To My Son's ABA Therapist


Dear Kate,

You met us after a long year. You came into our lives one year after our son’s autism spectrum (ASD) diagnosis. You have been with us five days a week, three to four hours a day ever since. You are an extension of our family. You have seen us at our best and our worst. You often ring the doorbell and get me answering the door at 1:00 p.m. still in pajamas because its been “one of those days.” You have been patient, you have been kind and you have walked this journey with us.

When you started, I would apologize daily for the clutter, the dishes, the way my house looked. You have every day entered with a smile and understood our family dynamic from the beginning. There are no words that would ever be enough to properly thank you for your dedication to your job, and more importantly, your dedication to my family. You showed up at his birthday party, you have come to the beach, park, zoos and museums with us. You have helped us  through this process and it has been an honor getting to know you.

It is now time to say goodbye. I hope you will think of our boy and smile and share stories of him throughout your life and career. For you, we were your job assignment, but we never felt like one. For us, you were our son’s voice when he wasn’t able to speak. You were his friend when he didn’t have one. You were his ears when he was distracted and couldn’t listen. You were my safe zone, in my bubble, in my tribe of people I trusted. Your dedication to him and us has brought us to a point where you now move on to a much deserved promotion, as well as my son moving on to not needing as much support. You have given him freedom, independence and watched him turn into the little boy he is today.

It has been four months without you, a long four months — seems like years if you ask me. We are adjusting to our new life of afternoons together without extra help. I hope you felt appreciated when you were with us, because now I look back and realize just how essential you were to all of  our son’s successes and our family’s resilience during times I wanted to break. It has been a hard transition to Kindergarten for our son, we often find ourselves saying, “I miss Kate.” I miss your ability to get our son. To instantly know what to do, say or act. His teachers and classmates haven’t quite “gotten him” yet, but we know they will.

Keep helping families. I know this is your job, your career, what you do before going home to your family. But my family would not be the same without you. You picked the right track, career wise, we hit the jackpot by getting you as our first ABA therapist.

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

Getty image by KatarzynaBialasiewicz


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


Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Little boy playing drums. Black and white image with the words "I am more than autism"

Please See My Son Beyond an Autism Label

“The one thing I wish I could explain to people is he’s not what they think he is. Words he’s been branded with could never describe him. Words he’s been labeled with can never describe him. He’s not special… he’s extraordinary. To me.” Puddle Jumping — Amber I. Johnson I read a lot of books; [...]
Rising Tide Car Wash.

7 Ways Employees With Autism Can Make Businesses Better

There is roughly 80 percent unemployment among autistic people. In our six years of experience in building Rising Tide Car Wash, we’ve learned one simple truth: this has nothing to do with the capabilities of people on the autism spectrum and everything to do with how society views autism: as a disability that requires sympathy, [...]
letter transcribed in body of article

Mom Receives Rude Anonymous Letter From Neighbor About Her Autistic Son

On Monday, Magenta Quinn found a letter from one of her neighbors threatening to file a formal complaint against her child, who’s on the autism spectrum, because they perceive him to be making “strange and disturbing” noises when he is playing outside. The letter read: Dear Owner/Tenant I am one of your neighbors and wish [...]
Ultrasound and blood test

Autism Studies You May Have Seen Recently and What to Know About Them

The causes of autism are largely unknown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children are autistic; boys are more likely to be diagnosed than girls; and it affects all socio-economic statuses. With little known about it, an abundance of research about autism exists. It can be overwhelming to keep [...]