8 letters, 3 Words = Best Day EVER.

My heart is Super-Happy Want to know why?  A magical thing happened this morning.
I was so tired I almost missed it, but I am Sooo glad I didn’t.     🙂

The set-up for this scenario isn’t spectacular, but what took place is beyond Awesome!

It was early.  Only Micah and I were awake and up, and I had tried to escape to the computer for a few minutes when he came to find me.  He had asked me to come with him (as he always does) and I told him to practice waiting, so I could finish typing.  He paused for a second, and I thought he was going to request me to come with him again, like he usually does when I don’t comply, but, this time he did something different…he leaned on me, looked up, and said to me, “Mom, I love you.”  Simple as that.   I thought my heart would stop.  I have waited so long to hear those words from my 3-year old child.
You may not understand why this moment meant so much, I mean, after all, if my son is 3 years old, why haven’t I heard this sentence from him before?   Well, let me explain why this moment is so special that I could deem it to be the     Best.    Day.   Ever!

In terms of talking, Micah did fine with it with it in the beginning.  He learned sign language really quick during the first couple months of his life, and his first spoken word, ‘nana (short for banana) came before the age of one.  (Yes, he really did say ‘nana before mom and dad.  What can I say, my kid used to LOVE bananas! lol)
I was one of those freaky moms that tracked all of my kid’s language milestones, so by his 18-month Wellness exam I was able to present a list of words and phrases that Micah knew to his pediatrician.  He had: 25 spoken words, 15 signed words, and 3 phrases.  (No, I do not do this anymore.  I have outgrown my anal, crazy, obsessive-compulsiveness.)    The doc was impressed and told us that was excellent, and at the higher end of the communication milestone for age-appropriate development.  Yippee!  We have a talker.  I am one myself, so I was excited.

For all it’s analness, there was another plus to my crazy, language-tracking.  That was that it made it super-easy to spot when things took a turn-for-worse, and something was off with Micah’s language development.
By 20 months of age, things had completely changed.  Micah no longer spoke (“oh-no” & “go” were all he said.) and no longer signed anything either.  He had lost his ability to communicate.  Long story, short – Micah was diagnosed (after SEVERAL months) with Regression-onset autism.  He lost some developmental skills along with his language, and it felt like a HUGE set back!

I remember at Regional Center, when he was being evaluated for at-risk of a developmental disorder when he was 21-months old, that they said not to be too anxious about his regaining his speech because it would take a LOOONG time.  They said we might expect a few words by next year, but he would NOT be speaking in sentences a year from that date.
That was 1 year ago.  Micah  does now speak in small phrases, some spontaneous, some scripted, some prompted.  He does a lot of echolalia.  He also picks up new words all the time.  He has relearned all of the spoken language he lost & he does some of the sign language; his favorite sign is still “more”.    He has been picking up language easily for the time being (but, if you know about autism you will understand that they learn in leaps of huge progress and then there can be periods of nothing).  Sometimes he only needs one time to learn a new word (which, was the case for a bad word that he now says), but the ONE phrase I could NEVER get Micah to say or even echo was, “I Love You.”  I tried, he just never seem interested.  I  still made sure that I told him all the time, but nothing.  
Now, I know Micah loves us, but I just wanted to hear it.  Call me selfish because there are many parents out there who will never hear these words from their child, but once Micah started talking again and I knew this could be an option for him, it became a strong desire for me to hear these words, even if it was just once.   Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t love my kid any more (or less)  just based off of what he can or can’t do, but  when milestones come with a great deal of work & struggle it sure is refreshing to get achievements, no matter how small they may be.

So…this morning, when those words came in a pure, unprompted, simple, loving manner, that was just the encouragement this momma needed.  …And, that is why my heart is Super-Happy.
God smiled on me through my child’s simple expression of love and let me know He’s aware that it’s one year later, and He’s still walking with us through our path in life, with all it’s ups and downs.
Will I have another Best. Day. Ever. sometime in the future?  Sure…but, for today this is it and that’s enough.    🙂

2 Responses to "8 letters, 3 Words = Best Day EVER."

  • Hi Deborah, just reading this now. That is awesome to read that Micah said those 3 awesome heartfelt and spontaneous words to you.
    I long for that too…I can’t wait to hear my boys say that without me prompting it or it being an echo.
    Just wanted you to know that our family is praying for you all right now!

    1 Liz Barber said this (November 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm)

  • Thank you so much. I know you can relate to both the speech issues, and the pregnancy loss that we are going through right now.
    I appreciate all the love and support. 🙂 Deb

    2 Debee said this (November 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm)

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