Little bear has a new ‘thing’. It”s actually a very good thing that did not become a thing until he saw the strong reaction it got.

J is still recovering from his cold. This means he has occasional coughing fits. When he has one, I generally ask “hey, are you alright?” after he’s done. It used to be that the question would go unanswered but he might look my way or just generally putter around as per the usual, showing me that he was indeed okay. Sometimes I have to use this to distract him from the temptation to try forcing a gag that won’t work. Yeah, that’s another thing for another day.

Yesterday this all happened while he was standing across the room and as the coughing calmed, I asked “are you okay?”. He looked directly at me, a rare occurrence in and of itself, and nodded stiffly then said “yeah”. Clearly. With meaning and intention.

I was stunned.

Now, as I’ve said before, J is not a silent kid. He babbles a lot and is echolalic, meaning repetition is king in his language. His skills in repeating words have exploded in the past months, enough that one must watch what they say around him. The words come out most when he’s in a place he is secure and comfortable, so I hear them all. It’s not often he is asked a question and gives a direct, precise answer though. It is quite, quite rare.

So of course I gushed and teared up and wrote on Facebook about the event.

Now, never ever let non-verbal fool you. Never let it be thought that J doesn’t catch ever nuance of what’s going on in the world around him. Why? Because wouldn’t you know it, now every time I ask if he’s okay he automatically crows “yeah!” in search of that big, happy reaction. There’s snot pouring down his face and he’s hollering that he’s just fine.

We have some learning to do, but it’s going in the right direction so yeah…We’re alright.