You never know what early support will make possible in someone’s life. For my grandson, it helped him learn to speak.
This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!
My Grandson Has Autism but it Doesn’t Define Him
“I can’t believe how much Abel has grown since January,” I exclaimed. “And not just in height. His vocabulary has grown, his sense of humor, and he knows so much!”
“Right?” my daughter, Laura, replied.
“He’s told me at least once every day since I arrived that he loves me. He’s never done that before!”
“He says such heart-melting things. It’s hard to believe he could barely talk a year and a half ago.”
“What a testament to what early intervention will make possible for a child with autism.”
“I prefer to call it early support instead of early intervention,” she said.
“That does sound better,” I agreed.
Whenever Laura and I leave the house without Abel, we tend to talk about him nonstop or every conversation somehow comes back to him, his accomplishments, funny sayings, or sweet personality.
Laura has advocated for Abel ever since she realized his speech was delayed. She started him in speech therapy and sought a diagnosis. In addition, she spent hours researching and advocating for him.
And now? A four-year-old who only had a few words in his toolbox and didn’t know how to express his frustrations so adults could understand can talk and express himself with precision and creativity. He also knows the names of all the planets in our solar system (including the dwarf planets) and a host of other crazy facts about things that interest him.
Without that early support from speech and occupational therapists and a team of teachers at his developmental preschool, he wouldn’t have the tools to handle the vicissitudes of life.
What Will Hope Make Possible?
When Laura first found out about Abel’s diagnosis, things felt a little hopeless. But he had already spent several months in speech therapy and his progress gave her hope. You can read about her advocacy efforts on a guest post she did for me.
Hope, no matter how small, will make it possible to sort out the overwhelming amount of advice and information and come to an informed decision on how best to provide early support.
And that early support makes all the difference. Autism isn’t one of those one-size-fits-all sort of things, so not every child will respond exactly the same to early support. But every child will benefit from it. And the progress they make will make possible more progress.
It also provides a lesson for all of us. What difference can we make in someone else’s life by planting seeds of hope or providing early support in whatever journey they’re on?Hope makes things seem possible. Who can you share hope with today? Click To Tweet