Turning Invisible

I remember when my son and I turned invisible. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t overnight.

It happened slow at first. And then one day, I felt like we were gone.

There were no playdates. No conversations at Kindergarten drop off or pick up. He wasn’t involved in sports or clubs.

His interests never changed. No new hobbies. No hobbies at all actually.

He’s never had a birthday party invitation. Time was a continuum. No start or stop. No new grade levels. No spring, summer or fall activities.

If we went out for dinner or to the zoo or a parade, he stayed home. If we did bring him, he and I wandered around the perimeter. He demanded we be away from the people.

Did you know you can feel lonely and isolated at a park full of people? I never did until I entered this world.

I would feel like a stranger watching my husband and other son from afar. I’d watch them eating at a barbecue or jumping into the pool at the pool party while sitting in the car with Cooper and wonder what they were talking about.

I’d wonder if my other son only associated me with autism.

As he got older, people stopped acknowledging him. I guess because he didn’t say hi back. Or even wave sometimes.

They’d ask me questions for him. ‘Is he hungry?’ ‘Is he thirsty?’ I’d look down at my son and think…maybe they don’t see him?

And then eventually people stopped asking how Cooper was. I think because the answers were always the same. A new behavior. A new fight. I think it got to the point where people didn’t know what to say anymore.

Then one day someone asked me how many kids I had. And I said two. Cooper and Sawyer. And they said…I had no idea you had another son.

That was it. That was the moment. I realized in that exact moment I had to get my son into the world. Or we would stay invisible forever.

I want to be clear I wasn’t hiding him. I wasn’t’ embarrassed. It was so much different than that. He made it nearly impossible to be anywhere outside our home. But it had to change.

My advice, make being in the world a priority. Right now. Today.

No matter how old or young your child is. Or how high functioning, severe, nonverbal, ADHD, whatever they are.

Get them into the world. Do it for them. Do it for you and your family. Do it so the world can know the absolute beauty, joy and even struggles in this life.

I’ll leave you with this. Wherever we go I have the most challenging child.

I’m not saying that for kudos or because I want it to be a competition.

I’m saying that because it’s true. And no matter how challenging my peanut is…he is amazing. And he should never feel invisible.

And because the isolation will kill you. Trust me.

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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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