Monday, April 16, 2012

Skype-ing with Mom – Amazing!

We have been using Skype to communicate with my wife’s parents for about a year now. Every week – Sunday evenings for us, Monday mornings for them – we see and talk with them.

It is really nice for them to see their grandson on the other side of the world. But Kai doesn’t really speak much with them.

Of course, a boy with autism is not expected to speak much with anyone. And the limited English of his grandparents further hinders any attempts at conversation.

Now that Mom is in Japan, we plan to Skype almost every day, and I was curious to see if Kai would talk any more with her than he does with Jiji and Baba.

Tonight, we had our first Skype call with Mom.

Kai had had another pretty good day at school today. So he is not letting his mother’s absence affect his performance in school.

But he was looking forward to seeing her on the computer.

From the moment we connected, he started talking.

He told her what he did in school today.

He talked about the Bulls scoring 100 points in their game yesterday.

He answered her questions about going miniature golfing.

He asked her what kind of present she was going to get for him.

His grandparents sat nearby during the call. They marveled with a tinge of jealousy about how much he spoke with Mom.

But they weren’t the only ones who were surprised. I was astounded at how well he spoke and how long he carried on the conversation.

They talked for 25 minutes, which has to be a record for him. Not just a Skype record, but the record for the longest conversation he has ever had.

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were thrilled when Kai could answer some basic questions with one or two word responses. But we could not imagine then that he would ever have a real conversation with back-and-forth exchanges.

But that is exactly what he did tonight.

For a guy who grew up with a rotary phone in the house, the technology of Skype is still amazing to me. But it is not nearly as amazing as the progress my son has made in his ability to hold a conversation.

As we finally neared the end of the call, Kai wrapped his arms around my laptop to give Mom a big virtual hug, and then pressed his lips against the screen to give her a kiss.

It was a fitting conclusion to the most amazing phone call I’ve ever experienced.


  1. I just found your blog, and plan to read much more of it soon. I have a daughter with autism, age 7, who I also blog about. I can imagine how wonderful that Skype phone call was! My older son also loved Scrambled States of American, and the filling in of the states sounds like it was a great idea for a reward. Kai sounds like a terrific guy!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne. Your daughter is adorable!

  2. That's awesome!


  3. Ahh...the power of a son's love for his mother! That last picture says it all.

    What a heart warming article...very nice.


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