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I am the parent who buys extra Kleenex. I’m the parent who will bring you whatever you need for your classroom. I will show up for parties and field trips.

I’m the parent who stresses and prays all summer for a teacher who has the heart to take the time to see my children for who they are and who will give them a chance. I hope that for every child around them too.

I hope you realize that I am so nervous to entrust them to you. I hope that you realize that I have lost sleep over the idea that because I have a child on spectrum, you may not want him in your class.

This is not true of the teachers I am friends with and for that, I am thankful, but I know these people are out there. These people will never look at Ethan and see his potential; they will only see someone burdensome to deal with.

To the teachers who love kids no matter their challenges and struggles, thank you. Thank you for creating a safe, loving environment where my child can be seen and loved and included. Thank you for wanting them to flourish and grow. Thank you for showing up for him. Thank you for adoring him on the hardest of days. Thank you for showing them the very heart of God by loving them unconditionally.

For those who would try strip any part of his personhood away from him, GO DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH YOURSELF. You do not deserve the honor of knowing him, and you certainly should not have other children entrusted to you. To these people, I hope I never have to know you, but if you ever try to harm my child through your disdain of his presence, you will not succeed.

If you can see a person with an exceptionality in any situation and hate their very existence to the point that you would be disgusted by having to interact with them, you are the worst kind of person and your heart is filled with the kind of hate that makes this world a scary place for my son and for me.

If you are the parent who wonders and hopes that your child will be loved, you are not alone. If you are the parent who ever faces this teacher, stand up for your child, and do not give them an inch of room to degrade your child.