So, we were contemplating this move for quite a while but the one thing that was holding us back was Tyler and his need for the special schooling he was receiving at the Pingree School for Autism. They don’t have a dedicated school for Autism here in Arizona and we didn’t want to pull him out of the Pingree School before he was ready. He was making so much progress there and we didn’t want him to lose any of the great gains he had made.
Well, things started falling into place for us a couple months ago and we felt like it was time to move. After much thought and prayer we really felt like it was the right thing for our family. We knew we would be pulling Tyler out of school about 6 months early but we felt like he would be o.k. and so we were ready to move ahead.
I was planning to tell Tyler’s teachers one afternoon when I was going in for a parent/teacher conference with two out of his five teachers – Ali and Kristie. It was funny because the first thing they asked me was "Are you guys moving to Arizona?" They told me that Tyler had told them the week before that his dad was in Arizona looking for a new house. After we laughed for a second and I confirmed that we were moving, we all started to cry. I just couldn’t hold back the tears. I was so emotional – sad that we were leaving them, but also so grateful for all that they have done for our sweet Tyler. I expressed our gratitude to them and told them that we feel like the progress that Tyler has made in such a short time is truly a miracle.
After we all stopped crying, they had some news for me that was nothing short of another miracle. They told me that they had just had a case meeting for Tyler – reviewing his progress, needs, etc. The director of the preschool asked them to explain what about Tyler was still characteristic of Autism and they said that they really could not come up with anything. They said that they were trying to think of every excuse to keep him there because they love him so much but that they just couldn’t justify it. They were planning to tell me that day that he was ready to mainstream right now and that they wanted to help me start the transition process immediately. They felt that he is now at a point where he needs to be in a typical learning environment!
I couldn’t believe it – the final and last piece of the puzzle fell into place and now we knew without question that Tyler would be o.k. if we made the move. I really felt like Heavenly Father answered all of our prayers in that meeting. We had been praying this whole time for Tyler – wanting to make sure we were doing the right thing for him. We felt that we were doing the right thing – I guess we just needed that final confirmation.
So, Tyler is and always will be our little miracle!! When he first started at the Pingree School he wasn’t saying much – a few words maybe and he really struggled with social skills. Each day after school I would ask him questions about what he did and he just didn’t have the skills to respond. Now he is our little chatterbox – telling me things that he did during the day without me even asking! He is very social and has many friends – loves to play with others and engages in imaginative play (a huge accomplishment!)
Ultimately we just feel blessed and grateful. I know that I say it a lot but this is really the stuff that matters! Our lives would be so empty without these little kiddos of ours and we are so thankful for them. We are so thankful for Tyler and where he is today! We are eternally grateful for the Pingree School and for his teachers and all those that work there. They are truly angels and the work they do each day is so important and so special. We will never forget them!