The Weight of Autism – Finding Cooper’s Voice

,When I think about that little newborn baby—the first one I birthed, the first true obsession of my life—I recall the haze of sleepless nights and the excitement of new life.

Babies are so raw and new; they wholly need you. You carry them and everything they will one day become. The fears, the worries, the hope, the determination. He matters merely because he exists, and to exist is a miracle on its own.

Looking at that tiny being, my expectations were simple: health and happiness.

But that little baby, who challenged me in countless ways, also faced trials of his own. From the moment he entered this world, Autism became his companion, his burden.

Some people call it a gift, and some call it beautiful. I am here to say it can be those things, but it is also a burden. It is his burden to bear, from day one.

The moment he entered this world, it weighed on him. He emerged from my womb into a world ill-prepared for him, a world quick to judge and slow to understand.

As a mother, I do my best to fix that. Not to change him, but to change the world’s perception of him. A different way of seeing him. The beauty of his perspective, the depth of his love.

But at the end of the day, it’s his burden to bear.

He has it the hardest, and has from day one. That can break a mother’s soul. I watch others. The looks they give us. They judge us and they judge him. A child.

And as he grows older, the weight of society’s expectations presses down harder. He feels it, the stares, the whispers, the unspoken judgments, the other children’s laughs. He doesn’t understand why. And to be honest, some days I don’t either.

We push our way through the world. His struggle is loud and lonely. It’s temperamental. It doesn’t always fit their narrative.

There are many days I write about the beauty in what autism brings. The strength it’s built. The resilience that blooms.

Today though, I validate that it is a burden. Today, I look at the 9-year-old who once was a tiny newborn. To the boy who carries a weight that threatens his health and happiness.


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