I’m Thankful For You: My Daughter Selena

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

This November I would like to honor and thank Selena, my understanding, passionate and kind hearted daughter. There are many people that I could write about that help our sweet ‘Bubba’ but she’s the one who stands out the most!

Selena is 15 years old and the best big sister to our twin boys Ethan and Braidan.  They are six years old and in first grade. Ethan (nickname ‘Bubba’) is our little guy that has autism and the connection that she has with him is something truly special. Ethan is nonverbal but in the past six months he’s been saying some words. It is so nice to hear his voice! He calls our daughter Selena, ‘Walla.’ He’s not able to say her name yet but every time he says ‘Walla,’ he gets this big smile on his face!

Ever since I had our boys, she has stepped in to help, hold, hug, care for, and to calm them in times of need. Once Ethan was diagnosed, she became like a little mama hen herself. As you know, autism doesn’t just effect the child, it effects your whole family. Through the good days, the bad days and everything in between, she’s there. Years of therapy inside our home and she has always been there helping us, supporting and cheering him on!  Along with twin brother! The bond between the three of them is amazing.

She is always talking about Ethan at school, answering questions about autism and advocating just like I do! She makes us so proud every day. Seeing her stand up for other children with disabilities and speaking up when things aren’t right, just fills my heart with so much pride and joy.

Bottom line…She ‘gets it!’ As many autism parents know, it’s difficult to find people who ‘get it’. She ‘gets him,’ sticks up for him, advocates for him and loves him more than words can say.

I feel like autism has brought our family closer together and has made us stronger than ever. Our son has autism but it definitely doesn’t define him. He is such a sweet and loving boy with a laugh that’s contagious! His smile will light up a whole room and he brings us so much joy. Our daughter, Selena, is there through it all! The tears of worry, the tears of stress and the tears of joy when he accomplishes new things!  She helps him and us every single day. We are so proud of the big sister she is.

Selena, thank you for being you. Thank you for loving your brother unconditionally and for always being by his side. Thank you for being understanding, passionate and kind hearted. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU.

We are forever grateful for you and your brothers. We love you all so much.

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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