Six and a half years old... That's amazing, isn't it? Still in nappies, still no speech, but we love her to bits.
Her latest obsession is neck kisses. She'll back up to me and give me a little tilt of the head to know it's acceptable if I kiss her now. It's particularly pleasing for her if I combine the kiss with a chin tickle or sudden growling lunge to play chasings. Emotionally, she's incredibly switched on.
I still remember the day we decided to give her a birthday party even though 'she wouldn't understand'. (Remember, she'd been vegetative for a long time, and we worried that a birthday party would upset and confuse her.) She started crying and laughing at once when we all sang 'happy birthday', and then she tried to eat the whole cake. For months afterward I just had to start singing 'happy birthday' for her to start laughing hysterically.
Now she has birthday celebrations every year, and sometimes I give her an extra birthday just for the hell of it.
Doesn't quite make up for the losses, but it helps.
Something causes autism.