This is What We Work For

This morning I asked my son Cooper if he wanted four or five of something. And he responded with a happy sound and five fingers thrust high in the air.

I went on with what I was doing and then paused for a second.

Communication. Choice. Independence. Happiness.

It is the most beautiful thing.

I’ve been told over the years that I want to change Cooper. That I want to make him less autistic.

Ha. It’s so far from the truth.

My goal as a mom has never, and never will be, to make an autistic person ‘less autistic.’

My goal is to give him a way to communicate his wants and needs.

I want him to be able to tell me when his ear hurts. Or when he wants a snack and needs to go to the bathroom.

I want him to independently be able to wash his hands when they feel sticky from syrup instead of screaming and self injuring over the icky feeling.

I want to know where he wants to go this weekend. He is a part of this family and gets a say too. Even if it is another train museum.

I want to give him all the skills he needs to ask for help from a stranger and the confidence to be himself.

And that he wants five and not four. Because five not four can make all the difference when he’s sitting in a loud lunchroom. It wasn’t very long ago that he couldn’t answer a question like four or five. But he can now. And we are so thankful.

This is what we work for. These seemingly simple exchanges that most wouldn’t give a second thought too.

He’s so excited for school today. He has his backpack on and is waiting by the door. He even asked for ‘A-A-A.’ Which is Dad. Because Dad brings him to the bus.

Communication. What a beautiful thing.

Cooper is exactly who he is supposed to be. We will never stop striving for that.

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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