I just wanted to write a quick note before you move on to your new job. I was upset at first when I found out we weren’t allowed to give you gifts but then I realized that there really isn’t anything I could give you that would say “thank you” enough. So, hopefully this comes close…
Before you started working with my daughter, she was emotionally distant. All the time. Her hugs and “I love you”s always had to be prompted and she never put much effort in. I felt, most of the time, like she didn’t love me. I knew deep down that she felt it, but I couldn’t. I only felt separated from her by the wall that is Autism. It broke my heart every day.
All of the hard work you put in with her…it changed everything. She gives me hugs several times a day now with no prompting at all! When she looks at me, there’s a light behind her eyes that used to only come and go every few weeks. It fills my soul with joy and makes this journey so much more rewarding. Having that connection with my daughter, one I never thought I’d have…there are no words to describe what that does for me. You’ve impacted our lives in an eternal way. There are not enough “thank you”s in the world for that.
One last thing…she’s come a long way, but she still hasn’t told me she loves me without being asked to. In fact, she hasn’t said it at all in several months. The other day she looked up at me with that gleam in her eye and a sweetness in her voice and said, “I love Ashley”. It broke and mended my heart at the same time. You were her first true “I love you”. The first person she was able to form a bridge with that connects her heart to her words. You made it “click”. You are her best friend. Though part of me is insanely jealous, I’m also incredibly thankful. If she can connect this way with you, there’s hope that someday she’ll be able to connect the same way with me…and hope is all I needed.
So, if you ever doubt yourself, just remember that you are a really big deal to one really special little girl. You’ve changed lives. You’ve impacted futures. You’re amazing. Just wanted you to know that.