Waiting to hear, “I Love You.”

Along with autism, Kamp has been diagnosed with Receptive and Expressive Communicative Delay Disorder (RECDD). It means that, not only does Kamp not use language, but he has a hard time understanding it too.

For example, Kamp can take a picture of a bus, match it to a corresponding picture and repeat the word bus (after I say it first), but he does not understand that the word bus represents the thing in the picture. Nor does he understand that the yellow bus waiting for him outside our house is the same thing as the ‘yellow thing’ in the picture.

He doesn’t see the importance of language, and doesn’t know how to think in abstract terms. How do you teach a little boy that language is important when he doesn’t know what language is? Therein lies the difficulty.

Ever since he was diagnosed with autism, I have really pushed language hard. If Kamp could get over the language hurdle I feel like everything else would come.

A few months ago I was at the gym when I answered a phone call from Kamp’s speech therapist. She told me that after recent testing I shouldn’t count Kamp out for using some language, but the likelihood of him
talking the way we had hoped was unlikely. I began to cry. I tried to hold it in but I stood in the middle of the gym – on the treadmill – with tears running down my face  – and I cried.

Don’t mistake Cry-Fest 2012 for surrender! I will never give up fighting to find a way for Kamp to communicate. Whether it is speaking, signing or writing, like the inspiring Carly Fleischmann, I will find a way for him to talk to me.

Why?

You see, I’ve never heard my 5, almost 6 year-old-boy, tell me he loves me. I don’t push him to mimic that phrase because I don’t want him to simply regurgitate it. I want to hear it for the first time – one day – when he can say it on his own, because he means it. I don’t care if it is spoken, said in signs or written down, I long for him to say, “I love you” every time I send him off to school or kiss him goodnight.

I make an effort to soak it up every time one of my kids tells me they love me. I realize it’s something precious and important. We all want our children to love us, and I know Kamp loves me; it would  just be so sweet, and amazing, to hear it too. I don’t care if it said silly, or with attitude; when I hear those words it lights up my heart and I can’t wait to hear them again. I will never get tired of hearing “Mom, I love you.” And when it comes to my little Kamp, I will wait forever.

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13 thoughts on “Waiting to hear, “I Love You.”

  1. Don’t give up. Autism itself works in mysterious ways in children and adults. I am sure that one day you will hear the words from Kamp. Having worked (and still working) with children with all sorts of disabilities, disorders etc, I have seen more than a few miracles.

  2. Beth you are such a strong and loving mom. You are so inspiring in the way you fight for your children. You amaze me.

  3. Thank you for sharing and reminding me not to take anything for granted. You are awesome. Keep fighting for your sweet boy!

  4. Every time I read one of your posts, I am thankful that Kamp ended up with such loving and amazing parents. I admire your and Jesse’s strength more than you could ever know!

  5. :) I love this blog! Kamp is such a very very very special little boy & person in this world!!! Linkin reminds me so much of him. I love you Beth, You really are such an inspiration to me!!!!! love this post so much!

  6. Live the blog and share the adventure of autism. Many prayers to you! I learned early in to do my crying in the shower so no one including the kids could hear and think they caused my heart ache. Always wanted to appear strong. I hope to see you and met kamp at one of the many functions for autism. We are fortunate to live in a leading edge state. Lots of sugars to you and your family.

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