People.com Human Interest Teen with Autism Speaks for the First Time Ever After Seeing Neighbor's Christmas Light Display Since Kaitlyn De Jesus was diagnosed with autism at age 3, she hasn't spoken more than two words By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Twitter Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for nearly five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelors in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 13, 2019 02:05 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Courtesy Marisabel Figueroa A Florida mother who took her 13-year-old daughter to see their neighbor's Christmas lights had no idea that the festive display would have such a large impact on the teenager, who has autism. Since Kaitlyn De Jesus was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old, she hasn't spoken more than two words, her mother Marisabel Figueroa told Today. That all changed on Saturday when Figueroa took her daughter to their neighbor Don Weaver's driveway — a visit they've made daily — to see the elaborate Christmas light display he has set up on his front lawn since 2007. “She got up from the chair and started singing,” Figueroa recalled to the outlet. “She said, ‘Mom! Look at the blue lights. Look at the snowmen. Santa's coming!' I started crying. I couldn't believe it.” The incredible moment was something Figueroa had waited 10 years to witness after learning of her daughter's diagnosis when she was a toddler. “The neurologist who saw Kaitlyn said she was going to be non-verbal for all of her life,” Figueroa, a single mom who lives in Mulberry and works as a manager at a local McDonald's, explained to Today. “I refused to accept that.” 6-Year-Old Boy Speaks for the First Time After Dentist Performs 10-Second Procedure Over the years, Figueroa said Kaitlyn would speak with visual prompts, but remained primarily nonverbal — even when the mother-daughter duo would make daily trips to Weaver's driveway to see the musical, 200,000-light display. “Our usual routine is to go after 6 when it gets dark,” Figueroa told the outlet. “Mr. Weaver puts down a special chair just for Kaitlyn and she sits there dancing and tapping her feet.” But this weekend, Figueroa, as well as Weaver and the rest of their neighbors, were in for a true Christmas miracle when Kaitlyn began to verbally express her excitement over the festive lights. “It was the first time she ever talked,” Weaver told Today in disbelief. RELATED VIDEO: Parents of Teen Living with Autism Share Early Christmas Miracle: ‘A Dream Come True for Him' “This woman came over to me and goes, ‘I've never heard Kaitlyn speak,'” Figueroa added. “I was like, ‘Well, I'm her mom and I've never heard her speak unprompted like that.'” Though she said her daughter is “a bit isolated and quiet,” Figueroa explained that their neighbor's holiday decorations bring out a completely different side of the teen. “At Mr. Weaver's house, she comes to life. She's like this whole new entity,” Figueroa revealed. “If only Christmas could be around all year.” “I'm still crying about it,” the proud mom added.