During my morning walk, I encountered a teenage boy with autism and his helper. Being a mother of a boy with autism myself, I really wanted to interact with the young man.
I asked him what his name was. He responded and whispered his name. I then confirmed it with his helper. She also told me, “He cannot communicate.”
The boy said, “Eggs and porridge.” I replied with excitement, “Yes! I love eggs and porridge for breakfast.” His kind and loving helper told me again, “He cannot communicate.” I told her I was enjoying interacting with the young man and I shared my story about Nathan, who started with severe autism with no intentional speech.
The young man stopped at a gate, looked towards the trees and said, “No monkeys.” I replied eagerly, “You’re right there are no monkeys this morning.” We live near a nature reserve and we do get funny little neighbours coming to our homes once in a while. His kind helper, who only wanted me to be more understanding of his current condition, reminded me again, “He cannot answer.”
We continued to walk, he kept glancing at my direction and I kept telling him how much I appreciated the way he looked at me. Looking at people is a challenge that kids/adults with autism have a hard time doing, and yet he tried his best.
As we approached the gate of the condominium where he lived, he looked at me and said “Bye-Bye!” I said my good byes thinking, I wish I had more time interacting with this boy. His helper once again made an apology that he could not respond.
While his helper believed that he could not communicate with anyone, I saw a young man who kept reaching out to communicate with me.
I was once there, unable to see my Nathan capable of doing anything. Four years ago, I believed my 5-year-old Nathan would never be able to say meaningful words…for the rest of his life. Praise God, I was led to The Son-Rise Program®. That changed the way I saw my son and autism. Instead of seeing what Nathan could not do, I began to see so much of his potentials! It is working with that new mindset that keeps us going on our road to recovery.
Today Nathan can speak spontaneous and meaningful sentences. He can be persistent (instead of violent) if he wants his needs met.
Our kids have so much potential, just using the Son-Rise lens makes a big difference.
In the photo: Nathan uses his strong eye-contact to ask me to play with him.