I was reading some posts on a social media the other day and one of them caught my eye.  It was about someone crying at their child’s IEP meeting and in the post, the author  asks if others had done this too.

The responses were numerous and similar in that many answered yes.

I felt such comradery as I read the post because I know many a time I held back tears at an IEP meeting or school conference.  Sometimes the threat of tears came from frustration, other times it was sadness and other times it was because I felt overloaded. And sometimes it came from the feeling of time passing and seeing how much Elizabeth still needed to do to “catch-up”

Suffice to say,  I understood what the author of the posts was feeling and asking about. I understood how much you just need to hear something positive or encouraging or even have someone come up along side of you to support you, be that literally or via social media.

So I thought maybe I would share a bit of a story to tuck away for when you might need that good thought.

I met a special person yesterday. I had met his mom many weeks earlier.  She was telling me about her son, now 50 years old, with special needs; About  his life, hard work and his successes.

During our lunches, she asked a lot about Elizabeth, her disorders of sensory processing disorder ( SPD) and dyspraxia, about her life and journey.

I loved hearing her story and talking to her so much so that my time with her flew by. I knew I had made a new friend, one I am looking forward to getting to know better.

Now flash to yesterday.

Without knowing it was to happen, she arranged for her son to visit me at a coffee shop where I work.

He introduced himself to me , looked me in the eyes and engaged me in a wonderful conversation.  He too, asked about Elizabeth. He asked how her she was doing in life.

I told him about her hard work in life  and how much  language has always been our hard fought struggle and that my true want for her is to have clear, free flowing words.  As I said this I told him how wonderfully he spoke.

I could feel myself getting a bit emotional at this point because before me stood an adult who had had a childhood filled with struggles and work just like Elizabeth’s.

I told him that and how I was so happy to meet him and to see how wonderful he was doing.

He then told me ” Never count her out…ever.”

” I was 27 years old before I could speak like I do now, before I could get my mind organized to do it”

“She will get there, never count her out.”

I did really tear up at this point, and later in the day cried over the words because I know in my heart I will NEVER give up on Elizabeth and loved how he knew the absolute right words to say!

Those words from someone who just knows, meant so much.  They are the kind of words that will stay with me.  I will use them when I feel overwhelmed or discouraged.

I am sharing this story with you because as we end a school year and time moves on, his words really ring true and positive.

I thank my new friend for arranging the surprise and I thank her son for just knowing the right thing to say.

Hope this helped someone today, after all we are all on the journey together.

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