The Goal is Independence

Why do parents like me care so much about therapy?

I’ve read some crazy reasons as to why.

I’ve heard we are tying to make our kids not autistic. That ones bizarre.

I’ve heard we are trying to change them. Suppress them. Even torture them. Equally ridiculous.

None of those are true. Not for me at least.

I take my son to therapy, day after day, when I should be working or watching my other son play hockey or cleaning my house, for one simple reason.

I fight for insurance to pay it and argue about hours and goals and progress for that same reason.

I get on the floor night after night and practice putting on shoes and saying sounds for one simple reason.

And I do hand-over-hand with a fork and a tooth brush and pulling up pants multiple times a day for that same simple reason.

It’s the same reason we go places just to walk through the parking lot. And go to stores.

Independence.

To teach him independence.

Because independence is the road to happiness. Independence is growing up. Independence is what we strive for.

He deserves as much independence as he can possibly have. That’s his right as a person.

Independence is a person thinking, I’m thirsty, and getting a drink.

It’s a person thinking, I want to watch a movie, and using the remote to do so.

It’s making decisions. Its communicating.

It’s a person thinking, I want to go to the park and having the skills and ability to get clothes and dress oneself.

It’s always been about independence for our family. It’s the same reason we send children to school or encourage a teenager to get a job.

Independence.

This morning my 9 year old wanted to go somewhere. I saw the light in his eyes. He was babbling and pointing. I told him first clothes then go. He agreed. But I was busy feeding a baby. I told him ten minutes.

That wasn’t good enough for him. He could have yelled and carried on. He didn’t though.

He instead independently went to his room, grabbed unders, shorts, shirt and socks and walked downstairs. He put each item on.

Not without struggle either. It was hard for him. He fell and got mad and giggled and tried again. But he did it. All. By. Himself.

Even his own socks. Socks are hard!

Then he clapped. And cheered. And pointed to himself and then to the basement. He wanted to go downstairs. So he got dressed. All by himself.

This is independence.

Inside out socks, backwards shorts, mismatched clothes. AMAZING. I’ve never seen him do that before. And I am shouting it from the rooftops.

Never stop teaching and encouraging and motivating and letting your child try and fail and try again.

We want them to do things themselves. Because that is what growing up is all about.

Trust the therapy. Trust the process.

Big day for this kid. I think we just might go see some trains. I mean, he is dressed already.

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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