Moment non-verbal 9-year-old says his first words when reading out 'ho ho ho'

  • 2 years ago
This is the incredible moment a non verbal nine-year-old said his first words - when he read out 'ho ho ho' spelled out by a Christmas light display.

Tommy Hunt, nine, has autism and while he can communicate with his iPad and make sounds, he's doesn't speak.

But when his carer Caroline Faley, 36, took him out to look at local peoples' outdoor Christmas light displays, he proved to everyone he can speak AND read.

The happy little lad pointed to the string of lights on top of a house which spelled out 'Ho Ho Ho' - and whispered the words out loud.

Caroline was filming the outing to show his dad James, 40, so captured the moment - and her adorable shocked reaction - on camera.

Proud dad-of-two James, from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, said: "When I saw the video, I was so overwhelmed.

"He doesn’t really understand Christmas but it was great to see him having such a good time.

“Often when you try to communicate with Tommy you get little or no reaction and it’s hard to know if he takes things in, so for him to read that sign then say ‘Ho Ho Ho’ without any prompting is incredible.

“Because he doesn't speak, it can be hard to know how well he can read - but this has shown me he’s even cleverer than I thought he was.

“Christmas can be a really tough time for Tommy as it disrupts his regular routine, so it’s lovely to see him enjoying the Christmas experience.

“I’m so glad the moment was caught on camera, because it was so lovely to see - especially after the year we’ve all had."

Tommy visited the light displays in Benfleet, Essex, on December 5.

In the video, Tommy, who normally communicates using an iPad, can be seen wearing ear defenders as he marvels at the local display.

James runs a blog and an Instagram page called ‘Stories About Autism’ about Tommy and his brother Jude, 12.

He said Tommy’s autism means he struggles with sounds but enjoys visual sensory things like twinkly lights.