I Uv Ou


Finding Courage Through Sharing Blog Carnival
The topic for this month is memories and memory markers. Share about something that trips a memory in your journey with your child or children, or just a memory that is special to you. The memory can be happy, sad, or anything in between. If you don’t have time to write specifically for this prompt, feel free to share a post that matters to you from your archives.
This is a journal entry from last year that I wanted to share:


After a long day I tuck her into bed.  I know that Rhema hears sounds in a unique way.  If she repeats a sound or word, it is exactly in the same pitch, rhythm and inflection that she heard it.  In “autism vocabulary”, it’s called scripting, a form of echolalia.  Although she scripts, her pronunciation and articulation are so poor that she often sounds like a deaf person when she speaks – it’s as if she cannot hear her own sounds.  And she does not seem to understand the words her sounds have formed.  Additionally, her voice has that sing-songy timbre characteristic of autism. 

So I said the words “I love you” in a high-pitched voice exactly the way the baby bear in her talking book said it.  Just hoping she would repeat the words.  I tell Rhema I love her over and over – all the time.  But I don’t know if she even knows what it means, if she associates the phrase with a feeling of warmth, affection and specialness I try to convey to her.  I try to make her feel my love when I say the words.  But I don’t know if she gets it. 

Anyway this night I just needed to hear her say the words, even if she were just repeating meaningless sounds.  If I could just hear her attempt the words I would pretend that she was telling me she loved me.  So again and again I said I love you as I readied her for bed.  Waiting for a response.  Waiting.  When the tucking was done, I sighed and went to turn out the light.  She burrowed her head in her sheet and finally repeated in the same baby bear voice,

“I uv ou.” 

My heart soared.  It may be a long time before I ever hear her attempt the words again.  In the future I may doubt it even happened.  But tonight I indulge in the fact that my baby girl loves me and she told me so.

4 thoughts on “I Uv Ou

  1. What a precious story, thanks for sharing it! IMO even with echolalia I think our kids choose what they want to repeat (at least sometimes). I know that sometimes when my twins were younger they would choose their “scripts” based on what they were trying to convey. So I’m with you, she said it and she meant it!

    It’s funny you mention this, because I have tried to do the same with my youngest son in hopes that he’d repeat it, so far no luck with the words but he does give me some big hugs and kisses which I love! 🙂 Sometimes I can get him to say “mama” that way which just makes my day!

    Thanks again for a heartwarming post!

  2. Oh, tears! What an absolutely priceless moment! I didn’t get to hear my little girls voice until her trach was taken out after age one — so I identify with the emotion in this story so deeply. I’m so very glad you joined in with the carnival and shared your beautiful girl with us 🙂

    ~Michelle @ In The Life of a Child

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