My boy. The one that has my heart held in the palm of his dirty little hands. The one that loves nothing more than to yank my chain, jump on my last nerve, and snuggle with me at the end of the day as he drifts off to sleep. The boy that I love so deeply, so incredibly, so much more than I ever thought I could love anyone.
The boy that cannot talk, and yet has stories and songs and questions swirling around inside his beautiful blond head. The boy that has difficulty signing because of his poor fine motor skills. And yet he doesn't get frustrated with his lack of communication. How can I not do everything in my limited mom powers to help him tell me about his day? Or ask where Woody is? Or tell me how much he loves that song?
The boy that loves all things technical. The boy that can operate the DVD player, the VHS player, the CD player and TV. The boy that loves nothing more than to watch his siblings play computer games. I know that he'll rock the AAC device once he learns to use it. But the burning question remains: will he choose to use it, or will he decide that he wants nothing to do with it?
God, this is Your child. You created him to be exactly who he is. God, you knew that he'd still be nonverbal at the age of 5, and yet there are so many things that he could tell us. God, I just want to help him say these things, and I know that You must want this, too. Please, Lord. Please give him the ability and desire to use these devices. It could open up new worlds for him. And us. And Lord, I don't think it's selfish to want to hear my boy say that he loves me.
The therapist started out with books and toys. Micah was interested but it took him a while to grasp what she wanted him to do. He's just not so good at pointing to things that you want him to. I know he knows what a dog is, but he refuses to perform when asked. It's that simple. And that's exactly what he's gotta do in order to use an AAC device. It's all about pointing to pictures to communicate.
She introduced The Box. My heart was in my throat. Lord, this is where it counts. Give him the ability. Make him understand. All but 3 buttons were blocked so that he had a choice of reading a book, eating, or playing. And he got to do whatever he chose.
Micah reached out and pushed that he wanted to read a book. It was a fun button. He loves buttons. The therapist showed him the book she'd read with him earlier and he picked it up. She pushed the Read A Book button again to reinforce what he'd just asked for and gotten. Did he understand? Was this sinking in?
He paged through the book, then pushed the button to play. It went to a screen that allowed him to choose to play with trucks, a ball, or bubbles. He chose a ball. Did he know what he was doing? Was he just pushing buttons? Or was this just a fun game for him? The therapist got up, walked across the room, and came back with a ball.
How can I describe to you the look on our boy's face? How can I put into words the miracle that I witnessed? I saw a literal connection glowing from him and shining through his eyes. He knew! It clicked! He understood what he was doing and was communicating to us. Our boy. He asked for a ball. He pushed the "more" button each time before he threw it to one of us. All by himself without prompting. He went on to ask to eat, and chose pretzels. And ate happily, asking for more, using his box with words that spoke for him. When he was eating, he'd gently push his box to the side. When he needed more, he'd pull it front and center to ask again.
He got it.
Oh, my God. How can I thank You for allowing me to see this happen? How can I put into words the joy that is overflowing from every part of my being? My heart sings Your praise.
The therapist was shocked at the higher level of cognitive understanding he had than verbal skills. She has rarely seen this vast of a difference, she said. He definitely needs a device. And we've set in motion a miracle that will change our lives forever.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12