Autism and Finding Connection with Siblings

September 10, 2023

My son Cooper, Last night was one of those special nights. I was outside in the backyard pushing your younger siblings on the swings when I heard you come outside. Slow at first. You wandered to a deck chair and sat down. Then to the stairs leading down the deck. I think you found a fly. It must have landed on you because I heard you gasp and giggle than shake your hand to the sky and point. You wandered some more. Never in a straight line. In fact I…

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The Big Things

September 9, 2023

You think the big things are the most important. The ones that will make the most impact. I used too. Speaking. Joining a group or team. Driving a car. Graduating. First job, first love, first house. Those are the milestones we work towards. Right? And yes, of course they are important. But as I grow into being the best mom for my autistic son, and watch him grow into himself, I realize it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in our world. That make the most impact on…

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Back to School with Autism and Friendship

September 6, 2023

This morning my son Cooper had his first day of 7th grade. He was ready early. I dressed him. I packed his lunch. I put his speech device in his bag. And I wrote his name on his things. He posed for a picture in front of the fireplace holding two train guidebooks and a whiteboard full of his dreams. When the bus pulled up, he gasped. He waved goodbye to me as his dad led him hand-in-hand to the bus. I cried. I cried for his vulnerability. I cried…

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Invited to Play: ‘Do You Know Anyone With Autism?’

September 5, 2023

‘I’m sorry I’m crying…this is so unlike me. This has just never happened before.’ Those were the words I said to a fellow mom today. I didn’t know her. I just knew it was her children on the raft that my son Cooper was swimming out too. It took me a second to catch my breath. My sunglasses hiding my tears. Then I said… ‘My son. His name is Cooper. He is swimming out to play with your boys. Your husband invited him but he didn’t respond. See he’s autistic…

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Siblings of Autism: A Bond of Understanding and Unconditional Love

September 4, 2023

‘Mom! Did you know that my brother doesn’t talk?’ I’ll be honest when he said it to me I burst out laughing. It caught me off guard. The innocence of it. He had just come up from downstairs. Four years old. Spikey blonde hair. A dimple on his left cheek. A red and blue Spiderman costume a size too small. The younger brother to an older brother with nonverbal autism. ‘For real mom! I was just with Cooper for SO LONG and he didn’t say one word! Did ya know?…

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Nonverbal Communication: Cooper’s Language of Joy

September 1, 2023

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…

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A Boy Who Sees the World Differently

September 1, 2023

One of the things I adore the most about my son Cooper is the way he gets excited over things. Things that most people may not think are all that big of a deal. Like a cow in a field. Or when it rains. The wind in his hair. A tractor. When we drive by Target. A train t-shirt. A crane. A green light. People who look like Santa. Halloween decorations tucked away in a closet. Photos of mom and dad as awkward teenagers. And when his people join him…

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Dear Moms of Autistic Children

August 31, 2023

Dear Moms of Autistic Children, This screenshot I took last year showed up in my memories today. It was in reply to a story I posted on my blog page of a video of my son. He was looping the same question over and over again in bed. I still remember how bad the message made me feel. Sometimes I receive messages like this, and they encompass a variety of tones. Some are kind, inquiring when Jesse achieved certain milestones or how we reached them. Those messages don’t bother me…

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Seasons of Autism: What Autism Means To Our Family

August 30, 2023

Autism has been an ever changing experience in our life. It has had different meanings to us as it’s evolved through the different seasons of our lives.  My daughter was diagnosed with Autism in January of 2012. She was just shy of three years old at the time. My oldest daughter had just turned thirteen years old, and my son had just turned seven years old.  During those days Autism was overwhelming and hard. Not much information was out there about it during that time, especially in relation to having…

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This Autism’s Journey: Growth, Joy, and Unwavering Love

August 29, 2023

I’m often asked how my son Cooper is doing. Typically it’s from a friend or family member. Someone we haven’t seen in a while. They ask the question entirely with love. I’ll tell them he is doing great. That he rides a horse named Winston. And plays baseball with his brother. And is starting seventh grade soon. I brag about how he is communicating in his own ways and typing words into YouTube and cracking my amazon password. He adores his brother Sawyer and likes to cause trouble with Harbor…

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