The kids gave our family the gift of transitioning to Public School. Last year I almost did it with a snap decision all before Seraphina's diagnosis. It wasn't the right time.

This year however after careful consideration, weighing the decision and slowly making the transition over the fall months, we pulled the plug on the school we had grown to love and decided to head to our local public school. Since September, the school had worked with Seraphina and though there were moments of imperfection (where I had to fight for what I wanted for Seraphina), the months had gone smoothly. I watched the kids with intense observation when I volunteered at different school events. I listened to parents as they spoke of teachers and witnessed the opportunities the school afforded the children in our community.

I was humbled with the number of texts, calls and messages via Facebook leading out of the winter break into the new half of the year. People concerned with the kids, concerned with their transition and people even concerned with how I would handle the transition myself.

School was in session on Tuesday and though there were a few apprehensive moments, and a few tears, there was also hope that this was the right decision.

Autism isn't just a disability that affects the child and the parents it affects all those in the child's life, those that are close and those they encounter on their daily path.

Recently my son asked me to write a children's book about autism and how it impacts families...positively.

At first I looked at him inquisitively and wondered how I would make this difficult diagnosis pretty. There are days when I lay in bed wondering what tomorrow will bring. There are hours when the tantrums are so bad I want to run and hide and there are moments when I see her pain and wish I could take it from her as tears run down my cheeks understanding that this life I witness is one she lives.

So I thought. Witnessing what I have with my children this week, their ability to transition schools to help their sister, their interest in how each of her school days go and their awareness of what she needs and how to help her get it I realize I have my first "positive impact".

Selflessness. Each of my children has displayed acts of selflessness when it comes to their sister, whether its giving her the last cookie because its the only gluten free snack in the house, switching schools because it will allow her to have therapy services or even just cuddling her when she seems sad and overwhelmed. Each of my children has grown in this manner and its something I could not have taught them without the aid of autism.


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