‘Brother Doesn’t Talk Mama……’

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‘Brother doesn’t talk mama……’

That’s what he said to me a few months after he turned three.

He was downstairs with his older brother. Eight years between them.
The conversation one sided when I peeked in.
The older brother dancing to the songs on his iPad. The younger brother playing dinosaurs.
The moved around the room together. Clumsily. Interacting at times. But more often not.
‘Why doesn’t he talk mama?’
I did my best to explain autism to the tiny human who I know without a doubt will grow up to be a huge advocate.

Born into it. Seeing differences. Not fearing them. Loving fiercely.

I explained to him how his older brother communicates with his hands. His sounds. A speech device. A look. A touch. A gesture.
I explained listening with more than our ears. Using our hearts and our eyes to communicate.
And minutes ago, amidst Saturday cartoons and chaos, I walked into a nearly silent scene.
The older brother sorting sheets of brightly colored paper. His fingers doing important work. Yellow to one pile. Blue to another.
Purple gone all together. The sorting making sense to him.
And the younger brother holding onto him. Tightly. His head resting. Both of their bodies still. A rare occurrence.
I asked him what he was doing. Curious.

‘Listening mama. I’m listening to my brother.’

There is so much beauty in this world if you just look for it.
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.
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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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