With Goally, The Goal is Independence


When my son was diagnosed with autism at age three, I will admit I didn’t know a lot about it. I was told a lot of things of course and many of them weren’t positive. But that didn’t stop us from believing in him and his success. Cooper is now ten years old and truly an amazing kid.

As he’s gotten older, and the teenage years are not far off, our goals for him have shifted. Where it used to be a lot of academic things, now our goals for him are around his independence. Yes, some of it has to do with his dad and I aging as well, but it mostly has to do with his happiness. And independence is the key to that.

I want my son to be able to choose his own clothes and what he wants for a snack and to tell us no. Yes, you read that right, saying no is a useful skill, particularly as cooper gets older. We want him to help choose his schedule so he can do more of his activities independently. His daily routines like hygiene and learning are an important focus areas for us. We want Cooper to be able to manage his day to the best of his ability.

So what are the tools out there for a guy like Cooper? We’ve been using a device called Goally.

Before we started using Goally, I was a bit hesitant because we know how much our son LOVES technology and adding in another device made me nervous. But thankfully, Goally is distraction free, meaning there is not web browser or youtube or apps. Just Coop’s schedule.

It’s been life changing. We set his schedule together and then Goally gives him verbal prompts at a certain time and eliminates the need for his dad or I to nag on him.

We see the best success on the weekends when the days have less of a schedule but are still needed for his success. Goally helps him transition from bed to breakfast to getting dressed. Almost entirely independently! It’s unbelievable really.

We are about to have our fourth baby (yes, you read that right! EEK!) and our hope is that Cooper’s schedule can stay consistent while our world turns upside down for a bit. We are going to lean on Goally more than ever during those first few weeks.

I feel good about where he is at now! And I can’t wait to see him evolve even more with Goally.

To learn more about Goally click HERE

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Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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