This week wraps another chapter of Tate’s life. I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it…For the past 3 years, Tate has been in our district’s Early Childhood Education Program. On Friday, we move from the sheltered hallway of his current school to the hallways of our home school.
Dear [ Tate’s Amazing Team ],
Three years ago we gave you our precious little boy. He was mostly non-verbal (pre-verbal, as some might say), shut-in his world, and very, very frightened. (So were we…). As we handed him off to you, your kind words and reassurances, while directed at him, were so much more for our benefit, as well…and we thank you.
In your caring world, Tate began to blossom. He started to talk. First with more words. Then he strung the words to form phrases. Then sentences. He started to communicate needs and wants. He began to master basic skills. He began to learn.
While cryptic to us at first, your heedings of “something neurological” ignighted a fire within us. We’d always suspected more than a developmental delay. Your persistence that we “follow-up with a pediatrician” propelled us into an evaluation. And his eventual diagnosis.
You have all worked so hard with Tate. You broke through the inattention, you worked around the impulsiveness, you recognized his dysregulation and helped him with sensory breaks and redirection. You modeled behavior, encouraged play and socialization. When he said “I can’t”, you said, “oh, yes you can”.
You have always worked with us. I know that our requests are few of many you encounter, but you never dismissed them. You met us where we wanted…or at least half-way. You always listened to us. You always followed up with a question or request You never made us, or our child, feel like less.
Tate has enjoyed his 3 years in your care. He really loves school–and we have you to thank for that. You have made him feel cared about, made him feel like he’s a part of something. You have helped instill a love of learning in him, even though a classroom is a very difficult place for Tate.
After three years of strong effort, endless teaching, modeling, and support, “thank you” doesn’t seem like much. We gave you our little baby boy…and in turn, you’ve given us hope, encouragement, support, and a boy who’s grown in so many ways. I am not scared of the future, because I know what a strong foundation you have helped us lay for him.
So, while it doesn’t seem like much, thank you is all we’ve got. And please know that we mean it from the bottom of our hearts.
Many thanks and best wishes,