I Hope All Therapists Give This to the Patients They Work With


Dear Doctor,

I don’t know where to start…

We’ve come a long way. As you remember, when I was 4, I was diagnosed with autism.

Looking back at it now 22 years later, I can attribute my progress to my work with some of the best speech therapists, the best occupational therapists and the best physical therapists. I was lucky. I thought we had it all…

But than we started working with you.

I remember the first time my mom told me the story of how you two met each other when she had ankle issues that required surgery. She didn’t have time for surgery so you willed the ankles back into place with intensive physical therapy. I get it now. When she was faced with my diagnosis, she wouldn’t accept anything but a good outcome for me, so you made it your mission to help me with intensive physical and occupational therapy.

photo 1 (3) When I first started coming to your office I knew I was a bit challenging, but I could tell how much you cared for your patients. We started working on exercises that would help me with my motor skills and my overall conditioning. When I got to high school, you played a huge part in helping me have the motivation to lose 60 pounds so I could play basketball and make some of the first friends I ever had. Along the way you were there to help with every little injury that came along — not only for me but for my mom and dad. How many mornings did you find me on your doorstep before school needing an ankle or wrist wrapped?

We spent so much time together, and during that time, you had the most positive attitude. When I was going through emotional issues as a kid and started losing motivation towards doing my exercises, we started new ones to try to gauge my interest. You never gave up on me. You reminded me so much of my parents in that you recreated the wheel to help see me progress.

Than something we weren’t expecting happened. You became a part of our family. You weren’t just my physical therapist — you were my friend. You helped me in school and you’d always be there at Christmas time with a gift. I still love visiting your office and catching up with you on anything from politics to college basketball.

The therapy stopped when I went to college, but we stayed close and you remained a huge part of my support system. You helped me land my first-ever internship at CBS Sports. Later, we’d ask you for help with countless scholarships and graduate school, and you were always the first one there willing to help. You helped me grow into a Master’s graduate who now speaks professionally, has a full-time job and has lived independently. 

I can’t thank you enough. Everything I’ve overcame in my life —  academically, physically, socially, you name it — you were there. I can only hope any families out that have a child with special needs have someone as amazing as you to help them succeed. I wouldn’t be here without you.

The spectrum of autism and special needs is so large, and the one thing I hope any therapist can give their patients is something you’ve shown me time and time again.

Your heart.

This one’s for you,

Kerry

This post originally appeared on KerryMagro.com.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

This Blind and Deaf Drummer Refuses to Accept Limitations

Vaughn Brown is deaf and blind. He’s also a percussionist and music educator. Brown, 27, lost his hearing when he was less than a year old to a life-threatening illness, according to The Columbian. Then, at age 4, he began losing his eyesight due to a genetic condition. Despite all the physical challenges he’s faced, he [...]

Watch This 5-Year-Old Deaf Boy Hear His Mother’s Voice for the First Time

David Orekhov, 5, has autism and is also deaf, according to KMBZ News. Recently, his family made the decision to give David cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that, after being surgically implanted under the skin, can help provide a sense of sound to people who are severely hard-of-hearing or deaf, according [...]

How We’re Weathering the Storm of Our Children’s Terrifying Diagnosis

She laid back on my lap, shirtless and limp, her torso pressed against mine, her skin warm under my hands as I rested them on her soft baby skin, trying to keep her from slipping off my lap. We’d been in the doctor’s office for hours at an appointment we’d anticipated for well over a year. [...]

How My Son Taught Me About Joy With a Piece of Bread

I have a son with autism. Most days I forget. He’s just my sweet boy, and he’s so delightfully fun and tender that I completely forget there’s anything different about him. Then there are the days when every single thing is a hard fought battle — days when I’m ready for bed at 11 a.m., [...]