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About a month ago I agreed to be interviewed by a young woman who needed to interview someone who has raised special needs kids. She needed the interview to complete one of her classes for her recreational therapy degree. Her mother, who was the teacher consultant for my son from the time he was four years old until he graduated from college, suggested that she contact me.

I agreed to the interview because I think it is so important to encourage young people to become the professionals, which the next generation of autistic families will need.

My message to her was, don’t be afraid to make suggestions to your students and parents. You can be a valuable resource to those you serve, beyond what you do yourself professionally. Suggestions came to us from people like you at just the right time. We didn’t take every suggestion, but some were very valuable to our family.

A school social worker suggested that our son should take up band, and he talked to the sixth grade band teacher before making this suggestion to us.

A recreational therapist at the local rehabilitation hospital suggested that we look in to therapeutic horse back riding.

Our piano teacher suggested that we attend the church we attended through our kids’ teen years because the youth pastor would be a good fit for our kids.

An occupational therapist shared information about summer therapy with Easter Seals because she knew we couldn’t afford private therapy.

These people were instrumental in our children’s transition to independent adulthood.

I sometimes took a while to decide regarding information given to us. But I was open to suggestion, and some of it made a big difference.

What suggestions have been helpful to you?