Today I sent in Thank You letters to the teachers, a lot of them. There have been so many people who have helped my boys gain their educational foundation, everything else from here on out will lie on top of that sturdy foundation. They helped me too, without their patience and expertise I would not be as strong an advocate as I am today. I'll tell you, it's hard to express all of that in a card, gift or even a blog post.
Along with this note, I also added the URL for this blog and the Facebook page too. That was sort of a difficult thing for me. If you are a long time reader, you know that I have been angry, hurt, scared and humbled over the years. I've written posts about all of it, some of the darkest days when Cameron was out of control was written about on this page. I worried what the teachers would read, how they would react, would they be mad?
Then I remembered my goal for this page, I want to be honest about Autism. I want to show the good and the bad. I want to remind everyone that Tomorrow is a New Day, that a bad day is not a bad life, that we are all human deserving respect and care, that overcoming what is in our heads sometimes is the first step is making a difference...
I remember a day when I was about 8, I was at the public pool in Lebanon, Missouri. This is where I spent the majority of my summer, Nintendo wasn't invented yet and AC was a window unit. The pool was the place to be on a hot day. One of my teachers was at the pool with her kids and I just sort of blanked out for a minute. My teacher was a mom?? What?
In my mind teachers, like doctors, were elevated above simple things like raising a family and keeping house. They were all knowing and never questioned. Needless to say, this thought changed that day and has continued to change though out subsequent years. Still, I hold teachers in the highest regard and count many of them as friends. I cannot imagine being a teacher right now, the expectations of them are so high, the pressure and stress is intense and the demands put upon them are unfair. I will always be on their side for wage increases and additional support and resources in the classroom. More than once in the last few years I have been so frustrated and wanted to yell, "Just let the teachers teach!!!" when the testing days dragged on and on and curriculum spiraled out of control.
I've been mad, sad and desperate over the years and it has all shown up in some form on one Lunatic Autism Mom page or another. I have always respected the privacy of my son's teachers and never posted anything on these pages about them specifically but I have been mad and scared at specific times and I've used this page as a way to get those feelings out. I hope that this does not turn away the teachers I've invited to this page today. Every event has taught me something, every argument, every scary moment has been another step in our journey. Most days I wish life didn't have to be this hard, that every single thing wouldn't be such a struggle, then I think of where we are now and where we once were... we have come so very very far and we have many teachers to thank for that.