Autism and Anxiety

I have the most amazing son.

He is 9-years-old. Almost double digits.

He loves dancing and holding hands and Steve Harvey.

He loves climbing in my bed at 1 am and carrying around 17 sheets of paper, all different colors of course.

He smells like the wind. And he can find mud anywhere.

He has autism. He is autistic. It is part of him like his blonde hair and ruddy eyes.

He was nonverbal until he was 8-years-old.

Today, he has 15 or so words. They come and go. He used to have more. But they left him. In a way they seemed to have evaporated into the sky. One day I pray he pulls them down again. I hope he can reach up and pluck them from the clouds.

He also has anxiety. And that’s a beast in itself. Autism has nothing on anxiety. I don’t talk about it all that often. Mostly because it’s confusing and scary and frustrating. It grabs ahold of my sweet boy and refuses to let go until it’s had its way with him.

It shows up in so many different ways.

Sometimes his anxiety means we can’t say certain words in our home. Or go places. It means we have to put locks on our doors and hide certain objects.

Today, it was a bloody shirt. From skin picking. His lips and his nose.

I missed it at first. I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy doing laundry and managing my chaotic life. And he was picking in private. He was picking under a blanket. Because he knows. He knows he shouldn’t. But he can’t stop.

When I saw, really saw, my heart broke. Because I can’t stop it from happening. I can’t talk sense into him.

This is anxiety.

I assume it’s happening because all of his therapies have ended and he misses his therapists and playing kickball at Miracle League and going to the train museum.

He misses his routine and a carefully curated world that makes sense to him.

But I of course do not know. Because anxiety is a mystery.

We just keep moving forward.

Today, took my breath away though. I can’t fix all of this for him. I can only try and make it better.

I can only be his constant.

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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