Behaviors are Communication

My autistic son can’t tell me what he’s feeling. He can’t tell me if he’s scared or nervous. The words don’t come out. So he shows me instead. And those feelings usually come out in bizarre ways.

We call them behaviors. They are typically frustrating. They usually drive a person crazy. That’s the hard part about severe autism.

My message today…behaviors are communication.

A few nights ago, Cooper patted the chair next to me. He smiled. And climbed his body up onto my lap.

He wedged his way in…in the way only a little boy can do with his mama. He touched my face. Showed me his trains. I smelled his hair. He’d push me away. I’d kiss his neck and cheeks. He’d push me away.

I settled for just sitting with him. Every few seconds I’d touch his skin. His arm. His leg. And we just sat there. I didn’t bug him with questions. I didn’t ask anything of him. I just soaked him up.

He had stopped moving. This doesn’t happen very often. He gave me ten minutes. At age seven, I can count the number of times on one hand that Cooper has sat for 10 minutes. Calm body we call it.

At times, when he’d start to fidget, I even held my breath. I wanted him to stay. I didn’t care what needed to be done around the house. I needed him. I needed to be his calm.

It hit me a few minutes in that this was the first time Cooper has willingly sat with me since his baby brother was born on October 9. I’m often nursing or changing a diaper or calming a fussy newborn. Cooper can’t tell me he needs me. The words don’t come out.

This tells me he is getting over his fear. That his anxiety around the baby is lessening. He’s had two amazing days after one really hard month.

I am his calm. He is my constant.

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 our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Comments

  • Ginny Morgan

    November 9, 2018 at 2:21 am
    Reply

    So beautiful.

  • Heather behler

    November 10, 2018 at 12:16 pm
    Reply

    I dont have a disabled child. But I know a few ppl who does. But I love to read and watch ur stuff. U […] Read MoreI dont have a disabled child. But I know a few ppl who does. But I love to read and watch ur stuff. U have such amazing attitude and commitment just everything girl. U help me want to be a better person .if that Makes since? Ur a great mom and by watching u overcome what u have ,helps me when my days r hard with my children I remember the stress u go thru and u overcome it with a positive attitude so I'm becoming a better person and mom because of u Sharing ur story. If I could help u I would every day cause u deserve it. Thank you for the good u do with ur children and the good u do in the world speaking out when u could just sit around and not speak out to help and support other moms. Thanks ur Fan Read Less

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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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