When my husband and I would say, “Good night; I love you” to our three children, our eldest and youngest would respond naturally. Our middle son would not. Though he talked our ears off, any questions we posed lingered and never found connection, as if he couldn’t hear. When he was 4, his tantrums worsened until a doctor softly said, “It’s autism.” We realized that it was our language that needed to change. We began sharing scripts with him for daily conversations, captions to our emotions. It hasn’t been smooth, but at 6, our son replies, “Good night; I love you too.”

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