By Alyce Collins
This boy has faced many difficulties already and although communicating is incredibly difficult for him, his mother couldn’t believe it when he told her he loved her through sign language.
Crystal Kouri from Los Angeles, California, USA, was doing her grocery shopping with her son, PJ, two, when he stunned her with his impressive sign language skills.
PJ was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder which can cause deformities of the facial structure. This meant that PJ’s ears were underdeveloped at birth, causing hearing loss.
Already in his life, PJ has required five surgeries to help him breathe, but despite the setbacks, PJ has learned to communicate through sign language.
Although PJ can verbally speak up to 250 words, he communicates best through sign language, so much so that he caught Crystal off guard when he signed ‘I love you’ to her in the middle of the shop.
Crystal said: “PJ has Treacher Collins syndrome, like Auggie Pullman, the fictional character from the movie and book, Wonder.
“His condition has caused him to have five major surgeries so far which have enabled him to breathe, eat, and grow normally.
“Treacher Collins syndrome has caused PJ’s ears to be underdeveloped, resulting in moderate hearing loss. We began sign language immediately as a way for him to communicate with wearing his hearing aid.
“At the age of two, he now has a 250 word vocabulary, both verbal and sign. Hearing him say and sign ‘I love you’ was as emotional and pivotal as the first time he signed ‘mama’. I stopped right there in the supermarket to record him.”