Exceptional people who have been drawn to work with my son Ben and who have surpassed all expectations.
There’s a long line of workers. ‘Worker’ is a misnomer and inadequate to describe those who have been teachers, visionaries, therapists and coaches in their own right.
There was Kathleen, a bouncy, bubbly young woman who spent six years with Ben – transforming herself into a speech therapy, technology, sign language, literacy and inclusion expert. Kathleen accompanied us on our trips to the U.S. to see specialists and was Ben’s special needs ‘assistant’ (another misnomer) at school. Kathleen thought the world of Ben, and we thought the world of her. She went back to university to become what she had always been – a teacher.
There was Coco, a blind-deaf intervener who became our sign-language instructor and went into Ben’s school to teach the other kids sign because the school board would not. Over the years, Coco became a loved member of our family and our children’s legal guardian. Last summer, she returned from her new home in the Dominican Republic to take Ben to his first overnight camp (see photo above), a true breakthrough.
There was John, a brilliant math professor who volunteered to do math with Ben. John had written a book about making math accessible to all children. He taught Ben fractions and Ben wanted to work for him. Nothing made me happier than telling Ben: “The math professor says you’re smart.”
And the list goes on.
Whenever I am feeling down about Ben’s challenges or lack of friends, I think about how one boy was able to attract these human jewels, like a magnet, and make them shine.
Who are the angels in your child’s life?