I remember when Christian was 4 years old and starting to talk. Sometimes he would ask for want he wanted by saying what it was but the majority of the time he pointed at things. Of course I was so excited he was beginning to talk that I was just satisfied with him speaking 2 or 3 times a day. Then one day it hit me….if he can talk 2 or 3 times when he wanted something why not the other 5 times when he wanted a banana or juice? I learned that he saw talking as an option. He knew that I would give him anything he wanted whether he used his word or pointed. To him if it wasn’t a requirement to talk, why do it.
I began telling him to “use his words” instead of pointing to things. Initially he got irritated with me; after all he hadn’t had to talk for 4 years so what was the big deal now. After a week or so he learned that I was going to ask what he wanted when he pointed so he started telling me before I could ask.
From that experience I learned that I had to set expectations for my son. Not because I want to give him a hard time, but so that he won’t expect doing his best to be an option. Christian still receives speech therapy and we talk everyday. Our children can learn to anything with our support. Yes, we have to take more steps with our Autistic and special needs kids but as long as they’re steps in the right direction we’ll get to where we’re going.