Sunday, August 24, 2014


     Sometimes Owen's Autism takes a back seat in our family's lives, and sometimes that's a good thing. Nate and I often joke how grateful we are we don't have more time or energy on our hands, otherwise we'd spend a lot of time worrying about things we shouldn't be. However, this summer as Owen grew another couple inches and turned into a full-fledged boy - and also became obsessed with all things soccer and geography from the World Cup - it became apparent that his "unique quirks" would start to manifest themselves to those around him.
     When Owen was first diagnosed on the spectrum, around age 2, one of the first questions I asked our pediatrician was at what age would kids likely start to notice differences in him?  She told me that around 2nd grade is the time when most kids start to become socially aware of differences in others.          
     We have been holding our breath with Owen this summer, because we knew this would likely be the year that his friends would begin to wonder why he does some things the way he does.
     We've done everything in our power to protect him from what can be a cruel world - from therapies, to a religious private school with small class sizes - but we knew that eventually, this day would come.  No parent, ever wants to have their child teased, or considered different from their peer group, especially for something that can't be controlled.
     Enter Owen's 1st grade teacher.  I found out over the summer that a family that moved into our neighborhood had a woman that recently got hired at the kids' school and that she would be teaching first grade.  Since there are only 2 first grade teachers at our school, the odds were likely Owen would have her.
     Since she's of the same faith, I quickly hunted her down at church to learn all about Owen's potential teacher.  She has children my age, but age aside, from the moment we met, it was apparent to both of us that we were kindred spirits.
     She radiates warmth, kindness, and has about the sweetest disposition you'll ever see.  She also had experience at her previous private school working with a few high-functioning autistic kiddos.  I knew she'd be the perfect fit for Owen and his transitional year and when we found out Owen was placed in her class, we all exhaled a sigh of relief.  
    From the first day of school she has texted me and we've chatted late nights about all things life and ways she can help Owen socially this year.  She told me that Owen's class is quite mature this year and that within the first week the students are already noticing Owen's differences and some are getting quite frustrated with him.  And wouldn't you know - this angel of a teacher has found opportunities to talk to Owen's classmates about what it means to be a child of God and that they should love everyone in the class, even if they do things differently.  She has dropped off Owen's folder on her way home from school, when he forgets it and gets a lot of anxiety about it, and she gives just about the best hugs anyone could ask for. 
     What could have been a potentially devastating school year for both Owen and his parents, has already turned into one of the most blessed years we've had.  I continue to be amazed at how much our Heavenly Father loves each of our children, and that his plan is so perfect for them.  His teacher, who has become an amazing friend of mine, was an answer to our prayers.  I'm so grateful she loves our little Owen and sees in him the potential and the genius that is sometimes masked by social oddities.  Owen's journey in life will be so unique - just like he is, with highs and lows - but we know of a surety that he is a beloved son of our Heavenly Father, and that with some help from mortal angels along the way, his path will be sure, blessed, and perfect for him.  

1 comment:

  1. Just seeing you blog. This is so awesome how this all turned out. Thanks for sharing in the blogosphere.