Visiting Thomas the Train

Our family has been visiting Thomas the Train at the Duluth Depot for 7 years.

The picture on the lower right is from 2013. We were 2 months out from an autism diagnosis. With or without the appointment we knew.

I’d read enough blog posts and taken the M-chat a hundred times and watched enough episodes of Parenthood to know.

I knew it was autism.

On that visit to Thomas, and many after, our son struggled.

Too many people.

Too loud.

Too much waiting.

Not enough patience from strangers.

But he wanted to go so badly. We waited all year.

Each visit was hard. For him and us as his parents. But we went. We did the best we could. So did he.

This year was different.

He waited.

He wandered.

He sat.

He enjoyed.

He even waited in line with his dad to pay in the gift shop. I teared up a bit at his progress.

He’s a boy now. Next year a tween.

He’s one of the oldest kids now.

The little ones running by.

Overwhelmed. Exhausted parents.

I never thought we’d be one of the older families.

I truly didn’t.

But we are.

And we are just fine. Great even.

I’m so thankful the depot offers a sensory day now. Takes the pressure off of families like ours. And the staff was as accommodating as always.

Seven times we’ve done this trip. And I know we have seven more in our future. Probably more.

This is his Christmas and birthday rolled into one.

I can’t wait to see his progress next year.

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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