About a quarter of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nonverbal, and while that number seems high, there's been sharp decline from a generation ago when the number was closer to half.
This positive shift is due to an increase in studies on ASD which have resulted in more effective therapeutic strategies.
Children with ASD are often nonverbal, but many go onto acquire language skills. Up to 70% of nonverbal children become fluent speakers or can use simple phrases.
Having a child that is nonverbal or speech-delayed is terribly frustrating because you want them to be able to clearly communicate how they're feeling emotionally and physically.
It's also very hard to see them interact with other children without being able to express their full selves like everyone else.
So when a child with autism spectrum disorder makes their first language breakthrough it's a monumental moment for themselves and those close to them.
Photographer Haley McGuire shared her son Micah's wonderful achievement on TikTok and the inspiring video has been favorited over 730,000 times.
The first video she shared was of Micah repeating the names of his family members as they cheer in the background. Every time Micah gets a name right, he leaps in excitement and beams with pure pride.