Everything is Mama, Jimmy Fallon's new children's book lovingly says.
But kids don't always express their adoration for "mama" in the same way.
One Minnesota family knows that all too well, and showed the world "mama" can be said many different ways with a heartwarming Facebook video – one that won a nationwide contest involving Jimmy Fallon.
Cooper is nearly 7 years old, and "finds joy in the simplest things," his mother Kate Swenson says. He's "absolutely charming and beautiful. ... And every day is the best day of his life."
Cooper also has autism, and is on the severe end of the spectrum. He can't take care of himself and has real sensory issues. He is also nonverbal.
The TODAY Parents contest inspired by Jimmy Fallon's Everything is Mama book asked parents to send in cute videos of their child saying "mama." And Cooper's diagnosis didn't stop the Cottage Grove family from entering.
"For a hot second I let myself spiral because I am one of the mama's that have never heard that sweet word," Swenson wrote in a comment with the submission video. "I read the call-out and immediately thought....'Great, another thing we can't participate in. ... And the more I thought about it I realized how foolish I was being. My son says mama a million times every single dang day with the aid of a speech device."
So Swenson and her son Cooper filmed this video for TODAY Parents, explaining how Cooper uses the speech device to talk – and it's not "any less of a 'mama' because it's coming out of a computer," she wrote. The video also shows Cooper practicing making sounds.
It's been viewed more than 120,000 times since being posted in September, and caught the attention of TODAY Parents.
This week they announced Swenson's video won the contest. Kate and her husband Jamie were flown out to New York for the launch party for Everything is Mama.
And of course, the author was there to read to the crowd. As was Hoda Kotb from the Today Show. Kate Swenson called it "a once in a lifetime experience."
"Even more amazing was all the compliments I got about my super cool, funny, adorable kid. He's a star!" she added.
And here's some video from the day:
You can read all about Cooper and the Swenson family by following their Facebook page, Finding Cooper's Voice. You can also check their blog by the same name, in which Kate Swenson writes about what's going on.
They made headlines earlier this year when she posted a video describing the upsetting encounter she experienced at a park for children with disabilities. It was viewed more than 800,000 times.
According to the Autism Society, 1 percent of the world's population has autism spectrum disorder, and it affects 3.5 million Americans. It is the fastest growing developmental disability, affecting 1 in 68 newborns in 2015 compared to 1 in 150 in 2000.
"Six months ago he had no desire to communicate. Today, he yells at me (through his speech device) just like any other kiddo. He wants presents and veggie straws and trains. I want the world to know autism is not scary. And it shouldn't be hidden. Cooper is a beautiful amazing soul."