This. This right here…
This is what i’m grateful for at the beginning, middle and end of each day; Little notes, cluing us in on how our sweet, autistic, nonverbal son is doing, in the hours he is away at school.
Beckett is on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that allows him to learn and grow at his own pace.
It takes the standard focus off of some areas, and is then applied to educational tasks more suited to his current level of skill.
As a mother who is, of course, anxious to relinquish his hand off to others daily, I felt it only right to request a daily progress sheet of sorts, to map out his schedule. Beckett’s sheet in particular focuses on what he ate that day, participation, the day’s strengths (as well as challenges), etc, and breaks his schedule down by each half-hour.
When we requested this be created, during his first IEP meeting, prior to Kindergarten, we didn’t expect to be met with this level of communication.
…I don’t know that we honestly knew what we could ask and/or expect of anyone.
Then we entered this school year. And this beautiful team was placed together for Beckett, like a picture-perfect landscape puzzle.
For him, the dream team consists of a teacher, a special education resource teacher, a Speech Pathologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and a few amazing, energetic, patient para educators.
When I say “it takes a village”, I truly mean a village.
The progress and regressions never fall on just one alone. It couldn’t.
No one person has all the answers of aid.
Not even us, as parents.
Relinquishing control of the decisions of your child(ren) is difficult, to say the least! And then we throw in that our son is nonverbal? …A.N.X.I.E.T.Y.
That’s what makes this “village” so crucial.
We trust these individuals to keep our littlest love safe. To seek progress.
We hope these individuals open their minds to alternative solutions, when one way may not support him best.
We want for these individuals to work to understand him; to change communication paths as he does.
And maybe the most important part, we pray for these individuals to love and embrace our son, just as we do; unconditionally.
And for the first time, outside of his family life, I feel like he has that.
These right here, these little notes, they tell me more than what time he ate his lunch that day.
More then what time he sat on the potty, or what he played in “free time”.
These notes tell me that they are watching him.
It tells me that they know his buttons, and when to/not to push.
It tells me that they are truly excited and overjoyed when he learns something new!
It tells me they are cheering him on, and are genuinely PROUD of my boy.
It tells me that they SEE him. They care about him. They love him for exactly who he is, and not who he “could be”.
In a world that can often invoke fear, and sadness, and worry, these perfect notes are the sweet, colorful cherry on top of our special needs world sundae.
They give our son adorable nicknames, and tickles, and solutions.
They greet him with smiles and excitement and warm hugs.
And I can’t thank these selfless people enough for helping us to show our son what “choosing kind” looks like.
Thank you for loving our boy.
Thank you for choosing this path.
Thank you for doing more, even when you didn’t have to.
This. This right here…