Today we went to my parents' house to celebrate my sisters' birthdays. Along with the cakes I also had to bring along some literature about autism so to warn my parents about such a diagnosis for their grandson in a month or so.
My mother was too busy to read it; or perhaps she already knew what I would put in her face so she did not want to read it. I had already heard some worry in her voice when I told her that Little R was still twirling, laughing to himself out loud, etc. She told me that she truly believed he was 100% normal.
My dad, being the bookworm that he is, did take the Internet printout. Halfway reading it, it exclaimed in a calm voice that it (the literature) had nothing to do with Little R. Well, seeing that he said that without me mentioning Little R, I knew that he knew what I was inferring. He did continue to read it.
I asked my mother again to read the literature, but she said she didn't have to. She said that we just needed to teach Little R with a bit more care. Ah, she needed time to consider that there might be something else going on with him, and that he needs more than just "care." I tried to explain that we needed to learn as much as we could about the disorder so that we could help him. He does not learn the same way as others do naturally.
Later, my mom's cousin came by to visit. She tried talking to Little R in English thinking that he just didn't talk in her language, but Little R did not respond as usual. I had her read an article in Chinese about autism. She then understood what I was trying to tell her, why Little R did not act like the typical 3 year old. She told me that many cases of ASD were turning up in Hong Kong, and that there have been much about it on the news. That's good; awareness is spreading.
Since the developmental specialist's visit 9 days ago, we've started using a method to get Little R to speak. Before he gets what he wants, he has to say the word first. For example, if he wants juice, we hold the juice up high, model the word "juice" and wait for him to say it back before giving it to him. Now sometimes it's harder than other times. Sometimes he will scream, grab, hit (a table for example), cry for several minutes before saying something. In this example, when he says "goo" for juice, we accept his effort in speaking and quickly give him the juice as his reward. So far, we've been able to get him to say "up", "more" (sounds like 'ma'), "egg" (sounds like 'ig'), "juice" (sometimes 'jus' sometimes 'goo'), "apple" ('a-foe'), "milk" (it sounds like "naughk", but he's trying - he also says 'nainai' in Chinese), "cookie", "cake", and DH told me that he made an effort to say "bath" before he was awarded with a nice bath. Now, saying a sound after we make it is one thing, putting meaning to the sound is another. And then using it spontaneously is another. One step at a time.