To Cody’s Teachers: You are Essential

You are Essential.  I want you to know that you are seen and you are valued. You may not be listed as essential workers, but you are essential. Cody has learned beyond what a curriculum could account for.  When technology was on the blink, he learned that it’s ok to fail and try again another day. Cody learned to be flexible.  Cody learned empathy and passion from you – a skill we are all learning right now.  He has learned engagement with others with co-treating and spending morning meetings with new friends.   

You are making history.  You were the first teachers and therapists to tackle a challenge and bring education to a distance from each other and continue to function as a society. What you are doing and have already done matters. It matters not just for Cody, but also our future. You are part of something so much bigger and making history we will one day talk about. 

It’s ok to be sad.  This is the time of year when you tend to see your kids come together as a unit that knows how to work together, learn together, and laugh together.

It’s the time we celebrate together for the holidays.  For now, it’s OK to cry together, too. (Or on your own.)  We continue to have to roll with the changes as well as shift and go to Plan B. It’s OK to grieve those missed hugs and high-fives.

Never stop learning.   You’re learning new ways of presenting information and trying to make it so that we can all access the information. You’re figuring out what teaching looks like when “school” has become “schooling.” 

You have given Cody and I the tools to be successful. In no way do I consider this “homeschooling.” I’m supervising, but you, the teacher, are doing the heavy lifting and providing us with what we need. I personally know how hard teaching is with my background in adult learning. I’m grateful that other parents are getting a peek under the hood and seeing how much work goes into it what each of you do.  

You have a place in Cody’s life. Whether he is groaning about answering a question, feeling anxious due to a new program or gleefully trying to get your attention during your virtual class meeting or in person with his laughter, it’s because you matter. 

You are essential. Please take care of yourself and family this holiday break. Be well. Try your best. And thank you for being there.

Virtual Holidays and Hugs to you all.

Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

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