Girl, 5, with autism surprises mum with first word

Exhausted mothers can grow tired of hearing their child call for them incessantly, but for one woman whose little girl has non-verbal autism, hearing the word “mama” for the first time reduced her to tears.

Briana Blankenship shared a heartfelt video to Facebook of her five-year-old daughter Taylor, speaking her first word while the pair waited in a drive-thru line at a fast food restaurant.

In the footage, the five-year-old can be seen giggling as her mother excitedly asks her to say “mama”.

Taylor mutters the word as her mother cheers her on. After a few more attempts, the little girl’s pronunciation grows clearer and she grins proudly at her milestone while adorably revealing some missing front teeth.

Briana Blankenship shared a video on Facebook of her five-year-old daughter Taylor, who has non-verbal autism, speaking her first word. Source: Briana Blankenship via Storyful

Taylor’s condition means her brain processes information differently than others, and she has been in speech therapy since she was three to give her the best chance at being able to communicate.

Hearing the first word to come out of her daughter’s mouth as “mama” was a pleasant surprise for the woman from Alabama, US.

“I am ugly crying in the McDonald’s parking lot and the employees probably think I’m crazy,” Ms Blankenship wrote in the post on April 30.

“In the drive thru I suddenly heard Taylor say MAMA.”

Briana Blankenship said she was “ugly crying” when her daughter uttered “Mama” for the first time. Source: Briana Blankenship / Facebook

“For those of you that don’t know. Taylor is 5 and has nonverbal autism. She has NEVER said a word. EVER,” Ms Blankenship wrote.

“As soon as she said it, I grabbed my phone and started recording. I’m pretty sure I held up the drive thru line but there was no way I wasn’t getting proof of this.

“I can’t explain how unbelievably grateful and ecstatic I am right now,” she added. 

“I heard her say it, and I whipped around, and I’m just like, ‘Did you just say Mama?’ And she said it again. And I was like, ‘Oh my God’,” Ms Blankenship said in an interview with ABC6 TV in Alabama.

The mother’s beautiful moment with her autistic daughter has captured hearts around the globe.

She said she hoped the video inspires other families with non-verbal children.