I still remember a small handful of Teachers I've had over my lifetime. My kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. VonTage. I was fascinated by her. I remember I got to sit by her on the bus during one of our school field trips. My first grade Teacher, Mrs. Summers. She was awesome and patient and kind and kind of a school legend. Then in college, there was Mr. Jackson. I don't even remember the class he taught- just that it was Communications related. The lessons he taught me on life and character stand out more than even the subject he taught. He had integrity, work ethic and passion. He was the kind of guy that made you want to come to class to make him proud.
No matter who we are, there is something we all have in common. We have all been taught at one time or another in our lives.
When I first learned Greyson had Special Needs, I would stay up for hours reading about everysinglething I could even imagine google'ing. Praying I could find that one big fix to help him or change it. We tried every diet, every pill, creams and injections. Soon after, I realized I couldn't stop or change it, and a new pain bled throughout my entire body.
I slowly had to accept, THERE IS NO ONE BIG THING. Fudgggge. I hated that it was true, but it was. But after that, I also discovered there are a million, little things we CAN do daily that can make his life easier and better.
That's also when I realized how important Teachers would be on our journey. They are like Rock Stars, but underpaid and under acknowledged (and don't do drugs or have groupies!) I saw what a great Teacher could do for our life. For my boys lives. For my entire families well being. They have given us gifts I will never be able to repay with anything but gratitude.
Please know, this mom is grateful.
Teachers have given us the gift of sound. The words they can say. Oh my, they outdo even angels singing! The few they string together that make sense. The ability to say "Yes" or "No". I never thought that would happen. So now, even if they can't tell me what they want, I can offer them options, and they can say yes or no. I can say, Does your tummy hurt? And they can say yes or no now!!! That is HUGE!!! I can say "Do you want to go to the park?" And they can say yes or no. (Who am I kidding, that one is always yes.) It's made our minutes and hours and days- so much better, so much calmer, so much happier. And it's made my boys feel so much more understood. I know how important it is to feel seen and understood.
Teachers have helped shape my boys into someone who lines up with the rest of the kids, someone who waits their turn, someone who stays with the group (still shaping this one for Parker!), someone who plays on the playground! (You know- instead of running the opposite way. Or instead playing with the trash can or just trying to eat the mulch at the playground!) They are learning to follow along with the rest of the group- but also be themselves. I watch them do these things- my boys who used to literally try and run into traffic and I still feel dazed and amazed. Is this really happening?
Teachers have loved my boys at their hitting or screaming worst. They redirect again and again and again and again. They have patience to try something one million and one times- and it is then- when most others would have given up- that something finally clicks. Some people have teaching in their blood and in their soul. I'm certain they were tapped by God to do this and to be this. They look at my boys as a puzzle to figure out, and they try and try and try again every which way. They try left then right then purple then spaghetti then outside then evidence based then out of the box. The point is, they never stop trying. They do whatever it takes.
Teachers, I see you- you amaze me.
I want you to know I notice you. We love you. We notice your hard work. I feel the passion that oozes out of your eyes. I feel your joy when my son does something amazing. I feel your pain when he's frustrated or angry or unresponsive. I want you to know you make a true difference in our lives, long after we leave your classroom. And you will for the rest of our lives.
Teaching is even more important than any diet, any text book intervention, or specific form of therapy. It's all about the person who is teaching your child, not just the method or intervention. When your child has Special Needs, learning is their medicine. It's something we can't function without. It's given us freedom to leave the house. It gives us the ability to enjoy the world and all it's gifts.
For every amazing Teacher (which includes therapists, SLP's and tutors!) my boys have been so lucky to have, thank you for changing the world. Thank you for changing our world.
So Much Love,
Share this with a Teacher that has made a difference in your life.
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