Friday, February 4, 2011

Building Trust with Liam's School.

Today was a different kind of day than I've had almost since we got here. While this new place has so many more resources than Texas ever had, I've still always felt somehow insignificant or less than capable here. In this place, everyone who comes in contact with Liam or CJ is a pro and I'm "just the mom". I've felt like Liam's teachers in particular thought of me as overwhelmed, unable to really meet his needs, or ignorant to how to work with him. Every time I would come away from a parent education meeting with him, I felt like I was doing something wrong and was failing him.

Things were starting to get a little better as I talked to the director of his school more and more, and she got a chance to know me a little better. I felt like I was kind of breaking through her walls and earning little bits of her respect. That was all well and good, but she wasn't the one who worked directly with Liam. I wanted his teachers to understand that I am a skilled, caring, well-educated and informed mom rather than that one mom who is running late all the time, has her kid in mismatched socks, and just doesn't appear to ever have it all togehter.

Today all that changed. I didn't work with the center director and instead worked with his one-on-one Deaf ed. teacher. What a difference!! We worked together with Liam and she instructed me on what to do with him. To my pleasant surprised, she felt like I was "a natural". I did confess to her that what she was asking me to do was very similar to what I did as an autism therapist, so it took no time to pick up right where I left off.

Working with Liam and sharing a little about my background opened up a dialog that I think we both needed. She needed to know more about Liam and his family; what life is really like here. She finally caught on that I had been feeling a little bit judged and I feel like she genuinely knows now that I really am working with him. She seemed to understand so much more once I laid it all out on the table and was clear about the changes in our lives here vs. Texas. Suddenly it was like her light bulb came on and she really understood me.

It's just one small step, but it was huge for me. I feel like I can trust Liam's team a little bit more now that I know they trust me a little bit more. It's amazing how far a little bit of honest communication can really go!


  1. Hi Aimee. Olivia Atkinson told me about your blog. It looks like you guys have been through some tough stuff, but it's awesome that you can use those experiences to help so many people. My son Coleman is 6 months old, and was born with moderate bilateral hearing loss. We got his hearing aids about two months ago, and he has figured out how to pull them out, throw them, and especially loves to chew on them. I'm losing my mind and my sanity trying to keep them in his ears! Olivia said that you had someone crochet aviator hats for your little guy? Would you mind emailing me the info?

  2. Just to let you know that you have been nominated for Best LDS Solo Blogger for 2010. :)

  3. I just came across your blog as I was searching through those nominated by Mormon Mama for "Best LDS Female Solo Blogger of 2010".
    I need to tell you that you have touched my heart with the story of your family. The deaf culture has always been very special to me.
    Good luck to you and your family and know that you have a new follower.

  4. I had NO IDEA I'd even been nominated. I'm so impressed!...and slightly ashamed that I've missed blogging for so long. I'm back on the bandwagon now, though. :)