Happy Birthday Grandma

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Immediately after Cooper got on the bus yesterday morning I sent this email to his teacher.

Good morning!
Cooper wanted me to tell you it’s his grandmas birthday tomorrow. He’s very excited. He also has crazy socks on!’

I sent it because he is so excited for his grandma’s birthday he can hardly stand it. Add in crazy sock day and yesterday was the best day ever for him.

He gasped and danced and smiled so big all morning.

He also asked me more times than I can count to reassure him about the birthday and fun socks and calling Dora on the phone. Just to super make sure.

But he didn’t ask with words. Because he isn’t able to. He isn’t able to verbally communicate about those things.

So he holds his hand to his ear to signify using the phone. And he says ‘grandma’ the best he can, although not one part of the word is understandable to anyone but him and I.

Before he got on the bus he paused at the platform and again in the aisle so I could tell the driver and his aide about his excitement.

Then he clapped and gasped and showed his joy.

Imagine not being able to share your excitement and joy with your world. I think about it a lot. All the times Cooper has chosen to stay quiet because he knows no one will understand him.

I made sure to immediately email his teacher so she could ask to see his socks. And hear his gasp about the phone call. And smile at his love for his grandma.

I want his voice to be loud and known even if it isn’t his own right now. That’s my goal.

Happy birthday Grandma!

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. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and join our supporter page, Coop’s Troops, for an amazing community full of support and understanding.


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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