Skip Nav
Celebrity Families
All the Bachelor Contestants Who Went on to Have Kids — With or Without Their Final Rose
Hurry Up — Amazon Has Already Started to Discount Baby Clothes For Prime Day
Wedding Season
Unique Wedding Gift Ideas For the Couple Who LOVE to Drink

Nonverbal Boy With Autism Wins Jimmy Fallon Contest

1 Mom Used Jimmy Fallon's "Mama" Contest to Advocate For Autism — and It Really Paid Off

Hey World! TODAY Parents did a call out asking their followers to share videos of our babies saying “Mama,” (or mommy or...

Posted by Finding Cooper's Voice on Sunday, September 17, 2017

When it came to entering Cooper, her nonverbal son with autism, into the contest put on by Jimmy Fallon and Today Parents that encouraged kids to talk, Kate Swenson knew she needed to get creative if she wanted to win.

Fallon asked parents to film their little ones saying "mama" in an effort to promote his new children's book, Everything Mama, and the winner got a trip to New York and a front-row seat at the late-night star's book release. Rather than sit on the sidelines, Swenson decided to enter her 6-year-old son into the contest anyway with the help of his speech machine — and her decision paid off big time.

"I was told at a very young age that I should prepare to never hear Cooper's voice, and that's one of the hardest things I've ever had to expect," Swenson said in the video. "So we got one of these talking devices." The device Swenson refers to is the Proloquo2Go app parents can download on an iPad that most insurance companies don't actually cover.

"I just really want autism to be a part of the conversation," she said in an interview with HuffPost. "I want the world to see that it's not scary and it's not sad."

To Swenson's surprise, Cooper won the contest, and both she and her husband, Jamie, were flown out to New York City for a few days of sightseeing. And although Cooper couldn't make the trip since big crowds and loud noises aren't really his thing, Swenson said that doesn't mean he should be pitied. So when people approach her with words of sympathy, she had one answer: "He's the coolest kid you will ever meet."

From Our Partners
Best iPad Apps For Toddlers
Mom Confiscates Kids' Devices Overnight
Finding Love Again as a Widow
What to Know About Raising a Kid in Middle School
Essay About Why You Shouldn't Be Overprotective of Kids
Ways to Be the Parent Your Child Needs
Why Dads Should Help With the Kids
What Are the Symptoms of Asthma in Babies?
Why a Mom Doesn't Make Her Kids Hug Their Relatives
Essay About Not Wanting Kids at Weddings
Essay About Celebrating Kids on Their Siblings' Birthday
Questions to Ask Your Kid About Their Day
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds