By Barney Riley via SWNS
A mom was reduced to tears after her non-verbal autistic son 'realized his voice' for the first time.
Millissa Hutchinson, 30, shared the special moment with her 150,000 followers on social media.
Five-year-old Keegan is seen in what Millissa described as the moment he "realized his voice."
The non-verbal child managed to say exactly what Millissa was asking when she said: "say more."
Keegan is heard in the video saying "more" multiple times and his own positive reaction sends his mom into a frenzy.
Millissa, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, said: "Keegan was really engaging with me and it’s why I started recording.
"Due to him having autism, it’s hard sometimes to gain his full attention, but at that moment he was engaged."
Millissa uses visual communication to help Keegan, including sign language and particularly Makaton signs.
Makaton signs use speech and hand gestures to convey grammar and structure to spoken sentences.
Millissa, who is originally from Walsall, UK, added: "I had noticed that he has been making me sounds so I tried to encourage him to say more with the Makaton sign.
"As you can see that’s what he did. He realized he could do it and he was so excited.
"It was one of the best moments of my life.
"My reaction was so big because he thrives on praise and encouragement.
"He’s my only child and for almost five years I’ve longed to hear his voice to break inside of his world and at that moment I did. It was the best feeling ever!"
Millissa uses her impressive TikTok following to raise awareness for autism by regularly posting videos of her son and documenting day-to-day life with her family.
She added: "With my following on TikTok, I’ve used it to simply speak my truth and Keegan’s truth on autism.
"I have to advocate for my son and his disability. I have to give him a world where he’s understood and accepted. If that’s all I achieve in my life, I’ll be very happy.
"There are far too many misconceptions about autism and I like to hand out facts instead of myths because there are a lot of them.
"Some are very damaging to the autism community, examples include; 'kids with autism don’t make eye contact,' FALSE; 'kids with autism have no affection,' FALSE, and the biggest myth is that vaccines cause autism, which is also the worst and most dangerous misinformation.
"I believe I can change the world for Keegan and it’s what I intend to do."
Millissa spoke of the difficulties that she faces raising a child with autism, but also added that her supportive family in the US, which includes Keegan's step-father and step-siblings has "changed his life" for the better by welcoming him and accepting him into the family.
She said: "The day-to-day life as a mom raising a child with autism is very different and sometimes very emotionally and physically challenging, having to almost guess his needs and hope you get them right is hard.
"It’s a different life we can’t do all the things everyone else gets to enjoy because Keegan wouldn’t cope, but we’ve learned to embrace what he does love and we love it with him.
"His step-dad, step-sister, and step-brother have changed his life and support him so much and accept him."
Millissa is continuously promoting a world of inclusivity to create an environment where autistic people are able to live unimpeded just like everybody else.
She added: "My advice for anyone who is around children with autism is to understand everyone is different, autism or not, and everyone is individual.
"You should find out what they enjoy or what over stimulates them, find out their best form of communication is it sign language, speech machine, etc.
"Treat them like people and human beings because that’s what they are."
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