The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.

~John E. Southard

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.

~G.B. Stern


As a co-chair of our town’s first ever Special Education Council Awards Committee, I had the great pleasure of sending notification yesterday to the very special folks who are being recognized for their efforts on behalf of our children.

One of the nominees was the fabulous BCBA from Brooke’s preschool, Ms C. I wasn’t remotely surprised to see her name on my list. Or to read the words written by the parent who nominated her – words that might very well have been mine three years ago .. “When the world seemed completely lost to me, she took the time to talk and to listen.” Yup, that’s Ms C. I nodded emphatically as I read, “I can’t thank her enough for helping me to be a better mother to my child.”

I couldn’t wait to send Ms C the e-mail that I’d drawn up for the nominees.


The Special Education Council is thrilled to inform you that you have been nominated for a SpEd Council Award!

Our members have nominated you as part of a select group of (our district’s) staff and administrators for recognition. By way of these nominations, we intend to honor those whose commitment and dedication to our children consistently exceeds the call of duty. You have truly made a difference in the lives of our children, and we are grateful.

We hope you will join us (for the upcoming) award ceremony followed by a casual reception.

It’s a small way to thank you for all that you do.


SpEd Council Awards Committee

I hoped perhaps she’d write back when she saw my name to say, ‘hi’. Or – even better – to tell me that she’d be at the reception.

What landed in my inbox was far more than a ‘hi’ or an RSVP to the awards.

Dear Jess,

Wow. I’m not sure what to say. I’m truly honored but I feel somewhat like I’m completely indebted to all the parents that I’ve worked with (laughed with, cried with….. Oh, Jess, you know who you are….)

You ought to have an award’s night for all these parents who, every year, teach teachers how to try harder, be more empathic, laugh more, and value both the hurt and pride that can exist in the small stuff.

Thank you so much,


I will never cease to be amazed by and grateful for the Ms C’s of the world.

To Ms C and to all of the heros who have chosen to walk this journey with our children – and with us – THANK YOU.


Ed note: Please feel free to use the comments to leave a tribute to a member of your child’s team who has made a difference to him/ her and to your family.

Let the love flow for the angels who go the extra mile for our kids!

19 thoughts on “appreciation

  1. I would love to take the time to thank Dr. Roth, she saw my little one when she was 18 months old. She asked about family history and I told her I had huge concerns about my oldest daughter for years and countless dr.’s and specialists basically poo poo’d me for being an over worried parent. I had been on a waiting list for Bri for a year already to get her in to see Dr. Roth. She told me she would call me with an appointment for me to bring Bri in to see her. She called me personally the next day and set up an appointment for 2 weeks from then. She has been wonderful with my girls. Helping us along the way getting us the extra services we need in school therapies etc. No matter how long it has been since we have seen her she remembers the little facts like the ducks on Kyleighs blanket she carries everywhere. She even remembers things about my middle daughter who has never been seen by Dr. Roth. For her help I am forever grateful she is truly my angel my savior who laughs with me cries with me and just is there anytime I have a question to personally talk to me. We need more Dr. Roths in this world!

  2. For Kellie, speech therapist extraordinaire! Who has a gift for working with kids on the spectrum. Who has given Devin his words and made life just a little bit easier for him and for us. Who has become a friend.

  3. That’s my girl, always pay it forward. Always recognize those special people who go beyond. Perhaps one day their tribe will increase and everyone around us and our children will be like all of those heros.
    Love you,

  4. Shout out to all the teachers and speech path’s at The Foundation School. Not only do they get it, they bring it everyday. Soooo entirely grateful to them and our attorney, who has 2 relatives on the spectrum and 3 children with learning disabilites. They all fight the good fight right along with me!

  5. A heartful of thanks for Mr. T! He enjoys Piper and sees her for who she really is : a smart,loving,talented,curious girl with a light around her. Althought we leave his class this year I know he will not leave our lives. A second thanks to Piper’s Krew. This gal has so much sparkle she has a fan club of folks who “get” her and just delight in her Piperness. I am greatful to have such wonderful people on this journey with us. So much LOVE.

  6. What a great idea!

    To Sakina, Chloe’s first OT, who has helped her in more ways than I could possibly hope to articulate in only a few short months.

    To the wonderful horses and staff at the hippotherapy center where she rides once a week. Never before have I encountered such a large group of people (and animals!) with such compassion and understanding for kids.

    And her wonderful school team. Mrs. G., Miss Ashley, and the rest of the classroom crew. She’s made such leaps and bounds since starting in the autism program…I’m beginning to wonder how we ever got on without y’all.

