Believing in Progress: A Brother’s Love

Tonight my older son Cooper and I went to his 10-year-old brother’s baseball game.
We were armed with a blanket, a chair, an iPad, hotspot, snacks, a drink, and talk of a visit to the fire station this Saturday.
And belief in a boy with autism. Belief in progress and hard work.

See he is 12 years old. He doesn’t care much for sports. But he sure loves his brother.

He stayed for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I saw almost every inning.
I saw my son catch. I saw him in left field. I saw him bat. Steal bases. And run home.
Cooper sat. He stood. He wandered. We watched from the baseline. The outfield. On top of a hill behind the field. And from a blanket on the sidewalk.
He gave Sawyer a high five in between innings. He pet a puppy. He watched Dora play baseball on his iPad. He laughed when a bug landed on his leg.
I never thought we’d get right here. That’s the truth. Severe nonverbal autism, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, it muddies the waters a bit.

It takes things that seem so simple to most and places them just out of reach.

Like a baseball game.
A parent like me can see the possibility though. And we just keep moving forward.
When Sawyer got home tonight he immediately hugged Cooper. In full uniform, spikes still on, he hugged the older brother who is barely taller than him.

‘Thanks for coming to my game Cooper. Did you see me hit?!’

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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