For a lot of adults, birthdays are just another ordinary day. Sometimes though, we receive a gift we’ll never forget. That was the case for one very grateful mother.

Crystal Hoyt has a young son with autism. Ryman has difficulty communicating, but his parents are committed to ensuring he receives the therapy he needs. They hoped one day they would be able to interact with him verbally.

According to Autism Speaks, one-third of people with this disorder are nonverbal, but the signs and symptoms of autism are unique to each person.

Ryman’s parents didn’t notice their son was different from other kids until he was around the age of two.

“[At] 18 months he was perfectly content to ignore us and play with a car, watch tv, or spin things for hours on end if we would have let him,” Crystal wrote in a Facebook post.

Once he entered developmental therapy, Ryman made slow, but noticeable, progress. 

“He caught on very quickly and started to make requests for his toys. From there we started seeing his interaction with us grow rapidly,” Crystal wrote.

However, Ryman still hadn’t spoken a word.

All that changed one day after the family had completed a therapy session. As they were leaving the office, Ryman uttered a simple, “Bye.”

Everyone was shocked and ecstatic over this small yet significant step forward. The best thing about this momentous occasion? It was on Crystal’s birthday.

To her relief, Crystal had her phone on and was able to capture her son’s very first word.

Crystal and her husband wanted to celebrate their son’s accomplishment in a special way. They took the audio file from the video and got matching tattoos so they’d always remember the incredible moment.

Crystal’s post sharing the momentous occasion is raising awareness about autism all over the world.

“I share this in such great detail to encourage everyone to learn about the early signs of autism, and if you see a child or talk to a parent who is concerned about their child’s development in any way, please don’t dismiss their concerns,” Crystal wrote.

When it comes to their children, parents need to follow their instincts. If they believe something is wrong, they should consult a professional. The earlier an issue is detected, the sooner it can be tackled.

What an amazing present Ryman gave his mother on her special day! We wish him many more words and his family – and all families of children with autism – more incredible milestones like this one.

Were you touched by the special “present” Ryman gave his mom for her birthday? So share this!