Listen with your Heart

Hearts have always been my son’s favorite shape. Because of his autism and limited verbal skills, in all of his five years on earth he hasn’t told me this, I just know.

He is drawn to them.

He likes to build them by putting other shapes together and points them out whenever he comes across one.

This makes perfect sense, with him being the sweetest little guy I know.

Sweet, and a little spicy, too.

He is often in his own world, one that we are constantly working to understand, and I know he is working so hard to do the same.

The daily frustration he feels from not always knowing how to clearly get his wants and needs across just hurts my heart to think about.

Our constant prompts and reminders to “use your words” are likely just as maddening for him as the desire to hear his sweet voice is for us.

We often forget that words aren’t what is needed, not what is missing.

For someone with limited eye contact (or, as the reports say, “poor” or “lack of”) he catches me by surprise when he sits and stares into my eyes with such a prolonged gaze. It’s like he is studying every single molecule in my eyes, lashes, and skin.

He touches, smells, takes it all in.

I always wonder what he sees when he surveys me so intensely.

He is probably just admiring his own tiny reflection mirrored back at him from my eyes. His reflection has always fascinated him.

Sometimes it feels like he is peering right into my soul. He is so full of wonder and curiosity. I know he can’t read my mind, though.

He doesn’t seem to feel my fear and worry nor is he weighed down with concerns about safety, inclusion or health.

He is pure happiness, and I am so thankful for that.

Simple things make him so happy.

He recently discovered our old DVD collection and has been carrying several around with him, his new treasures.

The other night, he repeatedly played the same DVD over and over again, always stopping and restarting after the previews had finished.

During the preview for Dumbo, the sweetest song called “Baby Mine” played in the background as Dumbo’s mother caressed, comforted and protected her baby.

My boy came over and gently stroked my face during this scene every single time he replayed it.

If you haven’t heard “Baby Mine” (by songwriter Frank Churchill), grab a tissue, here is a little glimpse:

Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

Little one when you play
Don’t you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine

If they knew sweet little you

They’d end up loving you too

All those same people who scold you
What they’d give just for
The right to hold you

Cue the tears.

This little guy may not talk much, but he is learning how to communicate in so many different ways every single day. He pays attention and interprets even the tiniest of details.

In that tender moment, I went ahead and let myself feel what I thought I had been needing to hear from him.

I love you. I am happy. I’m going to be OK. Thank you.

Truthfully, I don’t know why I thought I needed to hear these things.

He has been showing me all along, I just wasn’t always listening.

Written by, Lauren Emmett

You can follow Lauren and Wilson’s journey at Wilson’s Climb or on Facebook at facebook.com/wilsonsclimb  Lauren started a blog to keep everyone updated on her son’s progress and with the dream that it can be one small piece in helping to spread autism awareness around the world.

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, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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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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