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To the Preschool Teachers of Our Daughter on the Autism Spectrum

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Some of us have been taught that people enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. The gifts you’ve given us are immeasurable, and your impact will certainly last across all three.

The reason is simple. Our daughter was struggling to find her way in a world that doesn’t always understand her uniquely beautiful mind. You didn’t see her as broken. You saw what so many others didn’t — you saw Piper, the sweet, funny, smart little girl we longed for others to see. Your gift to each of your students is that you see beyond their challenges. You see their true light and help them find their own way to make it shine. Piper didn’t just need help, she needed you. Time and time again, you rose to the occasion.


The season is perhaps the most bittersweet, as all seasons do, our season with you is coming to an end. Just over a year ago we brought you a child who often struggled to communicate the most basic of needs. Today, we will go home with a child who sings, engages in play and most importantly, believes in herself. Her growth is the result of a true collaborative effort and your role has been enormous. You challenged Piper daily, and she has persevered. Because of you, she is ready for new, bigger challenges. We celebrate this alongside of you today, but simultaneously, our hearts ache because you will be deeply missed. How lucky we are to have someone who makes saying goodbye so difficult!

The lifetime…well, that pertains more to how you’ve helped us grow as Piper’s parents. You’ve laid a foundation not only for her, but for us as well. You’ve given us the faith to believe there will always be someone else fighting in her corner. As a result of your guidance, the future that once seemed so uncertain is now more exciting than scary. You’ve taught us to celebrate every accomplishment and given us many reasons to be proud. You’ve loved our daughter fiercely, exactly as she is, and in turn, we love you as well.

We hope you’ll always remember our Piper — her s smile bright, her spirit free. You have forever changed our world, and you will be in our hearts for a lifetime.

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Originally published: July 11, 2017
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