Monday, May 13, 2013

Amazing Teachers....

Even though my aspie is only four years old, he has been in daycare/pre-school since he was six months old and hence we have had the opportunity to meet and have many teachers. Some of them were good, some of them bad and some of them amazing.  The uniquely amazing teachers have the ability to completely transform a child's school experience and therefore I wanted to expand and give tribute to these teachers that did that for my child. 

As my aspie began to get older, it was apparent that he was struggling with his school experience.  I can't tell you how many times I went to the owner/head teachers' office over my son.  Many times breaking into tears because I just knew my sweet son was so different when he was at home vs being at school, worrying that something was wrong.  At that point, my aspie was around 2 years old and I was just hoping it was a terrible two issue.  It was right around this time that we met Miss Trish.  Miss Trish is a beautiful, tall young lady with long brown hair and one of the prettiest smiles you have ever seen.  I knew Miss Trish was going to be good with my aspie the first time she met him.  On their first meeting, Miss Trish knelt down on his level to say hi to him.  She stayed with him until he was comfortable and took him away to play without too much crying.  It wasn't long until my son starting running towards Miss Trish when he saw her and would leap into her arms and she would swing him around.  To me they had an unspeakable connection that I haven't seen him have with anyone else besides his father, my dad and myself.  She seemed to innately understand what made my aspie upset and would stop it before it happened.  She also allowed my son to RUN!!!  He has to run to get out some extra energy and she let him do it!  My son loved her so much that we even asked her on many occasions to baby sit for us since she is the only one that my son would stay with....and he loved to see her come!  If we could have afforded for her to be a live in nanny for us, I would offered her the moon for her to do it!  She is that good.

His next teacher was Miss Nicole.  Oh Miss Nicole!  Miss Nicole is a gorgeous, petite, pixie cut brunette that has more spunk than a stick of dynamite.  She has so much energy that its infection to the kids.  My son was three when he had her and she got to do things that I still can't accomplish.  With Miss Nicole he began to write and use the scissors, make crafts and follow rules.  (He started doing this with Miss Trish and continued it with Miss Nicole.)  It was apparent that my son again was having some issues and Miss Nicole would try things until something worked for him.  He loved going to school and would talk about Miss Nicole all the time.  He still remembers the planets that she taught him, and still tells me that water makes plants grow and Miss Nicole told him that.  Miss Nicole pretty much ran the daycare/preschool that he was attending at that time and when she left for greener pastures, the school felt it deeply.  After she left, numerous teachers came and went none of them remotely came close to the care that Miss Trish or Miss Nicole gave to my son and hence it was time to change schools. 

Now enters Miss Melissa.  Talk about amazing.  Miss Melissa can light up any room that she walks into with her smile and laugh.  My son was extremely nervous going to this new school and so was I.  I knew that for my son this switch was going to be hard on him and I just didn't know what to expect.  But Miss Melissa has that loving mom touch that made me comfortable leaving my crying child with her.  It took some time for my apsie to warm up to the new school, but not to Miss Melissa.  I knew that he liked her when he would accidentally call me Miss Melissa, and would refer to her as his "mommy at school." Miss Melissa was also a big part of our lives because she was the one to point out that he might have something like Asperger's, has helped us in obtaining treatment and has been there ever step of the way through the process.  (Looking back, I have a feeling Miss Trish and Miss Nicole knew this too but he was too young to really say for sure when they had him.)

I have expressed before that my son has only a few people that he really talks to and trusts.  Us, my dad, and these three teachers are on this very short list.  To this day, my aspie still talks about Miss Trish and Miss Nicole even though its been a year and a half since he has seen them.  Miss Melissa of course he talks about nearly everyday given that he sees her two times a week. I wanted to honor them tonight because these three woman have been a big part of my son's life and have allowed him to learn, develop and nurture him outside of our care.  To prove my point on how much my son is attached to them, here are some quotes from my aspie (quotes are not word for word but this is what he meant, for some of them his wording was still lacking due to some speech issues and age):

  • Oh you poor hurt your piggy.  You need a Band-Aid. Do you want me to kiss it?  (Talking to Miss Melissa when she hurt her foot.)
  • Miss Trish runs fast like Dash (from The Incredibles).  I love when Miss Trish runs with me.
  • Miss Nicole said that I was a good boy today.  Did you know that mommy?
  • Miss Nicole sings the clean up song.  (And he still sings it today when he has to clean up his train in order to earn a movie. I think its from Barney which my son likes.)
  • Miss Trish plays trains mommy.  Will you play trains with me?
  • Miss Melissa is my mommy at school and I love her. 
  • Can Miss Trish come over tonight?  (When I said no he said)  Then can I go to school to play with her?  (It was seven at night.)
  • Mommy can you put your legs over me?  (While trying to fall asleep one night.)  Miss Trish does and it makes me feel so much better.
  • I miss Miss Trish and Miss Nicole.  (He said one day when we passed his old school, followed by) But I don't miss that place!
  • If Miss Trish lived with us would she be my other mommy?  (I asked why Miss Trish would live with us and he said) Because then we can play trains and run together. 
Coming from a boy that was mostly talking in movie quotes and is too shy to talk to most people (including his other grandparents) these quotes are a big deal.  Thank you so much for being amazing teachers.  You have made a big impact on my family and for that we are forever grateful to you!  On those hard days just remember that you might have a little aspie in your class that thinks the world of you, even if he can't show it in the "normal" ways.  For all your hard work, dedication, and love that you have given all kids, not just mine, I say, Thank You and the next margarita is on me!!!

***Please feel free to add you amazing teacher stories in the comments tab!  I would love to hear of the teachers that inspired you or your kids!!  You can add your stories here or on my Facebook page!!***

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