We Want You Here

We. Want. You. Here.

Four words, 13 letters.

Those four words are words that I just recently realized have a huge impact, not just on the recipient, but on the person saying them.

As a family, we spent years adapting to autism.

We started with Early Intervention when he was 18 months, moved into a public pre-school program when my tiny nonverbal child was just three and could barely walk up and down stairs.

We walked circles with his baby brother around Children’s Hospital three days a week for two years, moved counties to be closer to family and for the educational opportunities, put my still nonverbal 4 year old on a bus every morning for a year and finally started Kindergarten in a one on one setting in a great school.

By the time my (still nonverbal) five year old started Kindergarten, he had received years of multiple therapies and had already been in two different elementary schools.

We were -and still are- at the mercy of the system and wait each year to find out where we could go next.

I’m not sure when it happened but I stopped looking up.

I was so immersed in our own lives of autism that I moved around, hunched over, waiting for the next melt down and planning hurried escapes.

We always took two cars somewhere in case we had to leave, sent one parent ahead to look for booby traps and practiced our apologies for the inevitable broken toy or screaming fit that was sure to draw attention.

Life was hard so I put a bubble around my family.

Our bubble became smaller and smaller and I was fine with that.

We could control our setting in our home so why did we need to leave it?

Then one day, one person said those four words to me and the bubble popped.

“We want you here.”

All I could say was, “What do you mean you want us here? We are loud. We scream. We are unpredictable. We can’t control our emotions.”

The angel just grabbed my shoulders, smiled and said, “I know. We want you here.”

Suddenly, I started looking up again.

It’s hard to see other people’s eyes when you are constantly staring at the floor, pulling your screaming child from the room.

What I thought was judgement in those eyes turned out to be compassion.

Most people get it. Most people have their own struggles happening in their lives and understand that it’s hard.

When you find your tribe, your community, your family, hold on to them tight.

They will be the people that say over and over again, “We want you here” and you will want to stay there.

Written by, An Anonymous Mother

Finding Cooper’s Voice accepts guest posts from writers who choose to stay anonymous. I do this because so many of these topics are hard to talk about. The writers are worried about being shamed. They are worried about being judged. As a writer and mother I totally get it. But I also understand the importance of telling our stories. And this will ALWAYS be a safe place to do it.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

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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