Much of the time I feel like I focus on the hardships of finding help for Avery and/or working with the people that we do receive help from. I forget about the good ones. We have worked with and still work with some pretty amazing people. These people have touched not only Avery’s life but mine as well. They make our days so much easier and I don’t think I could ever thank them enough. It’s a long and sometimes lonely road and to have people that make it easier is a huge blessing.
Living in a small community it is hard to find help. Honestly, the more I learn I don’t even think it’s just living in a small town. This system is broken and it desperately needs to be fixed. But more on that later. Moving on 😉 There are so many pieces to the puzzle and you really have to dig deep to find them all. I always say that every person I come in contact with has a piece or two and usually can connect me with someone who has a couple more pieces. One person may know of a certain therapy, another person may know of something we can have in our home for Avery. Whichever recommendation or tip we get it all gets put into the Avery puzzle. We are always reminded about wait times. There. is. so. much. waiting. (This system is broken!) We wait for Avery to be a certain age, we fill out paperwork, then we are on a waiting list for evals, then we are waiting for an appointment. You get the drill. There is so much red tape to break through to get literally anything. Lucky for us we have some great people on our side that sincerely love their job, love kids and do the work to get Avery what she needs. I know they have a heavy workload and I constantly need to remind myself that Avery is not they only kid they work with 😉 But they seem truly happy when Avery gets the things that she needs to make her days easier. And they are happy to help. I feel like the way our system works sucks the life out of me. I can only imagine how they feel. For those people I am so grateful. You treat us with respect and you do more for us than you will ever know 🙂
We have had people approach us and help us just out of the goodness of their hearts. Going into all of this I knew I had a fight on my hands to get Avery the things she needs and weed out the things she doesn’t need. We were ignored, pushed aside and basically treated horribly by some. I wasn’t sure what the necessary steps were to get Avery the help she needed. We were so lucky to find someone who helped me with the right language to use to get Avery into school. After that it didn’t take long to get Avery in school. There are those that have given us and continue to give us great tips and just plain old support. People that are willing to take time out of their lives to help you is an awesome thing!
We have also met some wonderful teacher’s and therapists. Some are still with us and some had to move on but we love them all the same. These people are doing the jobs they were meant to do. They make such a difference in Avery’s life, my life and I am sure many other family’s. I feel at ease sending Avery to school because I know she will be taken care of. It’s hard to send your child that doesn’t talk to school. You wonder if someone will hurt her, treat her badly or worse. We were lucky to have someone in Avery’s class that has taken care of her since day one. Unfortunately, we are losing her now. When Avery started school I never thought that I would cry because a teacher or teacher’s assistant left. Let me tell you some tears are being shed over this gal leaving. She has treated Avery like one of her own and made her feel comfortable at school. We are sad to see her go but wish her the best. We also have had the pleasure of working with some great therapists. Our first speech therapist will always hold a special place in our hearts. She also had to move on. We still use some of the techniques that she used with Avery to this day. These ladies don’t have a lot of time. There are tons of other kids they need to see and meetings they need to attend. They always took their time with us and make us feel like we are important. They really broke a barrier with Avery and got into her world. Now, Avery is more open to people and we owe a lot of that to these ladies.
I feel like I have so much to say and some is negative. I hesitate to write some of it because of the political climate right now. Well, let’s face it our country’s climate right now. But I will say this. Those days that you feel beaten down by this broken education system and special needs system. Find it in yourself to keep digging. Keep going and put those pieces together. Not only for your child but for yourself. You will find people who will change your child’s life. They will make a lasting impression on your child. You will never regret fighting for your child. It is hard; I totally get that. But it is worth it. I promise there are good ones too.