No Talk All Action

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The red shirt that Brian has worn everyday for the past 5 years (we have 4 of them) says “No Talk All Action”.

It is not just a slogan, it is how he lives his life.

My younger daughter Catie was upset one night last week and was in tears sitting on the couch between me and my husband.

Brian appeared from the other room and came over to Catie, wiped off the tears on her face, and hugged her until she stopped crying.

He would not leave her side until she stopped. It was one of the most profound and touching moments I’ve experienced in a long time.

Here was my non-verbal autistic son with sensory integration disorder spontaneously comforting his older sister.

His love and compassion for his sister which he cannot express in words were so perfectly communicated in his actions. And it is not just to his immediate family that he is loving and compassionate.

It is to everyone. Brian cannot bear to see other people upset or hear them cry.

Crying is his most hated sound, it always has been. He will always approach a person in distress to attempt to comfort them.

Although he cannot speak, he is intimately aware of his environment and every detail of what is going on around him. He is not on some isolated island unable to relate to his surroundings or others.

It is the exact opposite.

Without any prompting from me or my husband or any other adult figures in his life, he is kind and compassionate by nature.

I believe one of our primary tasks as parents is to teach our kids how to treat others with love and respect.

It takes effort and vigilance to instill this attitude in kids without special needs, let alone a kid dealing with the challenges Brian deals with every day.

Yet Brian treats every person with love and respect. Everyone is equal, no one more important than another.

It is a fundamental part of his nature.

He is not bitter or angry although he has every right to be.

It is ironic but true: the way Brian lives his life and how he treats others gives our family and everyone really, the best example of how to deal with adversity.

He is the teacher, we are the students.

Written by, Donna Lund

Donna is an autism mom from Pittsburgh, PA. She has two daughters and two sons, both sons on the autism spectrum. She writes about her experiences in the hopes to reach out to younger moms and let them know they will not only survive….they will thrive! You can find her blog on Facebook, or you can subscribe to her website.

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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Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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