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I’m Sad My Brother Has Autism, Mama

I’m Sad My Brother Has Autism, Mama
Today was a day. Long. Hot. A bit boring. Fun at times.
The kids are figuring out this summer vacation thing. So are mom and dad.
Schedule changes are tough I tell ya. It takes time to settle in. To figure out how to slow down.
I watched my two oldest, Sawyer and Cooper, swim for over an hour.
At first, just Cooper wanted to swim.
It’s his most favorite activity ever. He’s a fish in the water.
An autistic adult told me once that being under water is the best therapy ever. Something about the pressure.
He said two words clear as day.


Swim and Sawyer. Pretty amazing for a kid with a diagnosis of nonspeaking autism.
They had fun. Lots of fun. It was beautiful really.
Later Sawyer made his way too me.
He was upset. His eyes were red. His face blotchy. He didn’t appear hurt. He had been alone in the garage at this point. Tinkering with his bike.

‘I’m sad my brother has autism mama. It’s not fair for him. It’s just not fair.’

I didn’t react right away. I let him talk. Ask questions. He mentioned God. And lost voices. He mentioned being really worried and scared. He said he wishes it could get better. He told me he doesn’t understand.
When I finally spoke I told him I understood everything he was saying and feeling. Validating his feelings is very important to me. So is giving him a safe space to talk about hard topics.
And then I asked him one question.

‘Is Cooper happy, Sawyer?’

Without a pause he said yes. And we smiled together. Because both of us knew that Cooper is the joy of our house.
‘Cooper is the happiest person I have ever met Sawyer. He loves his family and his life. Every day is the best day of his life. And I’m pretty sure you made his world today when you swam with him. Even though I know you didn’t really want too.’
His response broke me a bit.

‘I won’t always be here, mom. To swim. And I just don’t think he understands that.’

Please encourage your children, the siblings, the ones born into advocacy, to ask all of the questions. And talk and share. And to be scared and worried.
We have to talk about this stuff.
‘When I come home, mama, when I’m older, Cooper will be like 30 years old. Do you think he will still want to swim with me?’
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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