We had been trying wean Faith off the hand signal she uses to indicate she wants something. In the last few weeks, she started expensive weekly speech therapy sessions ($150 a pop) and among other activities, we did mouth exercises with her to make her more aware of her mouth, lips, tongue and teeth.
If you are not a parent of an autistic child, it would be hard to understand the thrill of seeing your child chew a gummy Ricola blackcurrent sweet with her back teeth for the first time, instead of letting it sit inside her mouth till it gets soft enough to swallow. That knowledge of chewing is an essential precursor to speech.
We let her have a few more dried tomato snacks, to reward her for vocalising her "I want".
Even Isaac, her younger brother (23 months and can't shut up) saw all this and declared, "Papa! Cheh cheh talk!"
Yes son, you noticed too, I see. It's a small start but indeed, 姐姐 talk.