November is the beginning of Thanksgiving month. Almost everyday this month,
we will be posting what people especially special needs families are thankful for.
Below is a guest post from a special needs mom on how she is thankful for the Special
I’m thankful for the special needs community…
For the teachers, therapists, staff, and paraprofessional extraordinaire, “Mrs.Z,” who
have all cared for, assisted, taught, reassured, laughed with (not at) and hugged my big
boy for the last four years. Ethan’s accomplishments couldn’t have come without the
nurturing experiences we’ve had at our school. Every year has been better than the
last, because as he keeps growing and changing, his team keeps finding ways to work
with him, encourage him and meet his needs.
For the two most amazing school bus drivers ever, taking the time to forge a bond and
build a relationship with my often quiet, reserved, child. Thank you for keeping him safe
on the bus ride to school, for always making him comfortable and for always trying.
For the counselors and staff of Camp Sunrise, (specifically Meghan, Tara, Alex, Alec,
Jorian, Liam and Anna) for giving my son the same opportunities available to typical
kids… and for allowing siblings without disabilities to register. Both kids get to share
the same fun and strengthen their sibling bond for seven weeks each summer.
For the many local and national autism organizations that have partnered with
businesses and entertainment venues to provide training and/or sensory sensitive
events for families to enjoy. Whether it’s a sensory friendly movie, a speed pass at an
amusement park, special seating at a MLB game, specially-trained hair stylists, surfing
and swim instructors, or aware wait staff or sales associates, your accommodations
are incredibly appreciated by our family.
For the state of Connecticut’s DEP, from creating Camp Harkness (campground
specifically for families with disabilities). Given my children’s interest-turned-obsession
with tent camping, it was wonderful to discover Camp Harkness. Even with my
aging eyesight, I can keep an eye on the kids, regardless of where they are in the
beach-playscape-tent site triangle. It’s especially nice that when they leave the beach
to go on the playscape, I can remain there to enjoy a good book. It’s also nice that
when Ethan wants to swim at 7 a.m., I can easily accompany him to the shore with
coffee in hand.
And, lastly, for all the special needs bloggers, websites, Facebook pages, mailing
lists and online communities, which often print the same conversations I’m having
with myself in my head. For once again proving I’m not alone, my kids are supported
and that there is a great big world out there for us.
And that world is wonderful.
The post above was originally posted on The Mighty, a blog where special needs
parents can share their stories. The above post can be found by clicking here.