Imagine.

Like a flower, sometimes children take more time to bloom. They may not look like you anticipated but if you take a moment, you will find the beauty in each individual child.

Imagine. Being told, your child, the one you birthed was slipping, into an abyss and changing. That she would need countless hours of therapy that your insurance wouldn’t cover–initially and you spent countless hours fighting for her.

Imagine. Fearing that gap from 3-5 would be lost. The time when you can work diligently and get so much back because you don’t have the therapies you need. So you go get trained to be a therapist because, you want so much to give your child her best chance.

Imagine. Your school district, the people who were supposed to be who the insurance said they were, didn’t have the program so you fought. You asked for certifications for paras, you requested a full time behaviorist and even more, a full day Autism program and they implemented it but still, you worried.

Imagine. Finally getting insurance coverage only to find out nearly no one in your area accepted it and you weren’t J Wow and couldn’t afford the therapists without support and so you went to work again. Finding therapy companies and starting and then being told they couldn’t continue or that they didn’t think your child was safe to be in public.

Imagine. Being told your child was restrained 58 times in one school year and another 39 the next when the year ended due to a pandemic and you now worked full time, you had a child who needed support and the only support, school was virtual.

Imagine. The first month of the pandemic, your child broke her collar bone and shaved her head because she had no understanding of danger and so you worked diligently with her team, remotely and finally decided to bring medicine on board.

Imagine. Giving a child medicine, waiting. Praying. Hoping. At the same time finding a therapy company. Hoping some more and wanting the behaviors to change.

Imagine. The therapy company comes in. The first therapist quits. The second you wait on pins and needles wondering if she’d leave you, too?

Imagine. She’s a unicorn. The medicine is working. You see your child becoming who you once remember her being. You hear her laughter. You recognize her awareness of herself, her surroundings and then you realize the people who knew her before don’t know who she is now.

Imagine. Trying to get others to recognize her growth. To see who she is now, not who she was before medication, before her new unicorn therapist.

Imagine. Hearing your child excited for her “friends” on Teams.

Imagine. Your child being judged on behaviors and her daily work while other kids have similar behaviors but are accepted no questions asked.

Imagine. Countless hours sobbing because people aren’t “kind” like the mottos say and they don’t see children for who they are and so you spend ALL your life fighting for what your child deserves.

Imagine. No, don’t. Its a nightmare and its the one parents of children who are differently abled live every day.

So instead of imagining, put yourself in their shoes. Try to feel their pain. Understand their smiling eyes are doing so because if they stop smiling they will feel what they have become numb to because this is life as a Special Education Parent.