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.

A List of the Things I Wish for My Autistic Son

By Amanda DeLuca / September 20, 2022 /

A list of the things I wish for you, I hope you have big dreams my sweet boy. I will be here to make them happen with you. We will chase them, and work for them, and celebrate every moment and success. I know that your life is going to be the greatest adventure I couldn’t have even imagined. Bravery my brilliant boy. I hope that one day you realize how much you inspire others. How many of us you have taught about the true meaning of bravery. I want…

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A Letter to Special Needs Paras

By RaShelle Carter / September 19, 2022 /

Dear Para, You are valued. We know you show up every day not because the pay is great but because you truly enjoy your job. Please know you are valued. We know the time and dedication you put into our child each and every day. Your efforts will never go unnoticed from us because you are valued. We see the love and respect you show to our child. You always see them as a person and not as another job responsibility. You are valued. You follow the IEP. You offer…

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The Brick Wall of Autism Advocacy

By Tabitha Cabrera / September 16, 2022 /

What does it truly mean to fill your life with advocacy? As parents of autistic children, we spend hours upon hours advocating for our children. I often think of it as two sides of a brick wall. On one side, you have all the people you sit across from in different settings. On the other side, you are standing holding the hand of your child. In this brick wall, one brick is missing. Through the hole, you try to use your words to explain a mountain of concepts you wish…

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Growth and Autism

By Claire Garley / September 15, 2022 /

Every once in a while, I look at my tiny human, a piece of my heart that walks this earth, and I think ‘you’re growing’. It usually hits me in the morning. That divine window of time before sleep has fully left her eyes, energy of the day yet to take hold. There’s something captivating about that sudden realization that change happens faster than you can blink. Obviously, she’s going to grow. It’s what kids do. But logic is irrelevant when you’ve waded through six years of global development delays…

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Life Changed With Autism, But He Stayed The Same

By Alison Kacer / September 14, 2022 /

Five years. It seems unbelievable it’s been that long. After a four month wait we made our way down to Minneapolis.  It was one of those weird days in August that was cool and dreary. We were early of course. I don’t like feeling rushed. The place we were going was close to the fair grounds.  The “Great Minnesota Get Together” had just started and I didn’t want to be late. We had waited too long for this appointment. I remember driving by wishing it was Sunday.  The day we planned to attend…

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Don’t Take Your Child’s Speech For Granted

By Ellie Whetzel / September 13, 2022 /

My Eva. She’s a talker this one. Unlike her mama, in that regard. My social butterfly, who craves conversation, and connection, and whose charisma and charm emanates across settings.  Her curiosity lends itself to question upon question spanning topics far and wide. Her love of learning is palpable and soars through that sweet high pitched quizzical tone she conveys to me in repeated fashion… But why, mommy? Oh, really?  Why?? A few days ago, I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of questions and commentary pouring from my girl.…

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As School Starts Teach Your Kids to Be Kind

By Robyn DeMars / September 12, 2022 /

Before your kids go back to school… Talk to them about being kind. Being a friend. Be generous. Being a kind human. Because… Back when I was only 10 years ago old a new school opened up in my hometown, and I was transferred there for my last two years in elementary school. I had just gotten glasses, and did not know anyone at my new school. I was what many kids would call a geek. The kids at this school came from a nicer part of town where they…

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We Will Not Silence Our Autistic Son

By Alicia Kiechle / September 9, 2022 /

We will not silence him. It is so hard for some people to realize that Kyle is not defined by his diagnosis. That’s not all that he is. It’s only a small part of him. He really doesn’t make any more noise than other children. Just because his noises aren’t concrete words that doesn’t make him noisy. He has his own way of communicating with us. It doesn’t make it bad or wrong. He is working on making his sounds something someone can understand. Who says how he talks is…

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I Hope My Autistic Son Finds True Friendships

By Stalen’s Way / September 8, 2022 /

As he sat on the buddy bench for a rest, my heart broke a little. I imagined him sitting here by himself, yearning for a friend. Someone who understands and accepts him. Someone other than his Mom, Dad, brother and sisters. I find it hard to build and maintain friendships and relationships. I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone who has difficulty communicating. But, I know he will find his way and learn to build and forge friendships, the Stalen way. It takes someone special to see beyond…

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Will I Ever Grow Out Of Autism, Or Will Society Allow Me To Grow?

By MeganHoran / September 7, 2022 /

Sometimes I wondered if I would ever get better or outgrow autism as I grew older. I really knew I could never outgrow autism, especially when I got older.  However, the older you get the more you realize you know how to deal with stuff better without having an anxiety rush.  It’s more about the acceptance. When you get older you know things will change as our body is always changing.   Like, when I was younger, I ate meat. Now as an adult I hardly do. No idea why,…

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