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A Mother’s Plea: Teach Your Kids About Kids Like Mine

A Mother’s Plea: Teach Your Kids About Kids Like Mine
I need your help moms and dads…
I need you to teach your kids about kids like mine. The ones in the other classrooms at school. The faces you may not recognize in the yearbook.
My son is 13 years old. He’s a 7th grader this year. He also is autistic and technically nonspeaking on paper. But I can proudly say he has loads of words and sounds and signs and he can spell and read and even use movie scenes to tell us things. It’s unbelievable really.
They told us he wouldn’t and couldn’t. And he is. Just like lots of other things.
He is.
He doesn’t play sports at school. Nor is he in any clubs. But he loves going to school. He loves the bus and being around the hum of other kids.
As we navigate this teenager stuff, I find the rules changing again.
Autism at age 13 is viewed differently than at age 2 or 3 or even 4.
Where I see…
Smart.
Funny.
Mysterious.
Unique.
Brave.
Resilient.
Others may see…
Weird.
Odd.
Scary.
An easy target.
And far worse.
We just had our first instance of teasing. That I know of, I guess. Because see, he can’t tell me. I am at the mercy of adults to tell me and protect him when I cannot.
I guess, this is just a plea. A hope. An ask. Maybe even a beg…from a mom, just like you.
Teach your kids about differences. Talk about them. Show. Share. Celebrate. Include.
Teach them about kids like mine.
Don’t pretend he’s not autistic. Or whisper it. Just see him. Just say hi.
We are no different, you and me. I held this baby in my arms and smelled his glorious head. I watched him take his first steps. I cried when I sent him to kindergarten. Autism didn’t change that.
And I guess…I just want the world to know…he’s just a boy. Autism or not. Speaking or not. He’s a boy I check on at night before bed. One who loves kids and going swimming and protests taking a break from technology. He has best friends. And siblings too.
We are all more alike than we are different. I promise.
Thank you. It means more than you could ever possibly know.
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. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook.

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