You are Amazing Kid

My son has never ran inside to show me something.

He has never rushed home from school to tell me about his day.

He’s never told me a story. Or even asked me a question.

There is no school work to look at. No homework to do at night. No report cards.

His artwork is not hanging on the fridge either.

We said goodbye to all of that possibility in kindergarten.

We said goodbye to typical education.

We shifted our focus. We picked the things that really mattered.

Safety. Awareness. Understanding. Tolerance. Sitting.

At age 8 he goes to therapy for 8 hours a day. It’s the best decision we ever made for his future. And for our present.

He works on things like sitting, stopping, willingness to try, communicating and acknowledging peers.

He works on having a calm body and hands.

He practices putting his shoes on and brushing his teeth.

Every day I get a note home that tells me about his day.

Somedays it has just a few words scribbled on it. Some days more.

I see what treasures he brought to school that day.

I know what he had for lunch.

When he went to the bathroom.

How many behaviors he had.

And if he needs more snack.

I see the programs he worked on.

Beyond that, his days are a mystery to me.

Nonverbal is nonverbal. Autism is autism.

It is what it is.

So last night, while we were working on a puzzle, and going over his calendar for the week, I was in complete shock when he took the cap off the marker and started writing.

Unprompted. No hand-over-hand.

He carefully scribbled out each letter.

C-O-O-P-E-R

And with each letter he made the sound.

Some right. Some silly. All adorable.

And then he smiled right at me. That ridiculously perfect, Cooper grin.

He was beaming. He was proud of himself.

I almost fell out of my chair.

I had no idea that he could write that well. Or honestly, really even spell his name on his own.

With most kids, they are excited to show off what they know. With my sweet boy, with severe autism, I just never know what he knows.

Part of me thinks he can read. I know he can spell most words. He can even type. I’m now wondering if he can write sentences.

Someone once told me that I should prepare myself for the fact that Cooper will never learn to talk, make a friend or ride a bike. To this day, it was the hardest conversation I have ever had.

I want to say to that person…so what.

He can spell his name. He can give hugs. He can put on his own shoes. He can grab his brother’s hand when we cross the street. And he can melt the hearts of millions of people.

So, so what.

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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