Girl with autism makes a simple request after 3 years of silence
"I want more toast, please."
Though she was already speaking as a toddler, 5-year-old Coco Bradford’s verbal ability soon faded away after she turned 2 years old.
So when she made a simple request, it left her mum Rachel and older sister Bianca completely speechless.
She uttered five simple words: “I want more toast, please.”
Her mum could only describe it as “magical”, reports the Huffington Post.
Coco’s parents were overjoyed and so was she. As she kept saying it over and over again while jumping in glee, visibly pleased with herself.
“This was an amazing moment for us,” marvels Rachel. “My eldest daughter Bianca was with me in the kitchen and we were so happy, we clapped and cheered her and she was jumping up and down so pleased with herself. It was definitely an amazing moment.”
The day after, my husband came home from work, and Coco poked her head around the corner and said hello. [So] the speed of how quickly she has learnt has shocked everyone. She is now shocking us every day with something new.”
“Coco spoke up until the age of around 26 months and then gradually stopped, she could previously point to any animal and make the sound, point to all her body parts and say them plus so many other words and it all disappeared, no eye contact, not responding to her name, not playing with her toys just lining them up over and over again,” Rachel shared with the Huffington Post. “She immediately started getting frustrated and life changed for us forever. We started seeing a speech therapist and were given PECS (picture exchange communication system) and we used a communication aid app on an iPad, but progress was slow.”
About 25 % of those with autism spectrum disorders are nonverbal, according to Autism Speaks.
One of coco’s four siblings Chelsea, 25, has been leading the fundraising efforts to support baby sister Coco’s Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy. Her mum notes the phenomenal improvement she’s seen in her daughter after only four months.
Two difficult years came to an end thanks to therapy
“We’ve had two long years of frustration and misery and this therapy has opened up her whole world. She loves her lessons so very much,” shared Rachel with the Huffington post.
Since then, Coco has been building her vocabulary, as her family continues to patiently encourage her to string more words together to form sentences
An example, Rachel shares, is when she makes a request using one word such as ‘juice’, they don’t indulge her until she makes the request using a complete sentence. This simple prompt inspires her to speak more and it also gives her a sense of accomplishment.
But what is it about toasted bread that sparked the particular interest of Coco? Rachel believes it is because her daughter’s condition requires a limited diet and that Coco has always loved warmed bread. So though it came as a shock that she would speak, it came as no surprise that it took her favourite food to inspire her to do so.
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