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His Beautiful Soul

Boys 14

Yesterday, I drove my middle son Sawyer to school. He typically rides the bus but he wanted to donate a handful of toys to the toy drive his school was holding so I drove him.

‘The toys go to Children’s Hospital mom.’ He was adamant about bringing presents.

As we drove he asked me a zillion questions. As a mom, I’ve learned that some of the best conversations happen in the car.

After asking me about multiplying 8’s and 9’s and something he saw on YouTube, he said, ‘mama, am I good at skating?’

And I told him ‘yes. You are very good at skating. Way better than me!’

He asked me if I was sad that I wasn’t good at skating. And we went onto have a conversation about how every person on this earth has different skills and strengths.

‘You are good at writing mom. And dad is good at fishing.’

He went onto tell me that his baby sister is good at making people smile and his little brother is good at driving people nuts. And after some clarification he decided his little brother was really good at knowing all the dinosaur types. Which is impressive because he’s only three.

‘And Cooper,’ I said?

I was genuinely curious at what he was going to say.

See, as a mom of a little boy with autism, I see all of his strengths. I see all of his amazing parts. But so often the world does not. We live in a place where we look at grades and shooting the winning basket in a game as the ONLY strengths and skills that matter.

My nonspeaking boy doesn’t check any of the typical boxes. He makes his own.

Sawyer thought about it for a second. I waited. Never rushing him.

‘I think it’s super cool that Cooper can have a whole conversation without saying a word. He can, like, talk with his mind. And people listen. That’s like superhero stuff mom. I wish I could do that.’

I paused, in awe of his answer.

‘Maybe someday he will skate with me. Do you think maybe mom? Maybe someday? I would love to skate with my brother.’

I was overwhelmed with how beautiful his soul is.

That Sawyer, yes, he can skate amazingly well. But he also sees people. And that’s an even cooler strength. One that not everyone gets.

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.

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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