Monday, January 9, 2012

To my son on his 5th birthday

Dear Joseph, last week you turned five years old (you know what a procrastinator I am). 2011 has been a difficult year for us as a family, but it's been a great year for you as a person.

A year ago, we were in the middle of getting a second diagnosis from the autism center at Children's Hospital. We'd already gotten a diagnosis from the Nisonger Center, but without an evaluation, I felt like we were directionless. We had been seeing improvement since you had started school with Mrs G, but we didn't know if public school was better for you than an autism center. We had just found out a month before that your mother was pregnant again, which brought a whole different kind of stress. We had no idea how to communicate with you, or how to help you reach your fullest potential.

You've made so much progress in the past year. Every day, you're becoming more verbal. We've discovered that you love comic books, and I think that's so cool. You've started building with Legos, making robots and spaceships and airplanes. You received the gift of an iPad, which has begun to open up a new world of information and learning to you. We've got two great aides that have been coming here to work with you, and even after less than a month, and before we even have an actual therapy program in place, we are seeing great progress. And most exciting for us, you've learned to use the toilet.

My fifth birthday is the first one I remember. You turning five has changed my perspective. Until now, I haven't noticed your challenges as acutely. It just seemed to me like you were a really big toddler. But I remember where I was and what my life was like when I turned five, and it's so different from yours.

We met with your teacher the other day where we decided together that you'll be ready for kindergarten this fall. I have great faith in you. I'm proud of everything you've accomplished so far, and I can't wait to see what you'll do next. We know that we're blessed to have found the best possible people to surround you with, to help you learn and grow, and with their help and God's you will meet your maximum potential and have a long, happy, productive life full of people that love you.


1 comment:

  1. Sending Lily off to kindergarten has been a great move for us. I was resistant to it until I met what would become her special needs Kindergarten teacher, and her mainstream Kindergarten teacher. That really helped make the decision for us.

    It's been a good move for Lily.