I Do It For Me

September 8, 2016

Well, he’s off to his first day of school. The bus driver and aide were amazing. They pulled up, opened the door, and shouted out….’is there a Cooper here that needs a ride to school?‘ Cooper of course turned and ran the other way laughing and giggling. So, in true Swenson fashion, I brought him flailing and kicking to the bus. He was in good spirits though. I hugged him goodbye this morning and whispered in his ear….‘Be brave sweet boy. You got this.’ And he laughed and laughed and…

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I Am So Proud Of Cooper…

September 6, 2016

As someone affiliated with Autism I have noticed if I browse through Pinterest or Facebook or any of the dozen support groups I am part of there is often a common theme….having a special needs child changes your life. Or defines you as a parent. Or teaches you lessons and makes you a better person. I’ll be honest. I don’t feel that way yet. I haven’t ever actually. Every day is more like an episode of Ground Hogs day. He typically wakes up before 5 am. My anxiety about him…

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A Thankless Job

August 19, 2016

Yesterday we had another weekly visit from Cooper’s crisis social worker. It was great as usual. We laughed and told stories and talked about ways to help Cooper. More specifically ways to make life easier. I mentioned how the week before the electricity was out at the house and I lasted 15 minutes before I threw him the truck to watch a movie. That kid cannot survive without technology. In a 15 minute period he melted completely down over no WI-FI, useless remotes, VCR’s, DVD players, TV’s, kindles, etc. It…

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I Stopped Talking To Cooper A Long Time Ago

July 22, 2016

Yesterday Cooper’s Crisis Intervention Social Worker came over for our weekly visit. I have so much to write about that and will at some point. He has given me more valuable advice than any single person, blog, doctor, etc., throughout this journey. He has helped me and my family. And in turn I want to share that with you peeps. But, per the usual, I am days behind at work and working from home in a disgusting house with dirty dishes, dog hair and a pile of laundry that would…

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Why Is Honesty Perceived As Negativity?

June 30, 2016

Hi all, I wanted to share this post from a fellow autism parent and blogger. I read his posts often and rarely has something resonated so deeply with me. Click to read Losing Hope Is Not A Bad Thing by Autism Daddy. When people ask me if I think Cooper is going to talk one day I used to say….YES. And then slowly I switched to MAYBE. And lately I say a no. People usually look at me with a weird look or scold me or tell me to be…

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Most Of All, I Teach You Giving

June 9, 2016

This. Always this. I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated. If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life. I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you. I teach you giving. Most of all, I teach you hope and faith.

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The Hitting Has Begun

June 8, 2016

I have been blogging about Cooper for a few years now. Since the beginning I’ve received more emails than I can count from autism parents who have teenagers. The emails always start the same way. They say they have a teenager who was just like Cooper. And they tell me about the diagnosis and the process and the where they are currently in the journey. And then they go onto tell me that their daughter or son started hitting and kicking and exhibiting really aggressive behaviors. I’ve read enough of…

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Cooper Has The Kind Of Autism No One Talks About

June 1, 2016

I stumbled across a post today on Facebook titled, ‘My Son Has The Kind Of Autism No One Talks About-Term Life’. “Because for every boy with autism who manages his high school basketball team, there are 20 boys with autism who smear feces. And for every girl with autism who gets to be on the homecoming court, there are 30 girls with autism who pull out their hair and bite their arms until they bleed. And for every boy with autism who gets to go the prom, there are 50…

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I Am This Mom

May 31, 2016

This image has been going around Facebook for a few weeks now with the following caption: Disabled people in US: 19% Transgender people in US: 0.03% THIS is the bathroom issue I am more concerned about. Having a private place to change my beloved son with dignity, privacy, and cleanliness…not on a dirty bathroom floor with a large cot I have to carry everywhere with us. We consider ourselves “fortunate” when we can find large private family bathrooms like the one pictured…but most places are stalled restrooms where even the…

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Cooper's Talking Device

May 27, 2016

Hi all, I wanted to share a video of Cooper’s talking device. Cooper has been using it at school for a little over 3 months and we are just starting to use it at home. Much like everything else I find it to be a little overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like it’s just ‘another’ thing we are trying. But in saying that his speech therapists are RAVING about his successes with it. He can say up to 6 word sentences. An example would be: ‘I want to eat yogurt please.’…

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