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May I Have a Few Words With You, Please?

April 16, 2012

by Sarena James

How amazed would you be and how much applause would you give to a seven-month-old who could speak more than five hundred words accurately and use those words in the correct context?  And what joy would you have if that same seven-month old could hold short conversations with you and tell you on most days what they wanted for dinner or where they wanted to go like, on an “adventure downtown.”  If that seven-month-old could tell you that they hurt their knee and could ask for a band-aid that would be nearly phenomenal.  Imagine all of that at only seven months old.  For us, that is exactly how it is.

Seven months ago there were words in Grant’s spoken language, but they formed a random vocabulary list of sorts, in no particular order.  He could identify shapes, colors, numbers, animals, objects, places and people but those words individually stood alone; there were very few complete sentences.  Recently though, Grant’s single words have begun mingling with each other.  Now, when you hear one, there is usually another right behind it.

Popcorn, he loves it.  I’ve heard him say it countless times. Last week, however, his request was quite different.  “I want more popcorn, please.”  Wow, all I could do in that moment was hug him for as long as he would allow. Those single words finally found each other at the right time, and everything about their relationship was just right.

I don’t know the intricate maze that his words must travel before they find their way out; how many exits in his mind look real, only to find it’s another wall.

Sometimes I watch his eyes travel back and forth and up as he searches for what to say. But on this day he said much more than he had before, and I gave him much more popcorn just to see his dimpled-smile.

Everyday Grant asks to know more.  “What is that?”  “What is name?”   He’s asked for the names of vehicle parts, and politicians, and musical instruments, without prompting.  On yesterday he even asked his younger sister, “Why are you crying?”  Then, I cried.

People ask if we feel that he is making up for lost time.  No.  Time was never lost.  Time was always where it should have been, waiting on us to learn this valuable truth: There is an unmistakable beauty in a journey that has Hope travelling with it. Hope gives every reason not to give up even on the worst and most unpredictable of days…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2012 11:37 pm

    I love everything you have written here OA9…I have a 5 year old great grandson who has Autism, every blink, every little word is such an accomplishment. My daughter works with these children at Alston Middle school and she is great. My prayers, cares and rainbows will be with you through this journey, know that you all are not alone.

  2. Shontea Richardson permalink
    April 21, 2012 9:50 am

    I enjoy so much reading the stories of success about your son Grant. I can tell you are a very patient, strong and faithful person. I just believe that in this season God will show your family his Glory. Miracles will be performed daily in Grant’s life and you will truly say that the Lord did it. I was just drawn to your web page for some reason and I am always waiting to haer your stories. Have a blessed day and be encouraged.

  3. April 17, 2012 8:50 pm


    What a beautiful story of triumph! I so appreciate that you recognize, “Sophie-time” as being the best time there is, and that her time should be compared to no one else’s time. That is why you and I are able to genuinely celebrate every step of progress on the journey! Thank you for sharing your joy with OA9!

  4. Dee permalink
    April 17, 2012 11:49 am

    I wish I could leave you 100,000 🙂 ‘s!!!!!

    My best friends daughter has Tuberous Sclerosis. She is almost 3 years old and 6-8 months developmentally delayed. Her first few words were so beautiful. Then one day it was chatter, chatter, chatter! Identifying everything! I will never forget the day I walked in the door and heard her exclaim ‘DEEEEE.’ (I should thank my parents for giving me an easy name). She only has one sentence, but it’s the most perfect ever… ‘love you too’!!!!!!!!!!! Since the day she came into this world, 7 1/2 weeks early, we’ve known she was going to do everything on Sophie-time! We wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Glad to hear you are enjoying the world on Grant-time! It’s priceless!!

  5. Nora James permalink
    April 16, 2012 3:43 pm


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