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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

Dear Team As We Begin The Year.

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Dear Team,

First and foremost thank you for being here. We want you to know that we are truly grateful for you. We are so excited for this school year. It's going to sound weird but we have been praying for you and hoping for you.

We used to want to control the situation of who Whitman had and what his school year was going to look like but we've started simply praying that God would put the right people in our life so Whitman could grow into his best self.

We are coming into this school year ready to see what Whitman can do. We have no doubts that he'll grow this year with you on his team. Some things you should know if you are new here. Whitman takes a while to warm up but when he does he loves hard and he loves for life. He loves a good Kit Kat or M&M and he'll try to negotiate those out of you on a daily basis.

When he was in the NICU and things were sketchy I would pray that he would be healthy, happy, and his laugh would be funnier than the punchline of any joke. He has the most contagious laugh and I hope you hear it on the daily. He also has the best sense of humor and his delivery comes at the worst times. I'm so sorry about that. I hope that you can laugh with him even if it's during class.

Some advice that has taken me years of mess ups to realize. Meet Whitman where he is that day. Autism is hard and weird in that we think that we've turned a corner because Tuesday Whit did a laundry list of things but on Thursday those skills are nowhere to be found. It can throw you for a loop and leave you wondering how and why? I promise things will go back to his baseline eventually and those new skills will come back on Whit's time.

Whitman gives the best hugs it can turn a hard period of the day into the best day. He has learned how to be sassy from his sister. If you call him out on it he giggles. When Whitman really wants something and has been denied access to it he will rub your hand and wink. It's hard to say no after that wink but stay strong.
Thank you for loving my sweet Whit. It's hard to send your child who is non verbal off to school but we trust and know that you are on our team.

We decided long ago when Whitman was diagnosed that we are open minded and willing to try anything if it means giving Whitman a better life. If it doesn't work we take three deep breaths re-evaluate and move on to something else.
Please never feel like we are going to be angry at you if you tried something with Whitman and it failed. You took the time to think of something to make Whitman's life better and that's what matters.

Thank you for loving him, showing up for him, and being there for us. You are our family 9 months out of the year and we are truly grateful. We are hoping and praying that this is the best year yet!

Love, The Althaus'.


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