I Am Thankful My Child With a Disability Has a Loving Aide at School


I always wondered what it would be like to be in an inclusive classroom. When I was a child, it wasn’t done. Now, its in almost every classroom at many schools. I always wondered what other kids thought about aides. Did they know who the child’s aides were? Did they understand why they were there? What if children thought they were mean or scary and the little ones couldn’t share their feelings?

For me, I feel we are blessed by our school district. I have more than fallen in love with every aide and paraprofessional I have encountered. When my oldest was young, I sat in awe as aides lead students to where they needed to be with kindness and compassion. I knew our district was doing the best they could, but I still wondered if children saw what I saw.

Now that I am a parent of a child with disabilities, what I witnessed when my own daughter was young is something that not only resonates in my mind, but it settles in my heart. I knew some of the same aides were still in the district and I took comfort in that knowledge. Still, I sat back at home when I first put my own child on the bus and wondered. Would she be OK? As I plow through laundry folding I hope she isn’t sad, scared or hurting. I know as she lives life with a disability things aren’t always going to be easy and she might not always be easy for the outside world to love — but I do know when she’s with her aide, she is more than OK. She is happy. She is not scared or hurting. And more than that… she is loved.

Last week it was proven to me when I saw the love through another child’s eyes. I saw exactly who the aide is to my child. The child commented my daughter attended school with her “daytime mommy.” When I cannot be by my child’s side, the aide is there. It is comforting to know a child identifies the aide in this way. Why? Children say what they see, so they see a mothering figure loving my girl.

When we think of what we want to be as mothers, I usually put “loving” first. Though my little one cannot always tell me how she feels, when another child pipes up and lets me know she saw my little one at school with her “daytime mommy,” I know the aide is all I want for my child and more.

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

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Woman yawning

7 Tips for Managing Ongoing Demands as Parents of Kids With Disabilities

I recently had to embark on a long, time-consuming and emotionally draining fight for my son to start ABA in-center therapy, something I’d taken for granted given his spot on the waitlist had come up. But some issue between the insurance and provider delayed the place that had been reserved for him for so long. I feel as if there is a non-stop, [...]

My Son’s Hair Isn’t About You

No, I will not cut my son’s hair for you. No, he has never gotten teased by other children for it. Actually, the only people who make a big fuss about it and make him feel self-conscious are adults who feel the need to point out my parenting flaw with his hair. Please stop telling [...]
The cast of "The Good Doctor."

Why I Like 'The Good Doctor' as a Person on the Autism Spectrum

As someone on the autism spectrum, I was hesitant to watch the new TV show “The Good Doctor,” which features the main character of Dr. Shaun Murphy as an adult on the autism spectrum, making his way in the world as a new surgeon. Some of the other shows I’ve seen so far that have [...]
Old book with yellowed pages.

What I Want People to Know This Autistic History Month

November is Autistic History Month — an event that is tailored to celebrate autistic history, culture and community, by sharing personal histories, art and creative writing about autism. Being recently diagnosed with autism myself, I thought I’d kick off the month by sharing a short history of autism, giving a quick rundown of what autism [...]