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

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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.

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Originally published: April 26, 2017
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