After I dropped Jay off this morning, I had a good conversation this morning with one of Mae’s former teachers, Ms. O. She is the quintessential teacher — white hair, glasses, soft but firm voice. When a child is upset she says, “Tell me what’s in your heart.” And, when a child is out of order, she goes into that no-nonsense mode that I love to see in teachers. I learned the “choice, no-choice” technique from her, as in “Do you want to brush your teeth and then take a bath, or take your bath first?”
Ms. O was Mae’s PreK4 teacher, and also spent a lot of time with Mae when she was in PreK3 and summer camp in between.Ms. O once told me and Hubby that she had asked God why he sent Mae to her, what did He want her to do? I don’t remember what Ms. O said the response once; I just remember that she said she decided that she would just claim Mae and love her.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Ms. O has a son who has Asperger’s. So, there is her answer. One day, I’ll remind her of that conversation.
This morning, I asked if she could recommend a cognitive behavioral therapist. She couldn’t. She said they weren’t doing such things when her son was Mae’s age, and he’s now in college. She said the most important thing to her at the time was to have him in an environment where “he wouldn’t be damaged.” She said that’s why she kept him there, where she has taught for twenty-plus years, because she knew he would be protected in a small, private school.
We were saying how great it is that there are more interventions available now, and how early intervention can be so beneficial. At the end of the day, Ms. O is right, whether it’s school placement or therapy, it’s all about that universal parental duty: protecting them, including fortifying them to function and thrive.