“Will he ever be able to speak?” I remember asking the pediatric neurologist who diagnosed Norrin with autistic disorder & developmental delay.
Not wanting to offer false hope or further heartbreak, the doctor replied, “Let’s focus on getting Norrin the services he needs.“
When Norrin repeats lines from movies or shows memorized, I wonder what he’s really trying to say. If he scripts I wonder if he doesn’t have the ability to say what he means. And when his speech is spontaneous – even if it’s as basic as asking for juice – I am relieved that he can express himself appropriately.
When are you coming home?
What’s your favorite color?
I would be lying if I said, it didn’t hurt. That I wish we could have a little more time to talk. I wish he could tell me about his day without having to prompt or pry it out of him. And I wish he would ask me questions about where I am or what I’m doing. I have to believe that he cares about me even though he barely wants to talk to me.
When Joseph and Norrin picked me up from the airport – Norrin’s first words were, “Mama you’re back.” He smiled and reached out for me.