Finding Cooper's Voice: Speaking

Kate has engaged audiences around the country with her stories about special needs parenting, motherhood, marriage, and finding herself after her son’s autism diagnosis.

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Speaking Testimonials

Hear how Kate Swenson can inspire and impact your group!

"We were honored to have Kate as the keynote speaker at our Kids & Dreams Autism Conference this year. She did an amazing job!! Kate shared about her journey with her son, Cooper, and really made an impact on all the attendees. She was real, honest & authentic in her presentations. So glad Kate was a part of our event!"
- Aaron Bly,
Kids & Dreams Foundation, Executive Director/President

"We had the pleasure of inviting Kate Swenson to be our Keynote Speaker at our 22q Moms’ Retreat. This event, planned for a group of moms that all have children with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, was a weekend of opportunities to connect with others walking the same path. Though our community doesn’t share the same diagnosis, our journeys are similar in many ways. Kate’s presentation was emotional yet uplifting. She offered practical advice. She validated moms’ feelings in attendance. She discussed the issues around grieving the loss of a neurotypical child, the parenting struggles, the balance of time and attention for our other children, and the inescapable isolation that can occur on this journey. She shared openly and honestly about the internal struggles she faced raising her son and how important it was to find her community and ultimately find the joy in the diagnosis. Kate’s presentation was the highlight of our event and so many of our moms left feeling heard, understood, and not alone anymore."

-Lindsey Garcia,
Executive Director, The 22q Family Foundation

"If you ever wonder how you can keep the attention of over 60 high school students and keep them engaged and actively learning, invite Kate Swenson, founder of Finding Cooper’s Voice to speak at your school. We had the joy of hosting Kate as our keynote speaker at our Southwest Minnesota State University Students Aspiring to be Educators Day. Words cannot begin to express how critical the message was that Kate shared with our concurrent enrollment and current education SMSU students and faculty. From the back of the room, you could have heard a pin drop as everyone in the audience was captivated by Kate’s transparent, real, sometimes brutal yet beautiful telling of her family’s story of navigating through the world of autism. Her authenticity and realness only enhanced the experience as everyone present could envision themselves as the educators who could make or break the relationships with families of students with special needs. Kate’s story highlights the importance of hearing personal experiences and narratives, which cannot be gleaned from a textbook, to better prepare aspiring educators to lead with compassion, empathy, and a heart for listening and learning, not one of judgment. Additionally, one of the best outcomes was that these current and future teachers heard the reality of how isolating an autism diagnosis can be for the families of these exceptional children. Everyone present that day remarked at how powerful Kate’s message was, but perhaps the most affirming endorsement came in a private email to me from one of our current students, whose family has walked a similar story to the Swensons. His words expressed how validating it was to hear that his family was not alone in their journey through autism.

I am so thankful that Kate said “yes” to our request to be our keynote speaker, and I would highly recommend her as a speaker and author for any group, but especially for schools and teacher preparation programs. Her deeply personal and moving, yet inspirational and actionable ideas for teachers are phenomenal!"

-Dr. Kandy Noles Stevens,
Associate Professor of Education, Southwest Minnesota State University

"Kate Swenson is an inspiring and engaging presenter and made our community program a huge success! Kate drew almost 100 people to our Caregiver event and her presentation was equal parts moving, funny and inspirational. The feedback and engagement from participants has been so positive- we highly recommend bringing Kate to speak at your community event. Kate was easy to work with and collaborated with our team to make the event a huge success."

-Rachel Green, 
Director of Programs and Services 
Jewish Family Services

"Kate Swenson's message touched the audience!  We hope to have her back in New Prague Area Schools!  Her stories were relatable.  Her message was authentic and real.  She gave parents and educators a reminder of what is most important when it comes to kids and specifically kids with disabilities.  Lastly, she not only reminded participants to find joy every day, but she modeled that even through challenging times, there are moments of joy, and these moments need to be remembered.  Fantastic speaker!"

-Amy Waldspurger,
Special Services Director, New Prague Area Schools