A Look at Nonverbal Autism


A few nights ago I was talking to an acquaintance about Super Cooper. He was asking me questions about what it’s like to have a nonverbal child.

He asked me if it is sad. He asked me if it was quiet. He asked me if Cooper has a desire to communicate. All AMAZING questions.

They even brought me back to the day a speech therapist told me that we should prepare ourselves for the very possible fact that our beautiful son may never speak. I’ll admit, that sentence leveled me. I immediately hated her. I was filled with rage. How dare she say that about my child?

I remember leaving there thinking, through the manic sobs, that we will never be going back to her.

Four years later I can tell you that her sentence needed to be said. She brought me into reality. A place that I hadn’t been yet when it came to autism. I needed to hear it. She was a fantastic therapist and helped Cooper and me in so many ways for many years.

So, for everyone that wonders what nonverbal autism looks and sounds like…take a peek. Notice the smiles. The laughter. The desire to communicate. The brains. The jokes. The joy. The silliness. The love.

There ain’t nothing sad over here. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that nonverbal isn’t scary. And it isn’t sad. It’s never been easy either. But we are working through it.

Information about the video:

Cooper is using Proloquo2Go, which is an APP, on an iPad. YES, the app is expensive. I know they offer discounts a few times a year though. We went through a company called Talk To Me Technologies to assist Cooper in getting his speech device. We love working with them and they made the process simple as possible. They even replace or fix the device when it’s broken. We’ve already had Cooper’s device fixed two times.

Cooper got his device when he was three but didn’t really get fluent until he was five. You can learn more by reading the following two posts:

Assistive Technology and Autism

How to Borrow a Speech Device

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Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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