I really enjoyed our conversations this week. It's nice to see you all coming out of your shells :-) I also enjoy seeing the great bonds that you are making with the boys. Your love toward them definitely shows every single day. It's an amazing thing to experience as a teacher.
I wanted to share with you that other teachers see it too! I was in one of our peer's IEP the other day and I had three different adults in that meeting talk about the bonds between you all and your peer. The parent of that boy was very excited and comforted by this fact. Especially as we were talking about that student's transition to high school. As a parent, she is very anxious about her son going to high school. It helped her a lot to know that he has made bonds with general education students who would be in the same school as him.
That is a great transition into our next unit of this class, how having a child with autism affects a family. We will look at this not only from a parent perspective, but also from a sibling perspective. You all have siblings, so I think this information will really touch you and change your outlook on autism and what it can do to families.
I'm going to begin this unit by sharing a few poems with you. This first poem was written by the mom of a child with a disability. I think it gives one side of the journey that some of these parents go through.
Here is another poem that shows more of the discouragement and sadness that parents of a child with autism face.
If You Only Knew
Submitted by KentPotter on Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:53.
If you only knew how difficult the road was to get here.
If you only knew the many tears that have been shed, the countless hours of therapy, the tests he has undergone, the fear that he has experienced, the ridicule he has endured, the times he has been laughed at, the frustration he has learned to live with.
If you only knew.
If you only knew the hours a mother and a father have spent trying to piece together the past and plan for the future.
If you only knew the amount of money, the friendships that have been lost, and the toll it has taken to get here.
If you only knew the crippling effects of depression that comes from watching your child struggle with the very basic activities of every day life.
If you only knew the cold stares from strangers, the whispers that have been overheard, the isolation that can come from not being able to "fix" the world that seems to never understand your son.
If you only knew the freedom that awaits when you learn to let go, and you open your heart in acceptance of what is.
If you only knew that a family can become stronger, that wounds can heal.
If you only knew the potential for how deep and wide love can truly be.
If you only knew the happiness that can be found if you simply open your eyes to what is around you.
If you only knew my Sam, you would know that anything is possible.
I would consider this poem heartbreaking. I believe this is how many more parents feel as opposed to the "Welcome to Holland Poem". In class next week we will read a follow-up poem to "Welcome to Holland" from a parent of a child with autism. It's humorous, but also a bit more of a realistic view.
Don't get me wrong, I think "Welcome to Holland" is a beautiful poem. I remember reading it in one of my college classes a few years ago and thinking "What an amazing outlook for a parent to have!" and I believe that most parents feel that way at different times of their lives. But from my experience, it seems as though the poem gives just warm-fuzzies and leaves out some of the harsh realities, especially the realities that come from having a child with autism.
Finally, please watch the following video and then go check out your homework! This video may not be an inspirational sport story, but it's an incredibly inspirational story regardless!