To My Son's Physical Therapist, Thank You and Farewell

Dear Charlene,

I knew we had to say goodbye soon, I just didn’t think it would be today. I thought the farewell would have to do with our family’s upcoming move to a new state, I never dreamed it would come sooner due to Anderson’s progress.

A little boy with Down syndrome sitting on his therapist's lap for a photo

You have been there from the beginning. Once Anderson was old enough to have physical therapy, you were his therapist. I was eager to get him started and even after decades of doing this and the hundreds of patients you must have seen over the years, I could tell you were eager to help him. Not because this is your job, but because it seems it’s your calling — to help kids like mine and parents like me.

I was still dealing with the freshness of Anderson’s Down syndrome diagnosis when you came into our lives. In many ways, you have been my tour guide these last two years.

You have taught me how to help him overcome hurdles. You have taught me things about my son’s uniqueness and have also helped me see just how much he is like every other kid.

In many ways you have been my therapist as well.

You have hugged me during the highs and lows of his development. You’ve listened to my fears about Anderson’s diagnosis and what it will mean for him. With every bit of uncertainty that has taken hold of my heart in the first two years of his life, you have always found ways to encourage me on a journey I never saw myself taking.

When you look at Anderson, I believe you see more than his low muscle tone. The world may look at him and see barriers, but you seem to see potential. Not only do you see it, but you have found ways to unlock it. While at the same time you’ve unknowingly helped me see my own potential as his mother. Because of you, I have a boy who is walking. Because of you, I have a boy who seems to understands the world around him a bit better. Because of you, I have a bit more confidence in being his mom.

So, thank you. Thank you for being our teacher, our counselor and friend.

With love and gratitude,


Follow this journey at News Anchor to Homemaker.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Down Syndrome

3 Life Lessons I've Learned From Down Syndrome and Alopecia

April is always an emotional month for me. It’s a time of reflection. Reflecting back to the day I first heard those words, “your baby will be born with Down syndrome.” That was three years ago. And boy has my perspective changed since then. I wanted so much to become “that mom,” you know? The [...]

This Grandma's Clothing Company is Setting the Bar for Accessible Fashion

Grandma Karen Bowersox developed a line of jeans and more after making a pair for her granddaughter with Down syndrome. Read the full versions of Special Pair of Jeans Finds a New Audience and Grandma’s Clothing Line for People With Down Syndrome Needs Your Help. Read the full transcript: This Grandma’s Clothing Company Is Setting the Bar for [...]
baby sitting on couch

When a Walmart Cashier's Question After My Daughter's Surgery Made Me Cry

Being a first-time parent has its challenges and rewards. I never expected to have a daughter with Down syndrome. I never expected my daughter to have a heart condition. I never expected my daughter to have open heart surgery at 4 months old, but she did. We brought Louisa home from surgery and then landed [...]

To My Daughter With Down Syndrome on Her 1st Birthday

Life is about choices and I chose to love, protect, and be your advocate. There isn’t anything I would change in you, my daughter Savannah. You are perfect the way you are and worthy of life and all opportunities. We are thankful for your Down syndrome diagnosis, the lessons we have learned, and look forward to [...]