To the Women who Heard Me

“He qualifies for the full day program.” It was like being smacked with a brick.

How on earth could I put my little boy, who said nothing, into the care of complete strangers and trust that he will be taken care of the way I take care of him.

When my son was 2 years and 8 months old he went to a preschool screening and I was faced with another harsh reality, that he was still so behind.

He qualified for all day preschool and would be starting there at 3 years and 6 days old. I was shattered.

One month later we received his official diagnosis, “Childhood Apraxia of Speech, fine motor dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder.”

The small lump in my throat swelled.

Ever since my sons diagnosis I had felt looming loneliness.

All my friends had babies at the same time and all these kids met their milestones on time. EVERY SINGLE ONE but mine.

I was on an island, but could see the main land just enough to know we wouldn’t make the swim over there any time soon.

I swallowed the huge lump in my throat and sent the love of my life off to preschool. Then I was home alone all day, while my husband was at work, with a newborn.

The strangest thing happened once school started and I truly was alone all day, I began to feel like a member of a tribe.

The moms of the children in my sons preschool became a community I never knew I needed.

It started small at first, we would shuffled them in the door together, each silently sympathizing with the other of the shared struggle, of watching our tiny nonverbal humans walk into a school all day.

Then day after day each of us opened up, the 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at pick up became the best parts of my day.

We shared hair cut horror stories, special needs dentist recommendations, potty training tricks, IEP goals, hopes and fears.

Soon these women became my friends we would get the kids together, we wouldn’t have to hide the hard parts because we were all dealing with the hard parts.

These women became my tribe. We group text daily. We share in the struggle and the victories.

I want to be sure to thank these women.

They were everything I needed at such a vulnerable time.

They allowed me to be honest and open which is what I needed most of all.

I needed someone to tell me that they got it, that they understood not on a, “feel sorry” level but on a “we’ve been there” level.

These women will always have the most special place in my heart because they made me feel heard when I was silently screaming.

Written by, Caitlin Christos

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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 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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