Autism success story : Learning to talk at nine years old

picmonkey-cfadsollagePiedmont, California – A report which appears in Foxx8 news tells of a mother’s remarkable journey to get her nine year old severely autistic son to speak.

Bobby Smith was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, and could communicate with his parents using gestures only. At age seven, he had still not uttered his first full word.

Cheri Smith said:

“Bobby could not tell us if something hurt, why he was upset or happy, where he would like to go, what happened at school today, what he would like to do for his birthday, what he would like Santa to bring him for Christmas”

In April 2012 Cheri found a behavioural therapist Sharon Holbert who changed Bobby’s life completely. She said:

“She knew that Bobby had the ability to talk. She pushed Bobby like none of us had before.”

Bobby had a very limited vocabulary of around 50 words before intensive behavioural therapy which stopped him from lashing out at his parents and Ms Holbert.

Ms Holbert said:

“If you have a student who’s hitting and screaming and kicking, you can’t teach them anything. Once you get them to a place where they’re ready to learn, then bam, you can do something. His ability to learn was there. I think he figured out ‘if I hit people, they probably will leave me alone.”

Language skills are thought to be closely linked to  behavioural skills. The recognition of a correct verbal response from Bobby helped him develop basic language skills and enhance his vocabulary.

The full story is available to read here.