Over the years I have been blessed to have some AMAZING teachers for MJ. When he first entered Pre-k after his diagnosis, he had Ms. Sanders. Ms. Sanders was the first person to teach my son to use the computer (he was great at it at 3 years old). She was also the only one who could make him stay seated for a few minutes and attend to a task. She made learning FUN and because of it MJ loved going to school. She also communicated with me consistently. We would call, text, or email each other regarding MJ. She was really helpful with suggestions or techniques I could use for him at home. We were blessed to have her two years in a row. The next AMAZING teacher my son had was Ms. Allen. When MJ first had her, it was also in a new school. My efforts to take him to the school before the first day and show him around the classroom so he would not be scared on the first day was unsuccessful. My husband had to take him to school on the first day and literally carry MJ down the hall kicking and screaming all the way to his classroom. When my husband left, of course I received a horrible text message regarding MJ’s behavior. We didn’t know what to do…Thankfully I had Ms. Allen’s cell phone number. I sent her a quick text message and she informed me that MJ was no longer screaming but was in the classroom closet and would not come out! She informed me that she would let me know when things calmed down. I was a complete wreck while at work but I held it together in front of my own classroom. About an hour later, Ms. Allen informed me that MJ was finally out of the closet and sitting down. She was caring, patient, and kept me informed about his behavior throughout the day. It was so comforting to know that she knew what to do to help MJ. She also did an amazing thing for me two years in a row. She actually stayed after work for about 2 hours and watched MJ for me until I could get off of work! How many people would actually do that?! She would also host play dates/barbecue’s with the classroom kids at a local park. I know God was looking out for us during those times. This year MJ’s new teacher is also AMAZING! Ms. H also immediately gave me her cell phone number when we first met. We contact each other whenever necessary. She has gotten my son to actually complete several projects this school year. She doesn’t underestimate his talents or abilities. Yet again another blessing. Yesterday she called to inform me that my son and his peers did an impromptu dance routine at school. She said they “stole the show”! She expressed how proud she was of him and how hard they worked on their project. As MJ’s mom it is imperative that I stay in constant communication with his teachers. Thankfully, most of his teachers have willingly given me their cell phone numbers and are open to communicating. I understand that this is NOT a requirement and that they are going above and beyond. The right teacher for MJ must be kind. The right teacher for MJ must be firm. The right teacher for MJ must be trained about autism. The right teacher for MJ must be happy and fun. The right teacher for MJ must actually like kids and enjoy teaching. I have found the right teacher for MJ many times and I pray that this blessing continues.
This is what the right special needs teacher and OT can do. Two years ago MJ would have never done this. His writing has come a long way. 🙂