a library and I had found a book about
Clifford the Dog. Micah loves his Clifford book that we have at home.
He carries it around with him and looks at it frequently through the
day. This particular book was one about Clifford being hot on a summer
day and his misadventures in his attempts to cool off. I showed Micah
the book and he came running to me very excited. As I turned the pages,
Micah was chattering in his baby babbling way. Suddenly, intermixed
with his babbling came the comments, "I like Clifford. Doggie wet.
Doggie funny. Doggie lay down". He was very animated and excited as he
chattered and talked. This lasted only a brief time and has not
happened since then. What a blessing however to see this glimpse of
God's working with Micah.
We know that the Lord has a purpose and mission for Micah in his life.
There will come a day when Micah will have much to say. His limitations
are only in the minds of others. With God, there are no limits to what
Micah can and will be able to do. I know in my heart that one day Micah
will be able to stand before others and give testimony to God's grace in
his life. That he will be able to share with others what he has been
able to accomplish in his life in spite of having autism and through the
blessings and grace of the Lord.