Next door to me is a special education class. The kiddos in there are severely developmentally delayed and a few of them are medically fragile as well. I love them. I love them hard. Every gain in there is cause for celebration; one little one (who isn't so little...she's eight years old) has begun babbling like your average early toddler. There's hope for her to say "mommy" and her own name some day.
A new little guy has joined the class. He's pretty far down the autistic spectrum. His receptive language (what goes in) seems to be pretty good; he can follow directions and has a good grip on his surroundings. His expressive language, not so much. There's plenty of sound coming from him, some of it meaningful and some not. But he's engaged.
I like to drop in when I can; the printer I'm networked to is in there, but I like to come in for a "visit" too. So today, as I wandered in, this little guy had some free time and was on the carpet playing with marbles. He motioned for me to join him, and I did. One of the things we're always doing is talking AT these guys; encouraging and modeling for them proper social greetings, using names, expressing yes or no, and so on. So, knowing that he has words to use (he's probably the only one with functional speech in there, though one other kiddo expresses herself with an adaptive communication device), I said to him, "Say, 'Hi, Kish.' " (That's my surname, and we don't bother with titles in there.)
How did he respond?
He leaned over, said, "Hi," and then kissed my arm.
Kish? Kiss? Doesn't matter to me.