Heart Wrenching but Uplifting at the Same Time

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Expectant mothers and fathers never dream of a special needs child. It makes it even more difficult when a complete diagnosis cannot be given until their child is at least two years old.

When author Kate Swenson gave birth to her first child, Cooper, she knew something was wrong. He made little noise, and as he never reached the milestones that other children did. Although she was convinced that something was horribly wrong, what she read on the internet did not align with what she knew.

Loving Cooper was easy. He was a sweet little boy, no trouble, with a head of golden hair. He did communicate, in his way.

Cooper was finally diagnosed with severe, non-verbal autism. Kate and her husband were immediately relived and scared. Relieved that they weren’t making things up. Now that they knew, they could work toward making Cooper’s life as fulfilling as possible. It just wouldn’t be in the ways they imagined during their pregnancy.

At first, I thought this might be a hard book to read, and in some ways it was. But as Karen “found joy,” in her son, she let go of all the negativity that she experienced. Turns out, having a child with severe special needs can be a blessing. A parent might have to look for it, look really, really, hard, but it can be found.

I found Karen and Cooper’s story uplifting. “Forever Boy: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy” receives 4 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.