Kate Swenson is the creator of the popular and inspiring blog and Facebook page Finding Cooper’s Voice. Her mission is to create a safe space for families of children and teens with special needs to come together and laugh, cry, and support each other. In her memoir, Forever Boy: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy (Park Row Books), Swenson shares her powerful journey through motherhood providing hope and comfort for hundreds of thousands of parents of children with Autism.
When Swenson’s son Cooper was diagnosed with severe, nonverbal autism, her world stopped. She felt the frustration and exhaustion of having to fight for your child in a world that is stacked against them. But through hard work, resilience, and personal growth, she would come to learn that Cooper wasn’t the one who needed to change. She was. And it was this transformation that led Swenson to acceptance—and ultimately joy. In Forever Boy, Swenson shares her inspiring journey with honesty and compassion, offering solace and hope to others on this path and illuminating the strength and perseverance of mothers.
Swenson’s heartfelt, accessible, and at times vulnerable candor provides audiences around the country an opportunity to come together to build community and learn from one another. Her keynotes and presentations offer parents, caretakers, educators, clinicians, and medical professionals a way to further engage on topics such as special needs parenting, motherhood, marriage, and finding oneself after a diagnosis.
A frequent commentator, Swenson has been featured as a contributor to Today Parents, the TODAY Show, Her View from Home, and the Love What Matters blog. Swenson lives in Minnesota with her family of six.
Praise for Forever Boy:
"Until the late twentieth century, autism was hidden in plain sight. Now it’s a public health priority and focus of extensive research. However, it remains a black box. While we wait for answers, extraordinary people like Kate Swenson, through their dedicated and resourceful efforts have taken it upon themselves to create a nurturing environment in which children like Cooper can grow and thrive. Forever Boy will be an inspiration to all who face the challenge of caring for special needs children."
--Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, Columbia University
“Forever Boy is a candid journey through the beauty and battles of having a child with autism. Kate blends wit and wisdom in an unapologetic account of marriage, motherhood and unconditional love. She captures the struggles, expectations and reality all parents face while advocating for their children. It's a story of unexpected loss; enduring hope and most importantly, newfound understanding. It should be mandatory reading for teachers or for anyone who has children or is thinking of having children.”
--Colin Balfe, founder of Love What Matters
"Kate Swenson has pulled the curtain back to show first-hand the challenges of life with a child with severe autism. For those who are in the dark about the disability, or know little about it, her story will be an eye opener."
--Valerie Gilpeer, co-author of I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust
“This wise, inspiring book will appeal to not only parents of children with autism, but anyone interested in stories about the selflessness and endurance of maternal love. A candid and hopeful addition to the personal literature on pediatric autism.”