A video from back in the day.
Aaron totally could match his colours no problem,
but he was conducting his own little trial, seeing
what we would do if he put it on the wrong one.
I love his happy face when we cheer for him.
Trisha came next. I loved Trisha because she was real. I could say what I really thought with her. Professionals are always coming in to oversee Aaron's programming. Sometimes these suggestions are wonderful, intelligent, insightful, "thank-you so much, we'll defiantly try that" suggestions, and sometimes there a bit too much textbookish-ness and not enough Aaron -isity if you know what I mean).
I got to tell Trisha things that I hated about Autism, and all it's cohorts, because she really looked at things and didn't gloss over, or try and candy coat things that just all around sucked. (I'm thinking maybe she was around during Aaron's poop-smearing phase). She was by no means a pessimist, she was happy and sensitive to the good in everyone. She just could break things down and wasn't just gonna go through the motions of things, just because. She truly cared about Aaron and his progress, and she helped me see I could follow my gut, and say what I thought would work and what I didn't. Trish wasn't with us even that long, before she went back to school, but she sure made an impression on the Bretzkes! Trisha, thanks for helping me find balance and truthfulness in all the well-intentioned, but mostly thanks for the courage I gleaned by mere association.
Then Aaron started school. (Scariest thing ever! I few of my anxiety described here). And at the risk of this post becoming totally unmanageable (home aids, branching to school aides--those specific to Aaron and those in the class-- to teachers, to respite workers, speech therapists, behaviourists, occupational therapists, social workers...the list goes on and on..we are so blessed to have so many great people on Aaron's "team"!) I'm going to include his aides at his home away from home.
Christine set the standard so unbelievably high. For Aaron's first year and a half of pre-school he could not have been in better hands. She was consistant and kind, firm and fair (she was the mom I kept thinking I should be!) She was so vested in Aaron. She was so involved with what he did at school, she didn't just stand back and supervise. She took every opportunity to help him stretch and progress. She was so in there and intentional with everything. It would have been so easy to let him happily play on the carpet with his animal figurines, but Christine was there to make sure Aaron was striving for his potential. She took few head-bangs for her persistence, but luckily she was understanding of Aaron's"bad days". I would have been happy with her staying with him til Highschool graduation! But alas, she was too good and mid-year the school decided her expertise were needed with a more difficult student (darn Aaron be more difficult:) And we had to say goodbye. Christine really did set the bar so very high, she showed us what being an educational assistance is all about.
Doesn't Aaron look grateful Christine?
Luckily the EA's out at Aaron's school are all amazing!
Christina picked up the reigns and finished up the year of pre-school with Aaron and is now helping him transition into kindergarten. And doing such a marvellous job. She has him sitting (oh there's a killer amount of sitting in kindergarten these days...back in my day all I remember is play, snack, nap, play!) which is no small feat, if school only saw how non-stop he is at home! Aaron keeps her running for sure, but she keeps up, and with sweetness guides Aaron along and sets him up for lots of little successes. She is observant and anticipates his needs, tossing him a fidget just before he starts getting overly-antsy. I can hear her voice calling "Aaron" probably the only person who says his name as many times as I do in a day! I know he looks to her, as his guardian and guide. He knows that she is there to help, and so do I. Knowing that her kindness and direction are there for Aaron each day, is what let's me smile and wave goodbye to him each morning. I can let him out of my care, because Christina, you care. And I'm so thankful you do.
|in the "trenches"|
|So sad this is fuzzy!|
And then there was Cara.
And we'll love the next person. Because it's all playing out just the way it's suppose to.