Our journey has introduced us to many other families traveling on their own journey. Abby and her family are one of those families. Somewhere along the way Abby and my daughter’s paths crossed and a friendship was made between her mother and myself.

Our daughter’s paths are different but their journey’s are similar. Abby attends the May Institute, a private special education school. My daughter attends a public school. Both of our girls are in programs that suit their needs and have made great progress since their paths crossed so long ago.

I had the honor of attending the May Institute Gala where Abby’s mother, Jolie, was the guest parent speaker. Jolie shared her family’s story of their autism journey. A journey she said, ” like everyone else’s filled with joy, headaches, crying, laughter, growth and amazement .”

Abby’s path steered her to the May Institute where she was able to make substantial progress. Jolie refers to her daughter’s school as a hone away from hone. She calls the staff a part of their family. A family that makes decisions together.

Abby found her success at the May. My daughter found her success in public school. Two girls with ASD on different paths but each achieved success because they were in the right program. Two girls that call their school a home away from home. Two mothers that consider the staff at their daughter’s school family.

Oftentimes families on this journey are faced with the hard task of finding the right program for their child. My daughter was able to progress in public school but I know so many other families whose child couldn’t. Our public schools are very unequipped to meet the needs of all of our children. To those families like Abby’s that have had to go through the pain, sleepless nights and pay the attorney fees to get their child into the right school I applaud you.

When our children are in the right program wether it be a private or public school amazing things happen. They learn to become more independent and with independence comes happiness. Every child with autism is different, every child with a disability is different, every typical developing child is different and each deserves a chance to succeed. Each and every child deserves “a life well lived a life well loved.”

Abby and my daughter have been fortunate to each find the place where they belong. They have taken two different paths yet their journey is similar. A journey of joy, headaches, crying, laughter, growth and amazement.

Click on the link below to hear Abby’s story.

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