A Few Firsts in our World

One of the ways I work with my son Cooper is by setting goals.

At any given time, I have 2 or 3 different things we are working on.

Going out in the community, using a fork, drinking from a cup, waving, eating a new food, and so on. Some goals take a short time to accomplish. Some take years.

But I stick with them.

It helps me as a mom to make a list. Otherwise I feel overwhelmed by everything he needs to learn.

Here are a few of our recent big wins:

First Trip to a Shoe Store

Cooper has never been able to go to shopping. We tried when he was younger, and each trip got progressively more challenging.

Running. Screaming. Throwing.

If we’d put him in the cart he’d stand and rock it, while throwing everything out.

If we didn’t put him in the cart, he’d refuse to walk. He’d either run far, far, away or he’d lie down on the ground.

Let’s just say around age five we realized stores were not an option.

Now that brings about many challenges for a family of five. Let that sink in. Imagine not being able to go into a store with your child. That includes the grocery store, target, even a convenience store.

Last weekend, we decided to try again.

Sawyer needed new shoes for school. So we packed up all three boys and headed to DSW Footwear. And apparently so did the whole rest of the community. It was busy. We were a bit panicked by the crowds.

Cooper did unbelievable. He held my hand while walking into the store. He moved with me through the aisles. He sat and waited we shoes were tried on.

There was no running, screaming or throwing. I have never been so proud of him. It was life changing really.

First Kickball Game

Cooper had his first kickball game last weekend. It was pretty cute. This program is through the Miracle League Network in our local community. Cooper started with baseball, which was very structured. Kickball is more relaxed and Cooper actually did better.

In October he starts bowling!

As Cooper ages, I am loving anything and everything that gets us into the community. Is it always easy? Nope. But being surrounded by families like ours makes it so much better.

Parking Lot Safety

This may look like the silliest photo. It’s not. This is Cooper holding onto me in a parking lot. And walking calmly and safely.

UNBELIVEABLE.

We worked on this for years. And years and years. I used to have to hold onto Cooper with both of my hands, tightly. I could never let go. And he would spend his time wiggling and trying to get away from me.

It was a lot of running and dangerous behavior.

Now, he walks right alongside me.

That’s my friend Cooper

I’ll end with the cutest photo ever.

We try to take Cooper on as many walks as he will go on.

We love getting him moving, outside, and in our neighborhood.

Coops usually keeps to himself while walking.

But a few nights ago, he saw one of our neighbor girls. She is the cutest thing.

Completely unprompted, he ran up to her, hugged her and grabbed her hand. They walked like this for a few minutes.

Later that night, as her mom tucked her into bed, she said, ‘That’s my friend Cooper.’

And I may have started crying when she told me.

No one has ever called Cooper their friend before.

It meant everything to me.

Keep challenging your kids friends. Set goals and work towards them. And never give up hope.

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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