Follow by Email

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Power of Words


I have spent my life, since the age of two, buried in words. Whether it was a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a novel, a Dick and Jane book, the back of a cereal box, or making a list of words to memorize for school, I have been devoted to words since I was 2 years old.  

I was just bantering on facebook with a fellow Autism Mom who said that her son said that he wanted to watch a movie on Netflix.  He said "movie".  This is huge. Huger than huge. It's monstrously huge. He said the word, "movie".  I understood the enormity of this one single word. This seemingly simple act of speech.  To a parent of a neurotypical kid -- a "normal" kid --  big deal, right? So he said 'movie'? Big whoop! This is so, so big to her. To us.  And yes, "we" own the victory in our community because we love each other and we are family.  When one of us has a victory, we all share in it; if one of us has been injured we all feel the pain.  That's what perceived difference does to a group.  You bond closely and immediately together.  What's interesting though is once you are in the group, it's not about the difference, it's about what makes you similar to one another that bonds you and makes you strong as an allying force.  

Back to my Facebook friend.

Her son speaking the one word: movie.  Such a seemingly small thing in the "normal", everyday world. Not our world.  In our world when our child, or children with autism, is able to concisely tell us exactly what they want through speech, through words, it's a day of celebration.  It's a day of cupcakes, and parties, and banners and tears.  That's the side of autism that I love actually.  I never take those seemingly simple things for granted - ever.  

A few months back Rascal #2 was walking down the stairs.  He's always walked one at a time, stopping at each one with both feet and then taking another step, stopping again, then taking another step, and so on.  His footing is not fluid going up or down the stairs. It's always step, step, stop.  One day, I was behind him as we went downstairs and he just walked fluidly down the foot after the other... without any thought... right on target developmentally... large motor kicked in... coordination was perfect and he was confidently doing it.  I froze watching him in those 14 steps as tears ran down my face. As they are now as I type this.  As they did when I told his Daddy about it.  He was 6 years old when that happened.  

It hasn't happened since but that's okay because we were so blessed that it happened once. 

I just checked back to her thread about her son and now lots of posts are on there also celebrating her in son's communication.  I'm in tears again.  If you were to walk up to someone on the street and say "a child went to his mom and said 'movie' and a bunch of her friends were cyber high fiving her and wanting to throw a party for him" 99.9% of those people would think we were nuts.  I'm really happy I'm in the .1% that would know immediately why we were partying down.   Today was a hard day for me.  I was hating autism today as much as I was hating my brain tumor and that is saying a lot.  Thank you NeeNee for helping me see the beauty in ASD again.  Big love my friend.  Big hugs to your guy....


  1. <3, <3 U, <3 Warrior Autism Moms, & <3 ing Life!! Renee (NeeNee Renee-Rissmeyer Schuyler from FB ;-)