So, I thought I was finished with my Thankful Heart series until I received an e-mail. On the side, I do in-home training and parent training for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Today I received an e-mail from one of my parents. She started by explaining that yesterday started as a difficult day, but at some point her child realized that going to eat at a family members home was not optional. Mom thought as long as no one got hurt, it would turn out to be a decent day, but she did not have high hopes beyond that.
They made it through the usual pleasantries and just before dinner the family began their traditional round of comments on why they were thankful on this Thanksgiving Day. Following a few comments, my student stepped into the room and spoke up; something completely out of character for this child. The words that followed brough joy to Mom’s heart and caused me to cry as a read the e-mail out loud to my mother. It was a simple statement.
“I am thankful. I am thankful for my family, for my teachers, for my brother, and for my cousin.”
Mom was so proud and e-mailed the classroom teacher and me to let us know that we had made the list of things for which this student was truly thankful. Mom continued to say that she is thankful as well because our help brought her child to this point and provided the support necessary to speak out in public for the first time. Mom finished by telling us that in helping her child we have provided her the greatest gift she has ever received.
With everything I have been through this school year and with some dread as I looked toward the long Spring months until June, this was just what I needed today.
This e-mail made my day, even my week. In general education you see changes and improvement in your students on a daily basis, but the same is not true in special education. As much as we do for our students on a moment by moment basis it is a rare month that something like this happens and you see how truly effective you are as a teacher. God is good. I pray that He continues to work through me in the lives of these precious children as well as in the lives of their parents.
- Thankful Heart: Day 5 (ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)