I know many of you have already read these but others have asked to share the posts that started all of this. So to begin with I am going to start the first 30 days of this blog sharing the posts I shared in April. Then they wil be in one spot and easy for you to find and share. Please pass this blog on to others that you think will enjoy or benefit from it.
It’s interesting to look back on our life now and see how things were in the works all along. Amazing to look back and know you are put in situations for a reason…
Before we had children of our own and when Mike and I were first married, he was working and traveling extensively and I was substitute teaching. My degree was in general education and my specialty was science and biology. I had NO experience with children with special needs, and no clue about autism, cognitive impairments or anything about the special education system.
One morning I was called to be a guest teacher at Wing Lake School in Bloomfield Hills. I had no idea what I had agreed to do and I did not even know that Wing Lake was a school for special needs children. I was placed in a classroom that had SXI (Severely Multiply Impaired) young adults (I am embarrassed now telling this, and I shudder to think of the horror on my face that day as I walked in and saw the students that I would be working with). Thankfully a paraprofessional came over and picked my jaw up from the floor and explained to me what I would be doing that day. I remember looking at the adults working with the students thinking “I could never do this”.
Well, I did make it through that day and I even worked for Bloomfield Hills SCAMP (a special needs day camp) for a few summers. I found out that not only could I do it, I discovered that I found Joy in doing it!
I know now that was life’s way of preparing me for what was going to come our way. It was a gentle nudge that I would be able to reflect on in later years to help me be a better parent, educator and advocate.
As I share these stories, it is not to seek out pity, or sympathy, and it is certainly not to panic people into concerns regarding their own children. It is my way of telling the story of how our family came to be the family it is today and to help provide awareness not only for autism but for ring 22 syndrome, children with special needs and for families and what they may be going through.