Nonverbal Communication: Cooper’s Language of Joy

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My son Cooper doesn’t have a lot to say verbally.
But he’s always communicating.
Sometimes it’s a point or a wave. A sound. A facial expression. A click of a button. A stomp of a foot.
He’s always listening too.
He hears everything.
In fact he’s incredibly nosey.
He nods sometimes.
Or smiles at something we’ve said.
Or even scowls.
He waves to everybody.
And if he really likes you, you will get the nuggets hug.
He raises a finger in the air for yes.
A fist in the air for no.
And he always, always, always signs thank you.
He adores sounds.
The hoot of an owl.
The screech of a tire.
The whistle of a train.
And the roar of a wave.
I think he hears things that you and I cannot.
When we are on the boat, he always sits in the back.
Hours if we’d let him.
At different times he will lift his hands up, as if conducting a musical.
Smiling up to the sky.
He points. And gasps.
He will look back and smile as if saying…are you seeing this!?
I would give anything just to know, to see, to hear, to feel like him.
And maybe, just maybe someday he will be able to tell us.
But until then. I’ll find comfort in his joy.
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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