Autism Journey: A Mother’s Love Letter to Her Son – Finding Cooper’s Voice

Dear Son,

When I found out I was pregnant with you, I fell in love at first heartbeat.

We called you little niblet because in our first ultrasound and picture, you were this little bean, but we heard a strong heartbeat. It was amazing to feel you move and hiccup in my belly. I remember the day dad felt you kick for the first time; we were at the cottage. You knew then it was going to be your happy place.

My pregnancy was pretty normal up till the end. You came into this world at 39 weeks. It was a little scary, but you were perfectly healthy, so I can’t complain.

I never believed in love at first sight until I saw you. I was in love immediately; you were perfect.

The first year, I think, was pretty typical. You were a pretty good sleeper; you didn’t latch to me, but I was fine with pumping. You were a little small, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. Someone has to be on the low end of the curve.

You hit all your milestones; I had no worries about you. I had visions of little league, sleepovers with your friends, getting your driver’s license, dropping you off at college on your first day.

Around two, I started to see differences. You slowly lost your words, you were not playing the way a 2-year-old would play, and you still weren’t chewing your food.

I still didn’t think autism; I just thought it was a speech delay. We started early intervention, with speech and occupational therapy.

As the months went on, you started to go more and more into your own little world. You wouldn’t answer to your name as much, you wouldn’t look at us, and you started to be obsessed with string, anything that looked like string.

Right before your third birthday, you were diagnosed autistic, October 14th, 2014. I will never forget that day. It’s the day that changed my life for the better.

I want to tell you that I’m sorry I may have been distant the first couple of weeks. I was in a new place and didn’t know how to navigate. If I was tearing up, I didn’t want you to see, so I would try to turn around.

It took me that long to realize that you were still the same amazing, sweet boy you were before the diagnosis; I just now had the tools to help you grow.

You see, you are the most amazing boy I’ve ever met. You have helped me see the joy in everything. Your smile lights up every room.

You surprise me every day; I admire how much you have had to overcome because you couldn’t communicate your wants and needs at the beginning. But now you are a rockstar with your talker, communication device.

I hope you know you are special.

We are nine years into our autism journey, and I wouldn’t change a thing. You are the person you were supposed to be, and you made me the mother I was supposed to be.

Remember, Mama loves you and will do anything to make your life easier.

Love, Mom

Written by Rachel Lack of Across the Spectrum: The Doc


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