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A letter to our students and their parents…

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR STUDENTS & THEIR PARENTS; helping special needs children reach their potential

Dear Friends,

Many years ago Sarah and I met while working with some of you. Whether you worked with Sarah, myself, or both of us, we share one thing: a desire to see you succeed. Today we feel so proud that we have met so many special families, and that we were able to be part of your lives. So many years ago, we saw confused and frightened children, worried and overwhelmed parents. But over the years you have all changed and grown. We have, too.

Patience Has Its Rewards

Parents of Children with Special Needs are our Heroes.

You, the parents of a child with special needs, must become more than a parent. You must become a specialist in the special needs of your child. You must become experienced in Human Resources, as you find, and then manage, the variety of resources that may be available to help your child. You must be flexible in ways that you never imagined. All the while, doing the things that every other parent does. Feeding, disciplining and cheering the child on as you juggle all their other needs and differences. We have seen that it is never easy. We have also seen that you never gave up. Setbacks and challenges were put in your way and still, you pushed on, believing in the potential of your child.

Making Sense of Autism

With each challenge we are given, we learn something new.

Thank you for choosing us to work with your child. Thank you for trusting us as we made messes in your homes and strayed from the topic to explore something new. Thank you for supporting our work with your child with supplies, information, and ideas. When you present us with a new skill to work on and then step back and allow us to work on it in our own way, you give us freedom to connect with your child and to create a work environment that suits your child and their special needs. This freedom allows us to grow professionally. With each challenge we are given, we learn something new.

Gratitude Acorn

To the “children” that we have worked with and still work with, realize that when we call you “children” it is just an expression, we know that many of you are ready to be adults now. We know that the journey has sometimes been scary, perhaps often daunting and overwhelming. You kept going, you kept learning and you kept maturing. That is what makes you truly spectacular. You made it easier for us to teach you. We knew that we could ask you to do more, to try harder, and to trust that your reward would come. It has been a joy and a pleasure to explore your learning style and find ways for you to learn and grow that suit your individuality.

Thank you for all the laughter and love.

Thank you, dear “children”, for stretching our creativity. Believe it or not, the times when you were difficult gave us many teachable moments. The times when you were confused gave us an opportunity to learn new ways to communicate and express ourselves. Thank you for the times when you spoke up and said, “This doesn’t work for me.” Thank you for all the laughter and love.

Educating the Heart Meme


Thank you, parents, and “children”, for one of the best gifts of all: bragging rights. As we watch “our children” start high school, get a job or get their first college acceptance letters, we get to say, “We knew them when…” As we watch you with your best friend or your latest crush, we get to say, “We knew them when…” Thank you for allowing us to share in your successes. Each text, email and phone call that lets us know of another milestone reached, fills our hearts with happiness and pride. We are looking forward to so many of those moments in your future and ours.


Your Friends,

Shelah and Sarah

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  1. what a sweet letter… I am sure their parents must appreciate what you guys do so much!


  2. What an incredible job you have to be able to touch and make such an extraordinary impact on so many lives! I can only imagine how proud you must feel with every milestone. Such a great letter!


  3. Beautiful letter! You have touched so many lives and I imagine you have grown so much by working with so many children and families.


    1. Thank you, Mellissa!


  4. This is beautiful. You make a Real difference in their lives and should be so proud for them to graduate into their next chapter. They have been so lucky to have someone with so much heart in their lives.


  5. What a beautiful letter and message. Those children and families are blessed to have you two who obviously have such a passion for them and your work. Just awesome! And I love that “don’t change yourself to make people love you…” quote! Such an important truth!


  6. What a sweet message. The love you feel for the students and the work you do is obvious!


    1. Honestly, we have such lovely students and families, it is easy to love them.


  7. Shelah, the heart, substance, thought, and care you put into each and every student is clearly second to none! This letter was so touching. It’s amazing to think of parents coming in with their children who fall in the spectrum, perhaps nervous & unsure. It’s pretty spectacular to think of these kids having grown up, succeeded in their own right, and for you to refer back to the time of “we knew them when…”
    Very touching <3


    1. Thank you so much, Alana, you are very generous. We hope that parents of young children with special needs will read this and realize that there is lots of hope for bright futures. Early intervention works.


  8. I love your quote and I think teacher do not get half of the recognition they deserve, so thank you.
    Just in case you haven’t heard it in a while. Thank you for taking the time to educate our most precious commodity. #MommyMondayBlogHop


    1. That’s so sweet. Thank you.


    1. It’s true, but sometimes so hard to remember.


  9. How blessed these teachers and parents are to have you to work with! 🙂


    1. We feel blessed, too. 🙂


  10. The parents and “children” who work with you are so fortunate to have such impassioned people working with them and for them! I love how innovative, creative, and compassionate your site is. I can only imagine what it would be like to work with you!


    1. Wow, Alana, that is so sweet! You made our day!


    1. Thanks, we feel like we are the lucky ones.


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