His Magical World

Cooper 14

One of the things I hear the most often from parents of newly diagnosed children is…I can’t figure out how to get my child to play with me. Or, I can’t find an activity for us to do together.

This is coming from moms and dads who are trying so hard. They are desperate to get inside. But they don’t know how. Not yet anyways.

Boy does that resonate with me. I was that mom years ago. My son wouldn’t play with me. In fact, he didn’t play at all. He watched his tv shows and he wandered. That’s it.

I would watch him studying a leaf or following a fly and know he was seeing and hearing things I couldn’t see and hear. Brighter colors and funny sounds that didn’t register for me. Interests that made no sense to me. I felt like a foreigner in his life. An outsider. A failure.

Then one day I let go of what I thought our relationship should look like and I was finally able to see him clearly. A beautiful, perfect boy who loves colored construction paper, photos of his family, train magazines, flash cards of letters, funny sounds, elephants, his mama, and his friends in his secret world.

I finally realized that it wasn’t about me. Or what I liked to do. It was about him. And his interests. I needed to let him be himself.

Today, I do everything I can do to be apart of his magical world. I help him line up his treasures. We look at photos together. We dance to his favorite songs. I sit near him. We laugh about snow, the hoot of an owl, Christmas lights and slide like penguins on the floor. Most people think we are silly. It’s pretty amazing.

I am thankful for every single second. I missed so much. And I refuse to miss one more moment.

Do anything and everything you can to enter your child’s world.

Sit by them. Enjoy what they enjoy. Listen. Learn. Don’t try to change them. Just treasure the glimpse they give you. And pray you get another.

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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Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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