A Letter to My Son’s Former Occupational Therapist


To One of My All Time Favorite People on the Planet:

We had the best time at OT graduation today. The cake was a wonderful touch. My son loved the gifts you showered upon him, and playing all of his favorite games, one last time, was brilliant. There was so much I wanted to say at the end but couldn’t — not with him standing right there and your next client waiting. Our time was up. And this time, for good.

unnamed (11) You have no idea how much you’ve changed our lives in the past year. We came to you a complete and utter mess. Both of us. My son, because he couldn’t figure out this body of his. And me, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help him.

Over the course of this year, you’ve empowered me to make the decisions I knew in my gut were right for my son, even when others didn’t agree or understand. You encouraged me when I felt like things were never going to get better and made me feel like I might actually be able to pull off being this child’s momma. You made me laugh — hard — with tears streaming down my face and my side hurting. Good laughter — the kind you need when you’re struggling to get through motherhood every single day. You told me all the TV shows I should watch if I ever again have the time to actually sit down and watch a TV show. And every chance you got, you looked me in the eyes and told me that you thought I was doing a good job. I am so grateful for you.

But all of this is nothing compared to what you’ve done for my son. You have taken a boy, uncomfortable and pained by his own body, and taught him to respect that body, to pay attention to it, to give it what it needs, to speak up for it and to live in it. I’m amazed by his progress — I honestly didn’t believe it was possible. But you did.

You see his heart and he knows it.

Please know, you will always have a special place in our family and in my son’s heart. (He started building a complete OT Gym in Minecraft when we got home today — clearly one of the highest compliments available around here.)

Please take good care, and know that I will have to keep in touch. I can’t wait to tell you all about his life now that you’ve helped him make so much progress in being equipped to live it.

With so much love and respect,

Shawna

For all of November, The Mighty is celebrating the people we don’t thank enough. If you’d like to participate, please submit a thank you note along with a photo and 1-2 sentence bio to [email protected]

Read more from Shawna Wingert on The Mighty:
A Letter to Jet Blue From the Mom of a Child With Autism
What I’ve Finally Realized About My Son’s Meltdowns

Live Mighty. Like us on Facebook.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related

To Several Strangers I Saw on the New York City Subway, Thank You

Although I’ve been living in New York City for over 6 months now, I still get overwhelmed by it — the pushing and shoving on the subways, the constant vigilance, the dirt and grime and overcrowding. But every once in a while a moment pulls me out of the day-to-day chaos and forces me to [...]

My Kid Is the One Trying to Get Inside Your House This Halloween…

It happens every year. There’s a lot of prep and apt timing on our part of getting the costume on (and feeling right). Sometimes only half a costume actually gets worn. There are no wigs, masks or make up. Usually our prep includes several weeks of practice trick-or-treating at both our home and therapy. Due [...]

Photographer Combines Portraits With Handwritten Letters to Change the Way We All See Epilepsy

James Smolka was photographing the effects of Hurricane Sandy in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, when he first met Scott*, a man whose home was severely damaged during the storm. Scott, pictured below with his wife, asked Smolka, 28, what else he photographed. Smolka told him about his project, “Falling Sickness,” a series of portraits and [...]

I Used to Pray I Wouldn’t Have a Special Needs Child

I never thought I’d be a special needs mom. In fact, the thought of that used to absolutely terrify me. I remember reading about all of the things that can go wrong when we were trying to get pregnant, and just begging God to give us a healthy child. Praying that I’d rather have no [...]