As I started strapping him into his car seat she told me about his day, that he did well with keeping his shoes on, and only chewed on his shirt once. He did all of his programs, he babbled a lot more than she's ever heard him, and she even heard a few new sounds out of him, like he might have been attempting actual words. I looked at Joshua and said, "You want to say something so bad, don't you, bud?" Then she paused (or was it hesitated?) and said, "I really believe he is going to say something one day."
Suddenly, I realized that was the first time I had ever been told that. I mean, of course, all of our family and close friends believe that, but I'd never heard it from a professional. Usually, the most common thing parents hear on diagnosis day for a child on the spectrum is a list of all the things they will most likely never do. Talking being number one. God has shown me extra grace in that I've never had to listen to that lecture. Oddly enough, I haven't encountered a single discouraging person on this journey and I know how big of a blessing it is. Maybe there were thoughts, or conversations after I was gone, but nothing in front of me and I am so grateful for it.
But, as I noticed when this woman said these words to me, I'd also never heard a definitive, direct statement of faith in what Joshua WILL be able to do some day. Most ABA therapy is centered around provoking speech. Even still, I always make sure to check and see if they are still keeping his speech a main priority of his program. In all of these conversations I still can't think of another time one of these women have looked me in the eye and said they believe it's going to happen too.
I honestly had no idea how bad I needed to hear those words today. It hadn't even occurred to me that I was missing them, but when she spoke, something stirred up inside of me. It happened so quickly, I immediately just replied with, "Well that's what we're waiting for." But as I drove off I wished I had thanked her. She might not have thought too much about it, but there was something in her voice, like maybe she saw something in him for the first time and wanted to make sure I knew that she did.
Whatever her motives, it made my day and I find myself sitting here now with a renewed resolve. This is amazing grace...that extra push for the final stretch right when we think we're about to hit the wall.
"And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord." Luke 1:45 AMP