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.

If You Pray For My Autistic Son

By BriAnna Olson / October 4, 2022 /

My husband pulled himself out of bed yesterday morning, quietly pulled his Sunday best from the closet, and went to church while the little man and I slept.   We haven’t been to church together since the beginning of our marriage. We haven’t been to church as a family in years.   And though I’m proud of him for making that decision for himself on such a random Sunday morning, I am simultaneously conflicted in my emotions.   I’m glad he went, if that’s what his heart yearned for yesterday.…

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Chalk Moon

By Wendy Wyler / October 3, 2022 /

I see my child running left to right.  With an adult like animal chasing after her–one that once was human–strung by an invisible rope–sweating  Big, fat drops of sweat  born in a long day of keeping up– To my daughter’s erratic steps.    The chime and play of the entire school on the blacktop is a world entirely unbeknownst  to me—a mirage– I see my child in the wood chips–curiously untamed, naked screaming  like a distraught fawn bare shaky on her legs spitting angst at everyone– And the principal hovering–a…

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A Match is Made

By Nicole Willard / September 30, 2022 /

A week ago, my younger son started playing soccer. My daughter took him to his first practice because I was sick.  As I perused the pictures she sent me, it was obvious how much he enjoyed playing. My daughter barely saw him the entire hour he played because he was running around so much. He was having a blast with his new buddy. This soccer program is a program for children with special needs. My younger son has ADHD.  His ADHD causes him to have a difficult time paying attention…

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It Felt Like I Would Never Get Over My Son’s Autism

By Jaime Ramos / September 29, 2022 /

“When are you going to get over this?” My husband calmly asked, as I laid in our bed yet again crying.  I can’t remember what event involving our son preceded it; Another evaluation, an elopement, an awkward moment at a family gathering or school, maybe it was another long meltdown. Whichever it was, I was now lying in bed quietly crying and venting to him about all of it. Pure heartbreak and fear.    After his question, I knew he immediately regretted asking it, not only because it sounded so harsh,…

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I Cried For All Special Needs Parents

By Alicia Kiechle / September 28, 2022 /

Yesterday, I cried. That’s right, this strong, brave mother who everyone thinks has the answers, cried big ugly crocodile tears. Everything I thought I was doing right was questioned. I went home after yet another meeting for Kyle and went straight to my room, sat on the edge of my bed, kicked off my boots, fell backward, and had myself a good cry. I cried until my eyeliner was streaking across my face. I cried until my eyes were puffy and my head hurt so bad I could barely see…

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Dear Tired Mama

By LeDonna Nubin / September 27, 2022 /

Dear Tired Mama, I see you as we pass each other going for that evening walk with your little one and I with mine trying to burn off that last energy of the day. I see you at the playground pushing your little one on the swing . I see you walking the track with your stroller and two kids while staying committed to being healthy. I see you as you are taking a nature walk, climbing boulders, letting your child explore get messy and dirty. Bringing all kinds of…

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Tell Them About Kids Like My Son

By Adrian Wood / September 26, 2022 /

Dear Parents, It’s that time again- the beginning of a new school year. After the last couple years, I think we’re all ready to get back to some semblance of normal. Most of us prepare children in the usual ways. Open house, new backpacks, clean lunch boxes, lots of forms signed and last minute sneakers. I need you to do something else, too. Will you talk to your children about who may be in their classroom? Tell them about the little people who are squares navigating a very round world.…

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Positive Feedback Goes a Long Way

By Mandi Geiman / September 23, 2022 /

Recently, we were asked to start an initiative at my work. We were told to call one family each day to share a positive thing about their student. I’m a teacher who works in a school that services families of all backgrounds.   Many of these families are of a low socioeconomic background. A vast number of these families have a child with a disability.  They often do not hear words of encouragement. It’s not something they are used to hearing. It has been my pleasure to make these calls to…

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What Are You Going to Do When She is Older?

By Julia Reyes / September 22, 2022 /

“What are you going to do when she is older?” I have been getting asked this question a lot lately, and to be honest with you, this is what I battle with every day.  All day, every day, these are the constant questions on my mind: What? How? When? Where? Why?  I am constantly trying to come up with all the answers to all the things for my daughter Jessa. For instance: Sippy Cup Keeping her clothes on when we have visitors Wearing Princess Dress-Up Costumes as Clothes Puberty Prom…

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The Rocking Chair and Finding Joy

By Laci Maynerich / September 21, 2022 /

It’s the same routine every night.    We read a story, brush her teeth, then settle into the old wooden rocking chair.   I rock us back and forth. Back and forth.   For however long it takes, I sit in that rocking chair, holding her tucked under her favorite gray blanket, waiting for her to drift off to sleep.    I am not sure how many times I go back and forth in that chair, but on those tough nights where she fights sleep, it feels like millions. I…

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