More Changes for Cooper

192I was chatting with a friend today and she said to me….“I have never met a more resilient family. It’s like change doesn’t scare you.” I just smiled and nodded. It must appear that way to the outside world. Oddly enough I usually feel like I am standing in a room screaming and people are rushing by me. But, apparently from the outside, I appear to have my shit together. Score one for me and bring on more changes.

Cooper is starting an autism preschool at the local elementary school on Wednesday. He will attend from 7:50 to he 10″50, ride the bus home, have lunch, and take the bus to Fraser for his outpatient therapy. All 5 days a week. We didn’t have to add in any more therapy. Some people may even think it is too much for a little boy.

So, why did we choose to add in more therapy? Honestly, for so many reasons.

The autism preschool is more education focused and he will have music, gym, art, media, etc. He will also receive speech and OT services. Fraser is much more social and behavioral focused. We really want the combination of education and social.

What else…I HAVE TO GET COOPER AWAY FROM THE TV. It’s starting to make me crazy. Well, crazier than I already am.

Also, Cooper has improved by leaps and bounds since starting Fraser. I can’t wait to see after a few months of this program as well.

And lastly, I can’t put him in daycare. I just can’t. We had an amazing daycare in Duluth and I still was sickly scared before every single pickup that she was going to tell me she couldn’t handle him anymore. I can’t do that again. I just can’t.

This is the right move. I just know it.

We even visited his new classroom. The classroom visits we did in Duluth while writing Cooper’s IEP were an absolute nightmare. I left every single one in tears. This one was not. He loved his classroom and the teacher. Miss Anna did make one comment about ‘how busy he was.’ I just laughed and said, ‘you have NO idea. You should see our house.’

As we were leaving the school we walked by the lunchroom where the kids were eating. Cooper ran in and refused to leave. He was in heaven and so excited. How can he be so social? Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me. And by sometimes I mean always.

Most of the kids just stared at him since he was screeching. It was such an odd moment.

Our autistic, nonverbal kiddo didn’t want to leave the school and kids. And on the other hand, he had no idea what to do with them. I think I actually gasped. So did Jamie. I giggled and told his teacher how he loves kids. Sometimes. In the right setting. And if there are no tv’s or ipads around. And then I just shut up and watched Cooper.

He was in heaven. He was laughing and giggling and pointing. He was happy

I had these flashes of the future. Flashes of him making friends. And sitting in the lunchroom with other kids. Of just ‘being’ in a moment.

I slowly walked up to Cooper as he backed away from me ready to run. I bent down and quietly told him that we had to go home now. And he lost his shit. And the flashes changes. Flashes of him being teased. Of having no friends. And then wondering if he would even know that he doesn’t have friends. Oh, how things change in an instant.




4 thoughts on “More Changes for Cooper

  1. Good luck to you with the changes…my ASD son just started special ed public preschool last week. I wonder if other people look at me and think I have my shit together, or if they can see the hot mess that I am? I’ve no idea what other people think of me…when my son was born life became so overwhelmingly difficult I didn’t have the energy to give a shit about it anymore. Still, it’s an interesting thing to ponder. I hope the school change goes well for Super Cooper, which is the most fabulous nickname in the world.

    • You made me smile! In some of Cooper’s first appointments I would be a hot, sweaty mess. I would get out of the appointment and be so worked up I’d have to go through a drive through because my blood sugar was so low from chasing after his crazy behind. Looking back….wow. HOT MESS. Sleep deprivation didn’t help either. Or expectations. Good luck to you as well!

  2. I think Cooper will do great at his new school, best of luck!
    And for what it’s worth….I get those flashes too. I try SO hard not to think about the future, but even a year after my son’s diagnosis it’s one of the hardest things for me to stop doing.

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