His mind functions many years younger than his body. He struggles so much just to convey basic needs such as hunger, thirst, pain or upset.
Yet without any doubt I know he loves me deeply.
I know he loves me when he wakes up and smiles at me.
He rarely gives others eye contact so that fact he overcomes this to look at me briefly every morning shows his emotional bond and trust with me.
His eyes tell me he loves me, even if the words 'I love you' can't seem to come.
I know he loves me when he climbs into my bed in the early hours and holds me.
He wants to be close to me.
During the day he sits on my knee, places all different parts of his body into contact with mine and when he hugs me it is like he never wants to ever let me go.
His body tells me he loves me even if the words 'I love you' are impossible for his lips to form.
I know he loves me because he wants to be with me.
If I move from one room to another he follows me. He craves my presence and taps the seat next to him in the car to invite me to sit beside him.
He takes me hand to show me what he wants.
His actions says so much more than his language ever could.
He desires to communicate with me.
He knows I listen to him and care about him and he responds to that.
He hands me his iPad with Google on and expects me to know what images he wants to see that day.
He looks to me to support, help and understand him. He sees me as someone who cares deeply about him and he in turn cares deeply back.
His willingness to seek me out says so much. He can not call my name. He can not say he loves me.
But I know he appreciates me and that brings joy to my heart.
When he is upset he yearns for me.
He looks to me for comfort and reassurance. He knows I will 'make it all ok'.
He knows I will look around to see what caused his upset and that I 'get' his sensory issues and all the little things he wants around him to return his sense of well being.
He knows I listen to him even when he has no words to communicate.
He cries for me even if the words 'I love you' have to come from his heart rather than his mouth.
He shares a book with me.
Tonight it is about letters. He points to himself when we get to the letter that his name begins with. And when we come to the 'M' for mummy he points to me, flaps and giggles.
That is beautiful.
He actually knows I am his mum!
He knows who I am.
He wants to be with me and he wants to hold me and gain comfort and warm from me. He wants to communicate with me and he loves the sound of my voice.
In lots of ways the words 'I love you' are too easy to use and say. He has no ability to do this in words so he finds unique, beautiful and special ways to show me instead.
And I know he loves me...even if the words 'I love you' never come.