Some Don’t Follow the Beaten Path

Some kids never follow the beaten path…Whether it’s from birth or from a later date, some kids don’t follow the beaten path.

They don’t meet milestones on time. They don’t follow the norm. They don’t do what every other kids is seemingly doing.

My son Cooper is that way. He takes note of what he is ‘supposed’ to do and does the opposite.

Some people call him a free spirit. Some call him stubborn. Even challenging. Autistic, disabled, special needs…all words thrown in. It’s hard sometimes. I won’t lie about that.

Being different isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes bravery and courage and honesty with oneself. It takes an unbelievable amount of patience and refusal to never give up.

What I’ve learned over the years, and I want to share with people who don’t know autism, is that he is not being difficult. He is not making life harder.

He just sees the world differently.

We just got back from our walk. It was a challenge to say the least.

Cooper walked a majority of the way in the long grass next to the path. He laughed often as the weeds tickled his ankles. Every so often he would stop and touch a flower petal or reach for a bug.

He moved at the pace of snail, taking it all in. It was frustrating. I joke that we often walk backwards and sideways, but rarely forwards. He prefers the road to the sidewalk. The ditch to the path. Sitting to walking. Running to sitting.

A few times he sat and studied the dirt or cracks in the path. He ran in the opposite direction when I paused to chat with a neighbor. He ran through sprinklers and gasped at the cold of the water. Then refused to wear his wet shoes.

He pointed out an airplane and lifted his hand to his ear when a baby cried from the distant park.

My son has never met a milestone on time. He has never done what the rest of the world does. And he has never made it easy on himself or us.

But he did turn my cheek to show my an orange butterfly that I would have missed. And he imitated a mama duck and her 7 babies swimming and then pointed to the babies and the sleeping baby I held in my arms. It was beautiful. A second of perfection.

This is our autism. Bursts of color and beauty and wonder and chaos.

We are the ones who do not walk the beaten path. But we are still here, alongside, moving at our own pace.

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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