Nonverbal autism is something that many people don’t know about, yet it’s thought that around one-third of all people diagnosed with autism are considered nonverbal.
Having autism of this kind means that learning to speak is particularly difficult, and many nonverbal autistic people can only say a select few words.
At the moment, there’s very little research into nonverbal autism, and how it reflects a person’s thought processes.
But thankfully, it’s now finally being given the attention it deserves, and new technologies are helping us to communicate and understand like we never could before.
There are fewer people with nonverbal autism than there was a decade ago, too, which is a great sign.
Additionally, children with nonverbal ASD can go on to develop language skills as they get older.
This marks an incredibly exciting time for their parents, who have spent over a decade, maybe two, protecting their children and hoping for the best.
So when photographer Haley McGuire’s nonverbal autistic son, Micah, hit a huge developmental milestone, she just had to share it online.
In Haley’s video, Micah repeats the names of his family members, while they cheer him on in the background.
It’s an adorable watch, especially as Micah is so visibly excited by his speech progress, and beams happily every time he gets a name right.
According to Haley, after the video was recorded, her little boy’s speech has continued to improve. Speaking to Newsweek, she explained:
“It’s been a day and a half now, and everything we ask him to say, he’s copying.”
Haley added that while Micah hasn’t quite mastered how to say anything on his own, he’s now copying everything his family says. She said that this was “crazy because he wasn’t talking at all (initially)”.
“Every now and then, he’d blurt out a word. But when I say ‘wasn’t talking,’ he would go weeks without saying anything. This is crazy. He’s been doing great.”
After her immensely popular video of Micah repeating his family members’ names, Haley uploaded a second video.
In this one, Micah is saying his own name for the first time – and unsurprisingly, given how heartwarming it is, it has over 2 million favorites.
Haley thinks that a big reason why her videos have touched so many hearts is because of Micah’s loving nature, which shows through on camera. She added:
“Micah has always been a really sweet, tender-hearted, quiet kid. Obviously, he doesn’t talk, but he kind of keeps to himself. He’s always been extremely loving.
“I know that that’s not necessarily normal for kids with autism. They like to not be touched and they like to be alone. But he’s very affectionate and loving. It’s been easy for us to be so happy and encouraging with him.”
There’s no denying that the videos have improved so many people’s days, being some of the purest video footage online to this day.
But the videos go beyond this – they inspire and give hope to other families with nonverbal autistic children.
Autism is such a varying disorder, and no two people with ASD are the same. But Haley’s videos are proof that, while there may be many, many difficult moments raising an autistic child, the rewards make it more than worth it.
You can watch the sweet video of Micah saying his family members’ names just below – but be warned, it’s a tear-jerker!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.