Honoring Special Education Teachers

When my son Grayson started kindergarten way back in August {which really feels like just last week}, I knew this was going to be a milestone year. But it was going to be a milestone year for reasons much different than most nervous parents sending their firstborns off to “big school” for the first time. I knew that Grayson wasn’t going learn to read, write, add and subtract. He was never going to play kickball with his peers at recess, or even get to sample the school cafeteria’s mystery meat.

Due to his physical and cognitive limitations, Grayson was enrolled in the Life Skills program in our school district. The children in his class have a variety of disabilities and special needs, and require much more hands-on assistance and individual instruction than typical elementary students.

No, Grayson wasn’t going to win the prize for most books read, or fastest sprint in PE. But I knew that his experience in kindergarten was going to have a profound impact on his life.

This year, Grayson has expanded his circle of adults and children whom he trusts and enjoys spending time with. He has been exposed to a wide variety of books and music. He rides the school bus to and from school. He is beginning to learn how to make choices. His attention span has increased. And most of all, he is HAPPY and LOVES school.

Honoring Special Education Teachers this Teacher Appreciation Week | Houston Moms Blog

Life Skills and other special education teachers, paraprofessionals, school nurses, bus drivers, therapists, and all other educators who work with children with disabilities, have a special calling. Not just anyone can do this job.

Every day, my son’s Life Skills teacher not only works diligently to help Grayson accomplish the educational goals set out in his IEP, but she changes his diaper, makes sure his feeding pump is working properly, comforts him when he’s in pain, and transfers him in and out of his wheelchair. The amazing paraprofessionals in his classroom assist with all these tasks as well. They are so appreciated.

Grayson’s bus drivers pick him up each morning, secure his wheelchair in the bus, and assure that he is safe and comfortable as he is transported to school. They genuinely love my boy, and he is secure with them each time he is lifted into that big yellow bus. They are so appreciated.

Honoring Special Education Teachers this Teacher Appreciation Week | Houston Moms Blog

The therapists who work with Grayson spend hours each month making him physically stronger and working on positions for him that will maximize his ability to learn. They use music to stimulate his brain. They create engaging sensory materials for him to use at home. They are so appreciated.

Grayson keeps his school nurse busy with the multiple medications he takes during the school day as well as his ongoing medical needs. The nurse cares for him so well and keeps me informed of any changes or concerns she notices. She is so appreciated.

As the end of kindergarten approaches, my heart is filled with gratitude for the educators who made this milestone year so positive for my little boy. My hope is that all special education educators feel noticed for the hard work they put in so their students will succeed. They are most definitely so appreciated.

Honoring Special Education Teachers this Teacher Appreciation Week | Houston Moms Blog

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