Justin and Ryan have been back in school three days. Since Ryan has Wednesdays off, technically he’s been back two. We’ve noticed they are starting to get back to their old routines, both the good (regular bedtime) and the “could use improvement” (homework time).
Since they’d only been back a short time, I was a little surprised when I received emails today from one of Justin’s teachers and one of Ryan’s. The issues addressed were minor ones and both teachers were checking in with us to make sure we had a heads-up on what was going on.
John and I have always made it a point to try and develop positive relationships with the boys’ teachers. After all, they spend a great deal of time with our sons and their job is certainly quite challenging. We let the teachers know at the beginning of the year and through emails and little notes that we appreciate them and want to partner with them. I think it really helps that we build this bond because when an issue comes up, we can work together to brainstorm workable resolutions.
We feel very blessed and thankful for our sons’ teachers. They care about our sons and when initiative is taken as it was today to email us and keep us abreast of possible issues or IEP related progress, we make sure to respond right away and thank them.
At Christmas-time, the boys made cards for each of their teachers. Justin wrote a personalized note for each one. Ryan colored in orange and printed his name. Not only is it important for John and I to show our appreciation but it’s a great lesson to have the boys show that they are grateful too, even if learning to express thanks is an emerging skill.
We also gave small gift cards (Sees Candies for the gals, Sears for the guys) as a way of saying thanks. We had intended on having the boys handmake something or personalize something in addition to their cards but December was so crazy and hectic for us that gift cards ended up being the go-to option. I do think they were appreciated.
I realize that many parents out there struggle to find teachers and administrators who show the kind of quality teaching and care for their children that they would like. We are so fortunate to live in the school district we are in (the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Washington) as they are quite progressive in helping children who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Of course funding in our state is becoming a real issue but the more we as parents. teachers, care-givers and interested parties continue to advocate and show appreciation for the positive work that is being done, the more likely that programs such as SCIP (elementary, middle & high school) and the Early Childhood Center (preschool) will continue.
I’m not a Pollyanna. There are a lot of autism related needs that are not covered by insurance or the school district. Therapy costs are high, there are many kinds of treatment options out there and it can all get rather confusing and expensive. There is always room for improvement but this blog is not about that. It’s about expressing gratefulness for all that is good.
I am thankful for what IS out there and certainly with all the resources and organizations on the internet, we can look forward to the potential for continued progress. I have the ability to be an advocate for my sons. John has that ability. Every one of the Aspierations blog friends has potential to help promote autism awareness, acceptance and empowerment in a positive way.
For you teachers and aides out there, thank you! For all the people in our educational system who put in long hours and are dedicated to positively educating and improving the life of children around the world, you are appreciated.
Our sons are our treasures. From the time they leave home in the morning to the time they get home from school in the afternoon, so many things can happen each day. Thank you teachers, aides, bus drivers and administrators for all you do to watch out for our children and all the other children as well.
A Grateful Mom and Advocate for Autism / Asperger's Awareness, Acceptance and Empowerment,