Even though I’m on summer vacation, I check my school e-mail at least once every other day. If anything to see what the “spam” filter has snagged.
I received a forwarded message from one of my students’ parents today. This particular parent is really sweet and I so appreciate her keeping me updated in what’s going on in the field of autism research. She’s a member of the USAAA (not sure what it stands for, but it’s an autism research & advocacy group).
I really hurt for her when I read her comments before the forwarded message. She talked about how she feels so guilty about allowing the medical staff to immunize her son when he was an infant and not knowing if those immunizations were the cause of his autism.
I know that many, if not all, of my parents deal with guilt about their children and that they are dealing with handicapping conditions in some shape or form on a daily basis, whether or not school is in session. I try to be sensitive to this whenever I speak/correspond with them about anything concerning their child.
It’s hard to even know what to say when I encounter a hurting parent. I want them to know that I know that they are doing the best that they know how to do and that they aren’t at fault for whatever handicapping condition their child may have (unless the kid’s a “crack” or FAS baby … but that’s another story).
I hope my response to her was at least a little encouraging. I think that of all of the parents of my autistic population, she and her husband are the most involved, supportive, and informed. And I told her that.
I hope it helped.