May 5, 2011

The forest through the trees

Blogs are funny things; they are written in real time and published in a cyber world where everything is immediately public. In my case, the most recent entries show up first, and the past entries are hidden pages and pages below. It creates an environment where emotions and experiences are taken out of context, and can be hurtful. That is never my intention, and I have learned that the hard way.

This is not meant to be defensive, rather acknowledgement that I have recently offended some people who care and are vested in the success of my daughter. I never meant to do this, I have reacted at situations from a hostile perspective and not assessed current experiences though clear eyes. I humbly apologize.

I am suffering from I can’t see the forest though the trees syndrome and will be doing my hardest to look at the trees and appreciate that without these trees the forest would not exist. Trees are the foundation of all forests, they may look different, or act different but in the end their strength and perseverance is what makes the forest so beautiful.

Alex’s beautiful life and her successes did not happen by chance. She has had many teachers, therapists and administrators participate in creating her forest. Alex is successful because of these trees, and without these many individuals Alex would not be who she is today.

Alex’s current program at school is by far the best program she has had in her five years here. Once again, I cannot focus on history, I need to learn to be thankful and grateful for all the wonderful people Alex has in her life. Alex participates in four regular Ed classes: art, sports conditioning, biology, high school reading, as well as study hall. She has speech therapy twice a week, social skills counseling twice a week, and resource classes (math, daily living skills, as well as ad hoc issues that need to addressed) every morning. Her aide is dedicated and works hard with Alex to modify curriculums and to coordinate between Alex’s case manager (resource teacher) and her regular Ed teachers. This is the forest I had always imagined for my daughter, and the trees the support that hold Alex’s future together.

They say that Aspen trees are all connected underground, somewhere in the world there is one tree that spawned the millions of Aspen trees I see every day when I look out my window. In Alex’s case this tree, the connection to all trees, is Alex’s case manager and the administration that supports her. I am so grateful for these deep roots, and trees that make Alex’s forest.

Today as Alex was getting ready for school we went over her vocabulary test for her high school reading class. This test included words like emulate, and segregate, words I barely know. I saw the definitions Alex’s aide had provided, and all the hard work Alex put in to studying for this test. It was not me that made it happen; it was her trees; her aide and her high school reading teacher. Alex called me yesterday because her art journal got fourth place in the art show. It was not me that helped Alex with her journal, it was her trees; her aide and her art teacher. Alex is trying out for the talent show, once again it was not me that encouraged her to do so, it was her trees.

Alex is the most incredible gift I have ever received and I am overzealous. I need to disengage and allow the school system that is in place to do what they do best, educate my daughter. I am merely part of the team, I am not the leader. History should not dictate my behaviors today. I have broken my golden rule, “learn from the past and look forward”.

I humbly apologize if I have not been able to express my appreciation and my sincerest thanks for giving Alex the tools and confidence she will need to live in her extraordinary forest. I am mortified that I offended anyone, especially the creative and inclusive teachers who work with Alex. I pledge to learn from my past and look forward.

Thanks to each and every person at Basalt High School for believing in Alex, and a special thanks to the administration and case manager who believe, and in that belief create a promising future for my extra special daughter.


  1. I think as a parent of a child with special needs we have all overreacted and offended someone. I know I have. I got very angry over the wording of an IEP and let it be known to that person that I would not allow it in the IEP. I could have done it in a much kinder way. I did apologize in a public meeting, the next IEP, but should have done it much sooner. It's the "mother bear and her cubs" thing going on with us. Your sincere apology will go far. susan

  2. I love that Alex is getting so much great support. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding me to be grateful to those people in Beth's life that walk with her every step of the way.


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