I have been privileged to be in many families lives helping them along their journey of life.
I have been their Behavior Analyst.
I have been their fellow parent friend in a support group.
I have been their Principal.
I have been their supervisor.
I have been their advocate.
I have listened.
I have cried with them.
I have prayed for them too.
Years ago God already knew when I was in college getting my Psychology degree, I would do so much more than I had planned. I already had the heart early in my life to want to help others in any way I could.
When my son Charlie was diagnosed with Autism in 2004 my world was rocked. It was already super challenging before we got the official diagnosis. But that day it took the wind out of me, literally. There were many months then that I wasn't able to help others too much.
I was the one needing help.
I was the one needing to be heard.
I was the one needing an encouraging word.
I was the one needing advice and guidance on next steps.
We go through different stages in our lives where we are able to lift others up and then other times where we need to be lifted up. There are still parents now that are ahead of me on this autism journey that I look to for what is coming next, to encourage me, and to give me advice.
What I love the most is helping others.
I love to help parents let go.
I love to help parents rest and breathe.
I love to hold their hands and pray with them.
I love to give them information to help them advocate for their child.
I love to show them their child has succeeded.
I love to share resources that may help their child or even them.
I love to encourage other parents.
I consider it a privilege to be in the lives of helping children and adults with disabilities learn the life, social, and job skills to reach independence. When I see them grow and master a skill it is the best feeling ever. I love to see the light bulbs come on and see the joy on their face when they can do something for themselves without help from others.
You see I am a parent too.
I have thanked dozens of speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, paras, doctors, nurses, and many more who have helped my Charlie over all these years. I am still thanking them.
But I would like to say "Thank you Mom and Dad"!
Thank you for letting us be in your children's lives.
Thank you for trusting us to make a difference.
Thank you for letting us train you and encourage you to stay strong and not cave under pressure.
Thank you for being patient with us when we didn't have the correct plan at first.
Thank you for not giving up on us when it got tough.
Thank you for taking data when needed.
Thank you for filling out all of our forms.
Thank you for doing the homework needed to keep the progressing moving forward.
Thank you for letting us sit with your child as they cry their eyes out.
Thank you for listening to our guidance and advice.
Thank you for letting us be the bridge in helping them to get to the other side.
I get it.
It is hard.
It is draining.
It can be heart breaking.
It can be exhausting.
I see your stress.
I see your depression.
I see your anxiety.
I also see your hope.
I see your excitement.
I see your relief.
I see your peace.
It is a team effort to help our children grow and make progress. We can't do it really without one another. We need each other. I am thankful for all the children and adults I have been able to help over these years and I expect to keep doing this as long as I am here on earth.
Thank you Mom and Dad!