I was driving Elizabeth to college the other day.

She heads there four days a week for her college program for special needs, so we travel a lot together.  We use the time to talk; to review things that went on during the week so far, sing to the music she picks and pretty much just spending some nice time together and while I don’t always love the driving part of the experience, I really love the one on one time we get.

So as we are headed out one day last week, I heard the familiar sound of a siren in the distance.  I paused the music to listen to figure out which direction it was coming from.  I need to say that I typically get a bit nervous about this because ONE time and only one time, I actually got in the way of the ambulance because I went to the side of the road to let it pass only to see it needed to get into the very driveway I was in front off….I know!!! what were the odds?,  but due to that experience I REALLY try to make sure never to do that again!

So I looked around and saw the ambulance was way in front of us, headed in our direction.  And I moved to the right side of the road.  (NOT in front of any driveway I will have you know) and I watched what the other cars did.

They all moved over.

One by one every car made room for the ambulance to go by.

To do their part to help another person in need.

For that one moment in time, everyone pauses their life and recognizes the need of another.

For that one moment in time, everyone becomes a TEAM of sorts, then the ambulance or police car flies by, everyone regroups, merges back into both the traffic and their lives but for that one moment we take a pause.

I guess as I thought about it more that morning, I began  thinking  about what was going on in that ambulance.

Whose life was hanging in the balance?

Whose family would be driving behind the ambulance hoping and praying for their family member?

What needs were there?

For that moment everyone on the road was like a TEAM.  Everyone was working for the same goal, to help.  As I began driving again and Elizabeth began chatting it up again, I thought about how wonderful being a TEAM and having that support from others feels.

I have a daughter with special needs (specifically sensory processing disorder ( SPD) and global dyspraxia) and so many others have children with special needs. And we all know that it can be very hard work but knowing you have support and a team behind you makes a huge difference.

I know that the THE team that makes the most difference for our children is the one related to the school.  It  should not be us versus them, ever.

-We need those at the school to see us as part of the team, not the opposition.

-We need the therapists at the school to listen to us because we know our child and we are part of the team, not just the parents/caregivers.

-We need to feel that the team is working for the same goal….our child.

That whole team feeling is what can make or break the success for our child.  I know many are facing IEP season and I know the struggle with the schools is real.

I hope that you can find the words you need to convey to your school the importance of team work and helping the school take a pause to really see your child and be their team.

Just like we all were that morning.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister