Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and apraxia of speech, Orion started working with a Grandview speech therapist at age three. Today, this eight-year-old is mostly non-verbal but has made some great progress with communicating his needs through an iPad program called Proloquo2go.
The very first time Orion was able to communicate with his mom, Marilyn, using the iPad, he asked her for a banana. It was such a special moment for Marilyn that she even got a banana tattooed on her forearm to remember it. Recently, Orion had another sweet surprise for his mom.
After many weeks of schools being closed, and their life being put on hold, Marilyn was feeling sad and frustrated as she got Orion ready for bed one evening. Orion on the other hand, was having fun jumping around the room, delaying his inevitable bedtime. After a raining day inside, without any idea of when things would be back to normal, Marilyn found herself on the verge of tears. Then, something remarkable happened.
Head in hands, Marilyn felt Orion by her side. He put his arms around her and very clearly said the words: “I love you, Momma.”
This was such an exciting moment for both mother and son. Orion only has a few words (“Momma”, “Dada”, and “Amma”) that he says regularly without an iPad. The fact that her son knew what she needed to hear in that moment, and was able to say it to her, was a beautiful gift for this hard-working mom.
“It has been such a long time since he’s said a full phrase with his mouth,” Marilyn says. “This magical moment wiped away all my frustrations!”
Happy Mother’s Day to all our amazing Grandview moms. I hope this day comes with many magical gifts of your own.