I thought I’d wrap up Autism Acceptance Month by reviewing a brand-new book release.

Forever Boy is hot off the presses, released April 5th of this year. It is written by Kate Swenson of the Autism blog, Finding Cooper’s Voice. If that name sounds familiar, it may be because I shared an article of mine this past Christmas that Kate was gracious enough to share with her audience.

Words don’t do it justice, so in order to “show” you how good it is, allow me describe how my reading it went down:
-First I squealed when I opened the package. The book, pre-ordered as a gift from my thoughtful Sister-In-Law, arrived a whole day early! (I felt like I was in a very special club getting to preview it. 🙂 )
-I stayed up all night reading it.
-I cried through the whole thing.
-The first thing I did after closing the book was go ask my husband to read it too.

Kate’s son Cooper is a “Forever Boy,” and she a “Forever Mom.” Her little boy will be her little boy to love, protect, and care for long after he is no longer little. She will care for him for the rest of her life. Cooper has severe non-verbal Autism and will always need a caregiver.

Kate’s journey to finding a diagnosis and supports for Cooper differs from my own, since she is from the USA, and I’m from Canada. The process of getting a diagnosis, and the availability of services differs wildly from health region to health region and school district to school district, to say nothing of country to country. (Something that makes finding reliable information so much harder for parents.) However, the emotional side of her journey is 100% the same.

From noticing something different right in the hospital the day of his birth, to feeling at a loss during the toddler years, to having concerns and fears minimized by others for far too long, to fighting for a diagnosis that you know he needs, but you wish he didn’t… Kate’s story is my story, and every Autism parent’s story.

I really can’t describe how it feels to be that seen and that understood, but the best word would be relief. I am relieved that this book exists. I am relieved to know that someone out there understands.

If you are in need of that relief, read this book.
If you love an Autism family, read this book. It will help you understand just a little bit better, and encourage you to enter their world just a little more.

Discover the gift of knowing someone who has special needs, or who is different. Do it today. I promise you the word “pity” will vanish from your vocabulary. And it will be exchanged with “joy,” “resilience,” and “triumph.”

Kate Swenson

Follow Kate’s blog, Finding Cooper’s Voice
Follow Finding Cooper’s Voice on Facebook
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