“Love Needs No Words” is a phrase often used in the Autism community, and personally we believe it couldn’t be more true.
We’ve seen proof of it in David.
While David “has words” and can make requests, he is not conversational about anything abstract. He can’t tell us if he has something hurting him, or if he doesn’t feel well. We typically have meltdowns or behaviors, and have to play the process-of-elimination game.
Did he get hurt?
Is he frustrated?
Does he have a gas bubble?
He has recently been expressing “sad” while he’s crying. He still can’t express why. We are working on it.
Just because he can’t verbally express these things, however, does not mean he does not have anything to say or that he doesn’t have an opinion.
We had a surprise visit from Drew’s brother and his girls for Drew’s birthday this week.
I was so excited for the visit, as it has been far too long since we’ve been able to spend time with his brother and hadn’t met our nieces yet who are roughly 18 months and 6 months old.
However, I was also very curious how David would handle the “babies.”
He hasn’t been around same-age peers or in school in almost a year, and has never been around “babies” that much younger than him. I was unsure if he would like having them around or even pay any attention to them.
Much to my surprise, he just adores his cousins! David is typically a “parallel play” child at best. He will sit near someone, but does not back and forth play with others… yet.
Right after they first arrived, the youngest was in her car seat with a bottle. If it would fall out of her mouth David would ever so gently prop it back up and say “don’t worry baby” on repeat. He was assuring her in his own way he would help her.
The next morning, the babies were still sleeping and their bedroom door was closed when David woke up. Typically the first words out of his mouth… every. single. morning. is “yellow tablet and marshmallow cereal.” This time was different. He said “open door, Babies?!”
He wanted the babies to come out of the bedroom.
If David was “stuck behind” my 18mo niece while she toddled around, he ever so gently pranced behind her at her pace until he could get around her in the sea of toys strewn about our living room. He was so careful around her, even though he towers over her, and could have easily knocked her out of the way. He’s such a gentle giant.
David also noticed my 6month niece was giggling at him as he was jumping, flapping and stimming away. He was noticing her reaction and kept going. The interaction between them just melted my heart.
Today after they left, David came to us with the conversation you see in the video. He said it on multiple occasions, and we were able to record it.
The entire time our family was here, he for the most part, went about his day as he would any other day. Walked around with his tablet, scripting and living his best life. He was careful around the babies, and had minimal interactions with Drew’s brother. He said good-byes as he does any other day, to anyone else in or out of our house. Very routine, scripted and nonchalant.
However, after they left he wanted them back.
He let us know that even though he doesn’t interact as his same-aged peers would have with his cousins, he very much feels every bit of the enjoyment of having his people around.
While he may not be able to express everything he feels, he shows us, time and time again…
Love Needs No Words.