It was in October 2013 when Cooper was officially diagnosed with developmental delays.

After getting over the notion that Cooper was only a little behind and accepting the fact that my vision of Cooper’s future was about to change, I made a resolution to learn everything I could about what Cooper’s delays meant, as well as the course of action my husband and I needed to take to get Cooper the best help for his needs. 

And what a learning experience it has been.

So what has 2014 taught me about my son, his delays, and myself?

Quite a lot, actually.

Aside from learning about Cooper’s delays and what they meant, I also learned that those delays do not define who Cooper is, no matter what the doctor may say.

I learned that even the experts aren’t always right.

I was told to prepare myself for the idea that Cooper will likely spend more than one year in kindergarten, and to be ready for a tough school year.

And while I admit the first few weeks were a major, and at times painful, adjustment, this first semester has been incredible.

Cooper has gone from hating school to loving every minute of it, and though he doesn’t always do well on his schoolwork, he tries as hard as his little mind will allow him.

He’s reminded me of something I’ve known since his all-too-early birth—my son is fighter and he’s going to overcome his difficulties because of that. He has disproven the “experts” and their negative opinions. 

For the first time in a while, I have high hopes for Cooper and his future.

But…

And there is always a but.

In contrast to my high hopes for Cooper, I have also learned to accept that he still may not pass kindergarten and he may struggle to pass every grade from here on out.

With that acceptance comes the peace of knowing that I am okay with whatever happens, as long as my son is happy and doesn’t give up on his dreams, whatever they may be.

Today, he wants to be Iron Man, tomorrow a paleontologist.

And by golly, whatever path he chooses in the end…even if he wants to become a musician in a rock band, his dad and I will give our full support.

Because that seems to be the biggest gift I can give him as his mother—my support.

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