One of the common characteristics of autism is a language delay.
I have read and heard plenty of stories of parents being happy when their autistic kid asks them the simplest of questions. I even have a few stories of my own with Pookie.
Language delays are tough on the parents because you do not get to have the natural conversations that constantly arise with other kids.
But language delays are an even bigger problem then just making parents wish they could have more conversations.
Let’s say you have a 3-6 year old kid. They are constantly asking questions. Parents love to joke about how they get worn out trying to answer why the sky is blue, why the garbage stinks,why dogs sleep in the house but raccoons sleep, etc, etc. And that just gets you through breakfast. That is how kids learn about all of the ordinary and strange things in the world.
Pookie does not do any of that. He talks as frequently as any other kid if not more so. He frequently asks questions…but they are normally things like “can I have the markers?” “where is my Jack in the box?” “can I have more milk.”
Being able to ask these kinds of questions is important. But they are not the kinds of questions that give him chance to learn new things.
I can’t remember him ever asking the why or how type of questions. Ever.
Think about that for a second. With Geetle, she is constantly wondering about stuff and then asking us “why is it dark at night?” and then we can explain it and she can learn something new.
Pookie doesn’t do that.
So, parents of children with language delays really have to go out of their way to constantly think of these questions that kids should be asking and then just explain them to their kid. And then they have to do this for several years while they wait for their child to start asking these kinds of questions on their own.
We are actually very fortunate to have a twin asking us these questions because we can explain it to both of them at the same time.