Sometimes heroic actions can be subtle, but their impact everlasting. Join the Center for Family Involvement in celebrating the unsung heroes in our lives.
Molly Delinger-Wray, project leader at the Partnership for People with Disabilities shares:
“I worked as a special education teacher for kids who were diagnosed with autism and who
needed significant support. When my own son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what his future would be like. By the time he went to
kindergarten, he barely talked. As a teacher, I had participated in a lot of IEP meetings so I knew what the team meetings would be like, and I knew the teachers and therapists were working hard to support my son. Nevertheless, I always felt gut punched in the team meetings, listening to my son’s deficits, and all of the ways that he struggled compared to the other kids. It was always hard for me not to want to burst out crying. So, I steeled myself to get through the meeting, showing little emotion, and keeping low expectations. I’m not proud of this, but at one of his kindergarten team meetings, I made a disparaging comment about my son’s future and said, “Let’s face it. He’s never going to dance at his wedding”. Maureen, an occupational therapist jumped in right away at that point. “Why do you say that?” she challenged. “There is no reason that one day he won’t be the class president”. I can’t remember her last name, but I will never forget Maureen. She was right. Although my son was never the class president, he is a successful college graduate and a leader in his
career. Her words were exactly what I needed to hear to shake my brain up enough to consider the positive possibilities and a bright future. Thanks Maureen, wherever you are.”