Florida Mom Says Neighbor's Christmas Display Inspired Non-Verbal Daughter with Autism to Speak
On Saturday, a decade after a neurologist told Marisabel Figueroa that her daughter would be non-verbal for her entire life, Kaitlyn De Jesus, now 13 years old, spoke unprompted for the very first time.
Her first words? “Look at the blue lights!”
And, in what Figueroa and her neighbors are calling a Christmas miracle, the teenage girl with autism didn’t stop there. Standing in the glow of neighbor Don Weaver’s elaborate annual light display, Kaitlyn kept going, pointing out the snowmen and Santa Claus, her mom tells Southern Living.
“I was just crying,” Marisabel recalled. “I couldn’t speak.”
Kaitlyn and her family have been visiting Weaver’s decorated house—which features several thousand flashing lights set to music—every year for the past 10 years. The festive display has always managed to get Kaitlyn dancing and smiling, but this year was different.
Previously, Kaitlyn’s verbal communication was limited to repeating information when prompted. But Saturday was the first time she was vocal about what she was seeing.
In an interview with Yahoo, Marisabel, a single mom from Mulberry, Florida, acknowledged that Kaitlyn’s response to the bright, noisy holiday show is not necessarily typical for a person with autism.
“Some of them have a lot of sensory issues, but for some reason ... the music and lights do not seem to bother her at all,” she explained.
Somehow, at Mr. Weaver’s house Kaitlyn, comes to life.
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