For those not aware, my four-year-old Sabastion had been diagnosed with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder shortly after his second birthday. We have been working on various therapies, diets, and dietary supplements for the past two years, trying to open a line of communication with him. He has vocalized many different sounds and has occasionally strung sounds together that sounded like words, but he never repeated the word or really said it at a time that it made sense in context. (There have been rare exceptions, but never with enough consistency to be a pattern. For example, he has used "Nana" and "Nanananana" to refer to bananas, his grandmother, whether the TV is to low, and just stimming in general.)
Now, don't get me wrong, the boy is smart as anything. He has demonstrated time and again that he understands what is being said to him. (I think he has also demonstrated that he understands, as long as he can't speak, he has more leeway to get away with things he KNOWS he's not allowed to do.) And he can often get the concept of "yes" or "no" across to someone, although he's more then willing to throw a fit if he doesn't his way.
This is why it was with great joy that Fire-Eyes called me and said that Sabastion had walked up to her with banana in hand, pushed it toward her, and clearly said, "Banana."
His mother was stunned! "What do you want?" she asked.
"Banana," he replied.
Still in a bit of shock, she asked, "Are you sure?"
Sabastion sighed with exasperation. "Banana." And he said it a couple more times while eating it, too.
But that's not the end of this story! Sabastion was standing on the recliner in the living room today watching Blue's Clues. Actually, he was jumping on the chair, one of those things I mentioned earlier that he's not allowed to do, and I was about to make him get down when I noticed his stance was a little different. I realized he may have just filled his Pull-Ups.
"Sabastion, are you stinky?" I asked.
He paused, put a hand on the back of his pants, and replied with a sigh, "I stinky." (Now, the "I" may have just been a part of the sigh, but "stinky" was articulated VERY clearly.)
You have to understand: based on all that I have read on Autism, whether or not an Autistic child EVER speaks is always a diceroll, and you won't know if he ever will until he actually does. Sabastion just did.
Like I said: Not the end of the story, just the beginning.