As I mentioned on Facebook, I have recently become a part of a wonderful blogging collective. Our goal is to write about living with, parenting and perceiving autistic children with gentle love, acceptance of their neurology and a celebration of their neurodiversity. Many talented writers are part of our group,and it's an honour to be writing alongside them. The stories might challenge common attitudes- but that is the goal. I believe some of my readers here would really enjoy it and I urge you to check it out. The following post appears in its entirety on that blog.
Speech delay is often one of the first noticed signs of autism. Young toddlers are diligently watched to make sure their speech is developing "as it should". If it doesn't, parents are usually advised to put them in speech therapy so that they might "catch up". Some do, some do to a certain extent and some don't at all and they are usually referred to as "nonverbal" or "severe".
It is true that an atypically developing speech often signals an atypical brain. Being parents of a four and a half year old girl who used to speak and now doesn't, we have spent a lot of time pondering why she doesn't speak anymore, how we can help her communicate and even what she could be thinking. I always felt that my quest to help her communicate was a worthy and imperative goal. I haven't abandoned this philosophy but have recently realized that like most everything with Sophie, it's not quite so simple.
*continue reading the post at Respectfully Connected