  7. First and best, is Miss S. She was the occupational therapist for both my son (aspy) and daughter (mildly autistic) for 5 years before she went to a major children’s hospital in the Dallas area to help diagnos children. Besides being awesome at helping my children, she gave ME encouragment and support.
    Then, there is Mr. S, the principal at my daughter’s elementary school. He has assembled what has to be the BEST special ed team in the district. Every teacher, therapist, and aide is great. The school is known as a “super-size” school around here because there are 800 students enrolled (large for our disctrict) but Mr. S always speaks to my daughter and calls her by name and comments on her progress.

  8. OK I am back again because I ran out time earlier this is a shout out to my daughters DI therapist Mary. She has done more for my daughter in the past 18 months then anyone. She has been her biggest cheerleader (well besides me LOL) her teacher, her role model and most of all her friend. We are winding down we have 3 more days of therapy before Kyleigh ages out of EI and the thought of Mary not coming every week has me so sad and worn down. My oldest daughter asked last night if we can make Mary our cousin so we can still see her all the time. So Mary we love you more then words can ever express and you will always be part of our family!

  9. Tonight I, too, will be presenting awards at a meeting of our town’s teacher, therapists, aides, etc. It will be an evening of parents and educators coming together to celebrate each other and to acknowledge the children we all love. I have so many people to thank that I don’t know where to begin. I wonder if they know how much they mean to us and how they are sometimes the glue that holds us together? Perhaps they can never truly understand, but we can certainly try to show them how valuable they are to us.

  10. My sons have an “autism fairy god-mother”, a woman who is a BCBA and also a family friend. She schlepped down to VA from NJ multiple times when my first son was diagnosed, and her support and knowledge base were invaluable both in acquiring services and beginning therapy practices. I literally don’t know where we’d be without her. Every family with a disabled child deserves a “fairy god-mother”!

  11. she sounds wonderful. genuinely selfless. hopefully people like her…if we recognize them, have awards ceremonies, banquets and so on…will become role models, people others will want to emulate. we need more Mrs. Cs in the world, they are complete gifts.

  12. Big shout out to Amanda o and her team for days past
    And a shout out for mary m and shealeen s, brenda and jillian and team for their tireless efforts to keep coop in the race and on task
    My deepest apreciation
    Coops mum

  13. As a psychologist working with children with ASD (and other diagnosis) I would like to echo Ms C words – it is I who am indebted to the wonderful children I have the pleasure of working with – as well as their families (mums, dads, siblings, grandparents) who open their homes and lives to me and teach me so much about love, strength, hope and the ability to keep going even when the day (ok sometimes months?!!) seem tough. When the children smile, laugh, enjoy themselves, reach their targets and so on – well it makes my day! The children are all unique, special individuals (and diagnosis or not) they should be recognised for it. As the saying goes “some people make the world special just by being in it” – all the children I have worked with have made my world (and the world at large!) v special indeed. Thank you x

  14. What a wonderful award to give and to receive. So totally awesome to recognize those who go above and beyond for our kids.

    The Roc’s preschool teacher was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Above and beyond. I cried at every conference telling her how much she helped the Roc and how much it meant to me. I hope he gets another teacher like her!

  15. Such a lovely idea to give recognition to those who give so much of themselves for our children. There have been so many over the years with Nigel, but lately I’ve felt a tremendous appreciation for Nigel’s Scoutmaster for the past six years. A Scout troop is only as good as its Scoutmaster, and I’m convinced there’s none better than ours. He has been exceedingly patient with Nigel, but more importantly, he truly cares about my son. I am forever grateful!

  16. I would like to say thanks to Jessica, my son’s head EI therapist. More than anything, what’s made such a difference for me is her positive attitude and the way she BELIEVES in my son. She has so much confidence in his abilities, it has helped me from sinking too far into the pit this year as we received my son’s diagnosis. I will so miss her when my son turns three, but she has left me with so many good tools…most of all to not take lightly the strides my son has made and to never underestimate his abilities. Thank you SO much Jessica!!!

  17. On my blog, I’ve posted the letters I wrote to my son/daughter’s teachers for the last day of school.

    My son, Jacob, struggles in reading and his teacher this year was amazing…

    My daughter, Olivia, doesn’t walk and barely talks at age 5, and today was her last day in preschool. Her teacher and assistants have been so wonderful there…

    In my letters to these teachers, I’ve tried to express my gratitude for all they have done for my children this year.

    Thanks, Jess, for encouraging us to share our praise!

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