I’m Thankful For You: My Son’s Speech Therapist

(Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Samantha Fawns and is part of Cooper’s, ‘I’m Thankful For You’ Campaign.)

This November I would like to honor and thank my son’s Speech Therapist, Mrs. Marti. We are who we are today, because of Mrs. Marti.

My name is Sam and my first child, Carter Rue has autism. All I ever wanted to be was a mama. From the day he was born, I spent every minute with Carter. Playing with him, trying to read to him, trying to teach him words, songs, and dances. Trying and failing. He didn’t like to sit still for stories, he didn’t like the games I played and never said the words I tried so hard to get him to repeat. To say that I was heartbroken is an understatement. I spent 3 1/2 years in a fog. Depressed, sad, angry, and in denial. I made excuses for every single behavior. I was a miserable human being. I felt lost, alone, and hopeless.

Rue started attending preschool when he was three and that’s when we met Mrs. Marti, his new speech therapist. What I remember most about his first session was the way he responded to her. She could tell him to do things and he would listen. It was amazing. Mrs. Marti was the first person, outside of family, that Carter developed a true relationship with.

That first year of preschool was not easy, but Carter had a therapist and a friend that never gave up on him. After a few months, with little progress, it would have been really easy for Mrs. Marti to take this situation, and make it about herself. To get upset with him for not making progress, to put the blame on him, and to just pass him on to next therapist. She didn’t. She convinced me, yes, I needed convincing, to start Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. She also helped us get started with our AAC device. She never stopped trying DIFFERENT things until she found what worked for Carter.

The first name Rue said after Mom and Dad, was…’Mar Mar.’ The place he wanted to go as soon as we stepped foot in the school was Mar Mar’s room. THAT told me all I needed to know about Mrs. Marti. Carter felt loved, accepted, and he knew, early on that she believed in him. As a mom, that is all I ever wanted. Mrs. Marti gave me hope. She talked with me, and cried with me. She was as much my therapist as she was Carter’s.

I am not the same depressed, angry, sad person that I was before and Carter isn’t the same child that walked into her room two years ago. We are who we are today, because of Mrs. Marti.

On Carters last day of pre-k, with tears in her eyes, Mrs. Marti sang the chorus from the song, ‘For Good,’ from the musical, Wicked. ‘Who can say, if I’ve been changed for the better…because I knew you, I have been changed for good.’ All of our lives, were changed for good, because we met.

If you find yourself on this journey, I pray that you find YOUR Mrs. Marti. It will make all the difference in your and your child’s success.

You can still nominate the doctors, therapists, teachers, friends and family that make a difference in your special needs world. Click HERE to learn how!

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