A Story That Changed My Life

A few weeks ago I had the honor of chatting with Peri of Not Raingirl. Peri is one of my most favorite humans on this earth. She is also an autism self advocate. She was diagnosed as a young girl and now shares her memories, learnings, and feelings with the world. Essentially, she is a guidepost for parents who want to listen and learn.

When we spoke last, she told me a story that changed my life as a mother to an autistic child.

In the story, she was referencing how foreign ‘social norms’ were to her as a child. They did not make sense to her. And in the story she explained how her sister came home upset from school one day so she asked her…’did you try lying on the floor.’

And her sister responded with…’no, why would I do that?’ And explained that sitting or lying on the ground is not socially acceptable.

Peri explained to her how it felt good. It was like an escape. It was a way for her to remove herself from the world and calm herself. And while sitting or lying, she was able to self soothe.

My son Cooper is ten years old. He is autistic. And in tough situations, scary ones, nerve-wracking ones, he always lies on the floor. It’s never made sense to me. And to be honest, it used to frustrate me. I didn’t want him to be around germs or for people to look at him strangely. I also know how hard it can be to get him up at his size.

But now, I understand. He is self soothing. He is doing what he needs to do to feel safe and take control. And that actually makes me proud of him.

We had a pretty tough doctor visit last Sunday. But honestly, it could have been a lot harder.

Cooper was able to ‘remove’ himself and relax and watch his programs in peace while we waited.

Thank you Peri for opening my eyes to the world of autism from someone who lives it and can explain it me. I appreciate you so much.

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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