An Open Door

What is the measure of success in development? For most it’s acing a test or moving onto the next grade level.

In our world, the special needs world, it’s different.

Some days it’s simply trying. Or being present. It’s touching a food to your lips or only self injuring 50 times instead of a hundred.

It’s waving to people or making a sound to communicate. It’s sleeping past 3 AM or tolerating a haircut.

And sometimes, it’s an open door. This door.

Our home has felt like a prison for years.

Locked doors, alarms, window locks, watching the perimeters at all times. If we left a front or back door open he was in the street. Silently, unaware of danger.

If we left an internal door unlocked, everything would be in our bathtub, a roll of toilet paper in the toilet, beds stripped, and photos out of frames.

This is our son’s anxiety. This is his autism.

But we are figuring it out. We refused to give up.

We refused to accept that it would always be like this. We knew helping him control and manage his anxiety was the key.

This door has been unlocked for days, slightly open. 6 months ago he would be in the basement, hoarding, tearing apart boxes, looking for photos and paper.

If the door was locked, he’d scream at it. Hit it, bang his head on it. Jamie and I made sure, hundreds of times a day, that the doors were all locked.

We checked. We double checked. We wiggled door knobs.

Our measure of success today is an open door.

If you listen you can probably hear us letting a breath out we’ve been holding for years. And not for ourselves. But for our son, who can tolerate having this door open. He can relax. And so can we.

This is a glimpse inside our secret world.

Don’t give up hope. Not ever.

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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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