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Welcome to the Secret World of Autism

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.

It’s a Beautiful Life

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

I have said for many years that my son Cooper has give me the gift of sight. He is always showing me things. He will stop. Pause. Point. Gasp. Cheer. Clap. Even high five. The moon. A cloud. A train. Tractor. Cow. Bird. Christmas lights. A pumpkin. A man with a beard who looks like Santa. A sign for Target. A commercial for Starbucks. It’s amazing really. These little glimpses into his world and the things he loves. He has taught me to pause and to see. It’s a beautiful…

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Happy Birthday Grandma

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

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…

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A Beautiful Combination

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

My son, I like to write you these little notes so that one day, when I’m old and gray, and my memory isn’t so good, I can remember you. Your life. And us. You are 11. You are a tween. An in-between. When you were diagnosed with autism all those years ago, and the future felt confusing, maybe even a little bit scary, I would wonder what you would be like at this age. Because the teenage years can be interesting. And autism, well it muddles the edges. There are…

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Just Hang On Mama

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

I stumbled across an old blog post of mine the other day titled, ‘what if my son never speaks to me?’ The words that followed were filled with fear and longing. My son was 5. And my hope had ran out. Why? Well someone, a professional, had told me that if my son didn’t speak by age four, then game over. I was crushed. Devastated. Heartbroken. As I read my fears displayed on my computer screen I had this urge to hug the old me. To tell me to hang…

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You’re Carrying too Much

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

Hey you… Mom, Dad, parent, or caregiver of a child with a disability, I have something to tell you. And it’s not a secret. Not in the slightest. It may not even surprise you. You’re carrying too much weight. I see you. I see all that you are doing. You are worn down. You are stressed out by it, and you’re missing some of the best parts of not only your life but your child’s life because if it. Your life is unique. It’s one that demands more from us…

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The Seeds of a Future Advocate

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

My second born son Sawyer is at the age where he asks a lot of questions. The questions are pure and innocent and often make me smile or giggle. Or cringe. He asks me a lot of questions about other children. He will tell me stories from school and ask me why a child was mean or why they acted a certain way. Or he will loudly ask why the cashier at Target is in a wheelchair or why the man in line next to us has purple hair. Or…

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The Push and Pull of Motherhood

By Kate Swenson / May 16, 2022 /

Do any of you feel a constant push and pull as a mother? Because I do. I have four beautiful children ages 11 to 11 months. Every second of my life is full. It’s messy and loud and so full of love and joy and lack of sleep that some days I just want to cry. I miss reading. And sitting. And thinking. It’s amazing too though. The best really. But the push and pull. I’m feeling it a lot lately. I spent the last couple of days with my…

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Why Doesn’t He Talk Mama?

By Kate Swenson / May 11, 2022 /

‘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…

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SpringBrook Brings Hope to Families

By Kate Swenson / May 11, 2022 /

I once read a post on Facebook from a father whose teenage autistic son was struggling. He was unable to communicate his wants and needs and had chronic health issues that the medical community couldn’t seem to get ahead of. At that time, my own sweet son was a few days shy of age six. He had similar struggles. The father went onto explain that they had reached the end of the road when it came to help. Their son was very aggressive towards himself and others. So much so…

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Happy Mother’s Day

By Kate Swenson / May 9, 2022 /

Last night when I opened my son Cooper’s backpack I found a gift that he had made me. I cried. Which may sound silly. I’m sure most mother’s are used to getting these types of gifts from their child’s daycare and then preschool and eventually school. I’m not though. Crafts clumsily put together with love, glue, glitter and color. This one was perfection. When I showed it to him he clapped and gasped. He knew. He can’t say Happy Mother’a Day…but he knows. As I sipped my coffee I let…

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