Non-Verbal Autism... His First Word!

As many of you know, we have waited years for Finley to utter any kind of word. The word Mummy or even mama was something I would actually dream about him saying. I'm not alone in this either, my husband and other family members have also talked of dreams that they'd had of him talking. It goes to show how much these things play on your mind, even when you're not consciously aware of it because, let's face it, we all have to crack on in life. There's no time to sit and dwell! Wondering what his voice would sound like. 

Finley's level of understanding is limited and there is little to no comprehension in instruction either. So if he wanted anything, he would hit me or cry. At 3 years and 3 months old, I still don't know what my baby wants - everything is a guessing game. A cruel game that usually ended in me crying or cut and bruised. You see, I'm his go-to punch bag for his frustrations. After-all, I'm his Mum, why aren't I helping him get what he wants or needs? The look in his eyes when he gets like that is pure pent up anger and annoyance. I know he feels confusion too because he often reaches up for a snuggle mid-thrash. Every single time, it is nothing more than luring me into a sense of false safety because as soon as I would react to his physical request - pow! He'd start again.

Meaningful joint attention is something we have worked on for coming up to 2 years now, with a huge success in him confidently using a picture card whenever he wanted a drink. According to SALT (Speech and Language Therapy), without a shared, or joint, attention - Finley will not comprehend what conversation is so why would he have the desire to learn? An example of non-verbal joint attention might be waving to a 10 month old and getting a wave back - because they know it means something. It's this 'give and take' which is yet to register in his amazingly special little mind - he's far too busy enjoying his own world. Damn autism. 

Any time we give Finley something he wants, we always say 'Ta' in the hope that he realises it means something. Well guess what, last week Finley said 'ta' before he took his snack from us. He actually said a word. His very first word!!! I am beaming with pride. He may not have used it independently but he did repeat it which is HUGE! He never repeats anything! Well, about a year ago he did the scream at the end of 'if you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream' but over a period of around 3 weeks he regressed and it never came out again. That was as close we ever got to him repeating anything. 

Here is Finley's first word, caught on video less than 24 hours after the first time he said it. It's so clear too isn't it?!!! 

Since the first occurrence one week ago, he has said it a handful of times and only when he wants to. I must remember not wear it too thin and push every time I'm about to give him something. It's really hard not to though, I have to admit. I just love his growly little voice.

Never give up, guys. Even when it feels like you're getting nowhere. With every tiny baby step, you are getting to where you want to be. Hopefully 'Mum' will soon follow!! Think I'll explode if, when, he manages that one!

When did your little one's first word come?


  1. Aww I love this Jo it's just amazing. Go Finley ❤❤ xx

  2. This is a lovely jo, brought a tear to my eye. As I think most people can be slightly nieve and not understand, but lotsa people do and I also think what u say and going through will help lots of people. He will say mummy soon in his own time loves u lots xxx

  3. Aww, this takes me back to when my girl was a similar age and I had similar feelings about her lack of speech. Great news for you! x


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