Dear Stranger

Dear Stranger,

You have been going to the same coffee shop as my son for a few weeks now.

In fact, you have tried to engage and make conversation with him.

Two days ago, you found out the reason why he doesn’t answer you, the reason why he struggles to make eye contact with you and the reason he eats the same thing, day in and day out.

He has autism and has limited verbal abilities.  

You were told this information so you didn’t think he was being rude or arrogant towards you, not so you would feel sorry for him or our family.

Today you said something that was, in your mind coming from a good place.

But to a mother of a special need’s child, it’s just offensive.

Today you said…

‘It’s such a shame.’ 

Stranger, I want to share something with you in the hope you have a better understanding in the future.

I want to share with you that my son’s life is not a shame, his existence and purpose is not less than that of a neurotypical child.

In fact, he is the greatest gift and brings joy to those around him.

Did you know that he is learning to write his name and really enjoys playing with his animals and trains?

Did you know that he just started school and is doing amazing?

Did you also know that he is exceptionally caring and will give his friends ‘special stickers’ if they hurt themselves?

To me, this is not a shame.

Nobody’s life is a shame.

Dear stranger, next time someone shares something with you, pause and say something like…

‘It’s a pleasure to meet you, you look like you are enjoying your muffin.’

From a Mother, trying to teach her child to be proud of who he is.

Written by, Megan Dahl

My name is Megan. I am a mother to a beautiful four year old named Jack. We live in a small coastal town in Australia. Jack is a bundle of joy and brings happiness to anyone that has the opportunity to get to know him. He was diagnosed with non verbal autism at the age of two. It is our families’ hope to raise as much awareness and acceptance as possible.

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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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