‘My name is Cooper. I have autism and am nonverbal, but I still LOVE CANDY! TRICK-OR-TREAT.’: Mom pushes for inclusive Halloween, ‘Please be patient’

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“I love this reminder: With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home. Be accepting.

The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.

The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues.

The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you may be non-verbal.

The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have allergies.

The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism.

Be nice. Be patient. It’s everyone’s Halloween!

Last year, Cooper made it to exactly three houses before he pushed a pumpkin off a deck and tried to bust into the house to watch TV. He also walked backwards the whole time. Yes, backwards. We were quite the sight.

The year before, he made it to one house before he ran down the road, darted, rolled, cried and head hit because the Wi-Fi on his Kindle didn’t work. He didn’t wear a costume the year before that…too itchy.

This year we are hoping for four houses, lots of fun and smiles, and time to enjoy both of our boys. And that he can use his talker to communicate. Cooper wants to go, and we would never deny him the opportunity. But it takes A LOT of preparation on our part and a lot of courage and patience on his part.

Be patient friends. Kiddos like Super Cooper don’t know ‘what’ they are supposed to do or ‘why’ they are even doing it. Trick-or-treating is strange in general. Then add in costumes, sugar, people, noises, excitement and a crazy brother and the whole situation gets escalated quickly.

If you see me, know I am sweating buckets and trying to hold it together. We love smiles and understanding and when you say hi!”

Young boy dressed as superman stands with sign on his chest that says, "My name is Cooper. I have autism..."
Finding Cooper’s Voice

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by KT Swenson of Finding Cooper’s Voice. The article originally appeared here. Follow Finding Cooper’s Voice on Instagram here.  Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read more from KT here:

‘Cooper, it’s mom’s birthday today!’ My son looked back down. It stung. Then he pointed to his iPad.’: Autism mom in tears after son nonverbally wishes her happy birthday

‘I looked down with tears in my eyes as I absorbed my son’s kicks. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder. ‘How can I help?’: Special needs mom details ‘unbelievable’ act of kindness

‘I whipped around fast. ‘You leave him ALONE.’ He covered his ears, flapping his arms. The man snickered under his breath.’: 70-year-old woman thanks special needs mom for opening her eyes to autism, ‘You taught me patience and kindness’

‘He looked right at me. ‘Mama, do you hear how happy he is?’ He couldn’t hear the TV over your happy sounds, but he didn’t care.’: Mom to son with autism shares sweet sibling moment

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