They will always be a special part of his life

A couple of days ago, I received a text from a woman named Gloria who was a wonderful aide/caregiver for my 15-year-old son who has Autism, anxiety disorder and very challenging behavioral issues! She works at a children’s residency/school that my son was attending and living at for a little over two years, a while back! I want to share with you a little about her story before I share the message I received from her.

Here is a woman, Gloria, who does not know my son or my family. She realized that in order to get my son the professional help and support that he needed, we’d had to put him in a placement a little over an hour away from our home. She quickly learned about what we as a family had to deal with, the emotional agony of having a son so far away, but she always assured me that she would be like his “second mom” and give him all of the love and support when I wasn’t there with him.

My son Joseph has very challenging behaviors and not just anyone was able to work with him. Gloria took the time to really learn about him, his challenges, his wants and needs, and knew that there was a reason behind every single behavior he had! She knew that he yearns for the motherly TLC that he wasn’t able to get from me on a daily basis and went beyond parent/caregiver policy for me and would always text me to assure me on days that I struggled with not being with him that he was okay.

I can go on and on, telling you about all the different schools, programs, and people that have come in and out of my son’s life and how he’s touched them, but Gloria is one that Joseph has forever changed her life!

She told me that she used to see how hard he would fight to get through his day and control his impulses, and fight his anxiety, and she worked so hard to get him to express himself because he is pretty verbal.

Josephs-CornerAfter two years of her working with him both in school and residency on a daily basis, we were able to have our son moved within 10 minutes from our home, and Gloria knew that she would no longer be seeing him on a daily basis, but told me that with everything that she has been through with him, he has taught her about patience, the true meaning of love, inspiration and family support.

Other aides in the facility said to her that she would feel a little less stressed and be able to relax once Joseph left and part of her felt that would be true. But once Joseph did leave, she said it felt as if she lost a child, her child in a sense, because she has grown so attached to him.

In the nine months that he has been away from the facility she along with two other wonderful aides have visited him a few times already and l know will continue to be a part of his life!

Going back to the text message and pictures that I received a couple of days ago,

“Your son Joseph has become such a big part of me and my life. I have watched him learn and grow and even though I know he still struggles with so many things, he is a fighter, and I saw how hard it was for him to be away from his family, but needed to get the professional care that he wasn’t able to get near home in the past… I want to thank you from the bottom my heart for the pleasure of knowing your son and you allowing me to be a part of his life and sharing with me all your personal, current and past, family experiences.

Although I miss him deeply and think about him all the time, as you can see it took me a long time to be able to even go to the corner, Joseph’s corner of the classroom. I had the main teacher put a computer desk in the corner, where Joseph’s desk used to be, and you can see on the wall, that I hung a picture of him, as well as his blue bunny that was barely even looking like a bunny anymore, because the stuffing is no longer inside it, but it was his favorite to hold and swim with!

I still hear his laughter and the funny things that he used to say, because he was a child with a sense of humor and who gets sarcasm, things that you can’t teach a child with Autism. It really hurts not seeing him every day, but knowing that he finally had the opportunity of being closer to his family conquers all of my heartache for him. I hope that whenever he does think about me and his other two favorite male aides, that he will look at the shirt that we made for him and know that we will always love and think of him and he will forever be in our hearts!”

Josephs-TshirtGloria along with these other two wonderful and genuine people have traveled over an hour just to visit with Joseph for as little as 30 minutes, even coming from a night shift in working with children and straight to him with no sleep, just to see his smiling face….

They will always be a special part of his life and his journey….. and I will always be forever grateful for Gloria and the two men that have helped my son in every way that they could. – AnnieΒ β™₯



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