Advocating for Vulnerable Voices – Finding Cooper’s Voice

When you don’t have a child with a disability, you don’t think too much about it. Until your life is touched by it, you think about it differently; it’s personal.

Of course, everyone knows there are individuals with disabilities, but it’s not directly affecting your life. There is not much you can do anyway.

That is where you are wrong.

We need to stand and advocate for everyone, especially those who are vulnerable.

March is Disability Awareness Month. I am proud to say in Massachusetts, the governor declared March Developmental and Intellectual Disability Month. This shines a light on these types of disabilities. It brings awareness and starts conversations.

We have come a long way in the way we treat and think about those with disabilities. There is still a long way to go.

Passing judgments, staring, and comments need to be a thing of the past. Instead, try a smile or a kind word.

Those with disabilities are often viewed as less than.

I can assure you my daughter is not less than anything.

Her smile is bigger, brighter.

Her observations deeper, more detailed.

Her innocence knows no bounds.

Her love is pure, and when she loves, it’s big, and with her whole heart.

To know her is a privilege, to be let in is a blessing.

You will be a better person, and she will open up your heart simply by being around her.

She is different, yes, but not less.

She is deserving of everything life has to offer and more.

To know her is to love her, and it’s as simple as that.

She is one person with a disability.

There are so many more, and they all have so much to offer. It may not be in the way you are accustomed to, but in many ways, it’s better.

They have their challenges as we all do, and they need assistance, but it goes beyond that.

They need protection; they are vulnerable to neglect and abuse. Many, like my daughter, are innocent and can easily be victims. They have to fight for basic rights or have someone do it for them.

All people are valuable.

Every single person.

They need kindness and respect.

They need love and compassion.

They need opportunities and experiences.

They need purpose, and above all, they need to be seen.

Now that you know better, do better.

Ask questions, practice inclusion.

Don’t look away; smile.



Although my daughter is vulnerable, she is a warrior. She has fought for everything she is today. I am proud to stand beside her. She has changed and made me a better person.

Written by Kimberly Mcisaac of Autism Adventures with Alyssa


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