You’ve got mail
I got the dreaded email that I never wanted to get.
The Special Education teacher from my daughters school emailed me to request and RTI.
A who? What the?
I emailed back and as cool as a cucumber I let her know that I could be there whenever was convenient for her.
No sweat. Easy peasy. I got this.
As soon as I hit the send button I started panicking. What the $#*% is an RTI? Why does the special ed teacher want to meet with me? Is Justin not doing well in school? Are they going to pull her out of her class and put her in special ed?
Thank you God for giving me my sweet friend Kathryn to walk me through what I was headed for. I love you Kat, aka:Victory.
Let me explain that I do not have a problem with Justin going to special education classes, I just need to prepare myself for that conversation. We were just in celebration mode because Justin took her bright orange earphones off for school pictures and now we are back to stressing about what she has ahead of her.
Autism likes to play those mind games with you. It will give you moments of complete awe, like the time my daughter opened a book for us to read to her and ended up reading the entire thing to us. We had no idea that she could read. Great parents, geez.
Then there are the times that Autism kicks us right in the gut.
On the triplets first birthday my husband had to take Justin to our bedroom, wrap her in a blanket and rock her the entire time of the party. She didn’t open a single present or eat a single bite of cake, neither did my husband.
We had to leave a water park a few weeks ago because one of the lifeguards blew an air horn and caused Justin to regress to her own world, cover her ears, shut her eyes and cry for three hours.
Yesterday I went to get the girls from school and the secretary told me that she was carrying a lunch tray for a little girl when she slipped and fell. As she was sitting on the floor, in a mess of food, in front of rows and rows of student eating their lunches, she looked up and saw a little girl standing next to her.
The little girl asked the secretary if she fell then extended her hand and said “Here, I’ll help you up”. The secretary told me that she knew for a fact that it was one of my girls but because they are triplets and all look alike, she had no idea which one it was. My heart melted.
The thought that one of my girls was brave enough and compassionate enough to get up from the lunch table and go over to her and offer help is a pretty good feeling. My little girl didn’t care about the rule to stay in your seat or to not leave your class. It was more important that she went over to the secretary to try to help.
I am one proud mommy.
All of my girls were in the office while I signed them out of school and I asked each one of them if they saw the secretary fall.
Bella said yes, she saw her fall but didn’t go over to her. Myleigh said yes, she saw her fall but didn’t go over to her. When I asked Justin if she saw her fall she said “Yes ma’am”.
When I asked her if she went over to help her she said “Yes ma’am, can I have a snack now.”
She was oblivious to the fact that she had done anything out of the norm. To her it was simply the right thing to do.
Take that autism.
Yes, autism can make us leave a water park, make my daughter miss out on her birthday party, keep our family from numerous activities, make Justin wear a pair of very odd earphones and countless other limitations that it puts on us.
But Autism can never take away the fact that my daughter is compassionate, loving, smart, faithful, loyal, the best snuggle bug in the world and funnier than anyone else in this house.
Autism can’t steal her infectious smile.
Autism can’t mute her contagious laugh.
Autism can’t remove the knowledge that she consumes, stores and uses.
Autism can’t dull her wondrous imagination.
Autism can’t keep her in her seat and silence her when she sees someone that might need a little help.
So take that autism.
I’ll show up at your meeting. I’ll listen to what you have done to my daughter and what you have planned for her. I accept your challenge but I triple dog dare you to try to keep up with Justin.
She is smarter and faster than her diagnosis. Autism nips at her heels all day long but she never looks back. I’ll be sitting in a meeting in a few hours to discuss what is working for her and what is not.
RTI stands for Response To Intervention and it kind of sound like we are meeting to break her drug habit. I can’t help but to put on my suit of armor and prepare to fight a battle for my daughter.
The thing is, Justin doesn’t and will never see it that way.
She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about how autism is effecting her, all she knows is that she’s Justin and she is the best Justin that she can be. I plan on telling autism to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
My prayer for my daughter today
“Merciful Father thank you for giving my family the gift of autism and for all the life lessons that come with it. We humble ourselves before you. When we want to tuck our tales and lower our heads in pity and shame please whisper in our ears and remind us that You created us in Your own eyes and our heavenly eyes fail to see the true beauty behind every single thing that You touch. Remind us that we are Your children and with You we will never be defeated. Help us to all be a little more like Justin and a little less like ourselves. Thank you Father for the blessings that you pour out on us even when we can’t see them.
In Jesus name, Amen
I’m about to go wake my girls up with lots of kisses. My sweet Justin has no idea what is heavy on my heart and what I am prepared to do for her today. She just wants to hurry up and get to the monkey bars at school today.