There are many moments in life that we will remember for years to come but perhaps the one that will stick around more than any other is the first word of our child. It is something that can melt your heart and you will likely tell them about it when they are older. Not every parent is going to have the same experience, however, and some parents don’t get to experience it because their child is nonverbal.
That was the case with Briana Blankenship, a mother who knew what it was like to not hear her child speak. When they had Taylor, she had envisioned a life much like any other parent but it wasn’t going to be the same. Her daughter is autistic and she is also nonverbal. When Taylor was five years old, however, something changed that really took Briana by surprise.
Briana had already dug her heels in and accepted the truth of the situation. She said: “We were told that it’s possible that Taylor may never speak.”
That is when the mother got a surprise that she never expected and she was able to capture it on video. It took place at a fast food restaurant when they were outside in the car.
The mother from Alabama was taking Taylor to gymnastics class and she thought it would be a good idea to get something to eat. She pulled over at a local McDonald’s into the parking lot.
She said: “We were on our way there — running late — so I had to go through the closest drive thru to grab her something that she would actually eat.”
Suddenly, she heard something amazing coming from the back seat.
“We rarely eat fast food so she recognized that she was about to get her coveted French fries and started getting excited and giggling in the back seat. That’s when I heard her say it.”
Taylor said ‘mama’ and it is a moment that Briana will cherish forever. She grabbed her phone as quick as she could to record what was happening and then she broke down in tears.
She shared the following on Facebook:
“I am ugly crying in the McDonald’s parking lot and the employees probably think I’m crazy. In the drive thru I suddenly heard Taylor say ‘MAMA.’ For those of you that don’t know. Taylor is 5 and is nonverbal autistic. She has NEVER said a word. EVER.”
You can hear Briana encouraging her daughter to continue to say the word and she does with a huge grin on her face.
She then gets excited for her daughter and Taylor continues to brighten up more and more. This is something that is going to warm your heart.
The Facebook post ended:
“I’m pretty sure I held up the drive thru line but there was no way I wasn’t getting proof of this. I can’t explain how unbelievably grateful and ecstatic I am right now.”
The video she shared online went viral quickly.
The first word from Taylor was not only adorable to see, it gave people who have nonverbal autistic family members hope that they may experience something similar.
Another positive outcome also occurred:
“We are most excited about bringing Autism into the light on a good and realistic viewpoint. Hopefully with all the attention the video is getting we can encourage more people to educate themselves on autism. With understanding comes acceptance and that’s all we can ask for.”
After being posted online and shared on a popular Facebook page it has been viewed millions of times.