The Things I’ve Learned

The Things I’ve Learned…

When my son was first diagnosed with autism, and in the early years that followed, I tried really hard to fit in.

Into the norm.

I wanted so badly for my family to be like the other families.

But, well, we weren’t.

We couldn’t even pretend.

Or fake it till we made it.

We were different.

Our son was different.

Those years that we tried to pretend were the worst.

It physically hurt sometimes.

To see the differences so loudly.

Our son is 10 now.

On paper he has severe, level 3, nonverbal autism with a communication disorder.

In real life he’s smart, funny, unique and uses his movies to communicate with us. He wants to fly on an airplane to Alaska to see the whales.

And he dislikes hockey.

He can’t do restaurants.

Standing in line is torture for him.

Sitting still seems to physical hurt him.

We see that now.

Because we stopped pretending he was like all the other kids. And that our family was like all the others.

We are at a hockey tournament this weekend.

We are four hours from home.

There is a lot of hurry up and wait. And sitting. Loud whistles and buzzers. And cold. There are restaurants and small talk.

So Cooper went to his grandparents for a few nights. We gave him the choice of course. Because we secretly always wish it would work. Maybe someday I guess.

‘Grandma’s or a hockey tournament?’

He chose grandmas.

He is getting spoiled. And yes, we miss him. But we will do everything in our power to never put him in a situation that will cause him stress.

I’m sharing this because it took us 10 years to stop trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. And to ignore the judgment that can come our way.

We do what is best for our family now. And sometimes that means we split up.

Family Feud. That’s what Coops was watching this morning when I FaceTimed him from the hockey rink. He gave me a wave. He was very busy.

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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