It’s September! I’m back to blogging, and my kids are back to school. It’s a big year for us. My youngest starts Grade 1, which means full days, five days per week. I am optimistically believing that I will use this time to finally make some real headway on the book I’m writing, (and realistically knowing that I’ll get to that after I’ve caught up on the nearly 9-years worth of sleep I’ve been missing.)

As we prepared for back-to-school season by buying new school shoes, I was reminded of something. Namely, how much I appreciate the Teachers Aides who work one-on-one with my oldest who is on the Autism Spectrum.

Part-way through school last year, we were walking through a department store past the shoe section, when my little guy (then in Kindergarten) asked if I would buy him new shoes. When I asked why, he told me that his indoor shoes at school were hurting his feet. It was perfect timing, so we popped down the aisle, measured his foot, discovered that he had gone up a size, and walked back out with the perfect new pair in less than 5 minutes.

For me, that experience was mind-blowing.

My oldest has never once told me when his shoes were too small. He either does not realize that hurting feet = small shoes, or he does, but cannot find the words to communicate it. It is a complicated process for him, this simple act of asking for shoes. One that so many of us with typical communication skills take for granted.

That is where the Teacher’s Aids come in.

When my oldest was in Kindergarten, Mrs. D. told me that the velcro was worn out on his shoes. In Grade 2, Mrs. W. told me that she had noticed him scrunching up his toes before putting his shoes on each morning, and although he hadn’t complained, she suspected they not longer fit. In Grade 3 Mrs. C. told me that one of the soles was coming loose because my son played with his shoe like a fidget toy whenever he was bored in class.

I would be lost without these ladies.

I can’t tell you all just how hard it is as a Mom to send your Special-Needs child to school each day, knowing that he won’t be able to tell you what happened there. Not just because I am missing out on hearing his stories, but because I know that he couldn’t tell me if he had a bad day, was sad, or hurt, or been bulled, even if he wanted to. I don’t think I could do it, if not for his one-on-one aides. I would worry myself sick.

So today, I am taking a moment to publicly thank these big-hearted educators for being my eyes and ears in class, in the halls, and on the playground. To tell them just how much they mean to me. To let them know that, for the 10 months each year they work with my son, I consider them family.

Thank you, Teacher’s Aides.
Thank you for taking care of my little boy.

From, One Grateful Mama

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