When a Meeting at School for My Son With Autism Made Me Cry


I didn’t plan on crying today. In fact, I rarely cry at all. My husband and I talked about this very thing yesterday. I internalize most of my feelings and try to stay cool, calm and collected in almost any situation. Today, I could not hold it in.

Just yesterday we had our very first appointment with a developmental pediatrician. My husband and I left the visit feeling pretty good about the therapy and help we have in place for our son Drake. We discussed his increasing anxiety and went over several other concerns. She saw no need to change anything.

But on the way to therapy this morning I started second guessing myself again. I started thinking about the future and about kindergarten. What we have in place now is working for Drake; the thought of altering that in any way scares me.

But I didn’t cry because I am worried about Drake. I didn’t get in my car and totally lose it because of the long road ahead. Today, I cried tears of complete joy. I don’t think I have ever cried so hard and so long over something that made me so happy.

drake cropped
Jill’s son, Drake.

Earlier today I met with Drake’s preschool teachers. I went into the meeting knowing what to expect. I knew Drake was doing well, and I felt confident his days were mostly good. I walked through the doors of that school with my wall totally up. I was prepared to hear Drake’s strengths and weaknesses. What I didn’t expect was two teachers looking at me with tears in their eyes, telling me how amazing my little boy is. I can hardly type, even now, without my eyes filling with tears.

I am a happy, blessed, emotional mess today. I felt so blessed to be Drake’s mama. I honestly do not know what I did to deserve him. The challenges that can come with autism are sometimes hard and make me worry about the future. But despite any worries and fears, I feel so extremely blessed.

These wonderful teachers, who just met Drake in September, told me over and over how wonderful my child is. It was honest, raw and heartfelt. One teacher told me several times how much she loves Drake. He has exceeded all expectations. The more they spoke, the more I felt that familiar tightening of my throat. It was all good, so good to hear. The wonderful things they said about my child are still playing through my mind: “He stays on task and works hard, and his play skills have increased.” “He is sweet, animated, loving and a joy to be around.” These are just a few things she said about my sweet boy.

Drake’s report from his teacher.

She emphasized how the other kids approach Drake and talk to him, and in turn he listens. She told me that Drake being in this class with 11 other children is helping them. Drake is teaching them to be understanding. These children treat Drake as one of their peers and friends. It is all so beautiful.

What makes me cry is the joy I saw on the teacher’s face as she talked about how well he is doing. That’s the good stuff. The kind of stuff that gives you chills. The very stuff that has left me feeling at peace, happy and so exceptionally blessed that God made me Drake’s mama, as I believe He did.

I truly believe he is doing so well and exceeding all expectations because he feels empowered by the phenomenal support system he has at therapy, school and home. So many people love my child, and I’m so thankful they do.

The Mighty is asking the following: Share with us an unexpected moment with a teacher, parent or student during your (or your loved one’s) school year. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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