I’m Thankful For You: My Mom, My Son’s Best Friend

(Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Amanda Lo Re and is part of Cooper’s, ‘I’m Thankful For You’ Campaign.)

This November I want to thank and honor my mom. There are some people who are truly angels on earth and my mom, Cindy is one of them. She is one of the most giving and selfless individuals I have ever met. She is our constant. Our rock. My sanity. And my son’s best friend.

I guess our journey really began eight years ago. My mom became a caregiver to my Dad, who was paralyzed as a result of a motorcycle accident. Our lives were turned upside down. It was around the same time that I became pregnant. What should have been a happy time was plagued by the uncertainty of my father’s prognosis and my OB-GYN warning me to be cautiously optimistic because of fluctuations in my hormone levels. I miscarried at ten weeks.

Nolan is our rainbow baby. He was (and still is) the most beautiful baby ever. Until about one and a half, he was meeting and exceeding his milestones, but I had some suspicions that something was not ‘normal.’ He was sensitive to noise, easily overstimulated, and his movements, even for a toddler, were uneasy and awkward.

As his progression slowed, I knew. I knew something was not right and the only person who listened was my mom. She couldn’t offer me any answers. She didn’t have any. Doctors repeatedly told me, ‘It’s a boy thing.’ They disregarded my concern and made me feel like I was crazy and that I had unfair and unrealistic expectations for my son. They told me Nolan would grow out of it.

My mother told me that as mothers, we know our children. If we think something is wrong then something is wrong. Trust yourself.

Nolan was three when we started the process of having him evaluated for services. We were hit with that scary word. AUTISM. God, my kid? How can it be my kid? My mom listened. My mom consoled me and guided me. She has always been good with Nolan, but she educated herself. She read literature. She watched every special and news broadcast that she could, but most importantly, she took the time to know him. Sometimes, I swear she knows him even better than I do.

The first three years of this (crazy) ‘ausome’ adventure have not been easy. And most of the time, it has not been pretty. We have gone to countless doctors, specialists, meetings, the works. I have watched my son grow and take steps forward only to take countless steps back. More recently, my two year old is in the process of being evaluated for services so we are reliving the process that we went through with Nolan. Ethan does not talk yet and he is extremely behavioral.

My mom takes Nolan every Friday for a sleep over. She does not get around as well or have as much energy as she used too, having recently been diagnosed with arthritis in her legs, ankles, and feet, but always finds activities for them to work on. She says that taking him is therapy to her. They make each other so happy. I know that she also takes him to help me out too, even though she will never admit it.

My mom is amazing. I really do not know where I would be without her. More importantly, I do not know what Nolan’s life would be like without the additional love, support, and acceptance he receives from Grandma.

We love you mom and appreciate everything you do for us!

You can still nominate the doctors, therapists, teachers, friends and family that make a difference in your special needs world. Click HERE to learn how!

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!


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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.

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