Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Letter to Morgan's NT Friends

To my son's school friends,

Please don't ever change.

You, my dears, are the epitome of acceptance, kindness, compassion, and beyond.

You treat Morgan as if he is just like you. A kid. Because he is.

You seek to help him when he's over stimulated, sad, or when he wants to learn a new game, like four square. I hear that you even give him "second chances" for that game, though the other kids aren't allowed those.

If you're his work partner, you help him with the subject you're working on. I love hearing about that. Morgan tells me who helps him out in class and he always ends those discussions with, "he's/she's my friend and a very useful engine!" That's high praise, as you know.

You protect him from ridicule when I cannot. You make it abundantly clear that he isn't an object to be made fun of, but a friend to be loved.

When he stims or scripts, you don't look at him oddly. You don't judge him. You just accept and move on. But thanks for letting me know he scripts Family Guy at school.

Every time I walk down your halls, you run up to me for hugs and excitedly tell me if Morgan is having a great day. If his day isn't so great, you tell me how you're helping him or how the teacher(s) helped.

You don't shy away from his hugs, compliments, arm squeezes or funny sayings. This makes him comfortable around you. Him being comfortable has allowed him to really come out of his shell this year.

I love coming to eat lunch with all of you. That you ask respectful questions about Morgan and autism, and are genuinely interested, warms my heart. I love that you want to know why Morgan does things a certain way, scripts, stims, bounces, and is obsessed with Thomas. I love it even more that, when I explain it to you, I see seven or more heads bobbing as if to say, "this makes perfect sense."

You genuinely care about him, that's evident.

When "J" told me, "I think Morgan's brain is the coolest ever. You know, the way he can memorize stuff? He's the best at remembering spelling words and lines from movies," all I could think was "God bless you, kiddo. You get it."

When I saw him overstimulated last week after the performance, it worried me. That is, until I saw a group of you girls hugging his shoulders, talking in low voices to him, and running your hands through his hair. Morgan purred like a cat and thanked you. It was something I would have done and you girls have obviously seen his para or me calming him down in school and wanted to help your friend.

You girls spoil him rotten. I'm always finding little notes or treats from y'all in his backpack. Instead of thinking he's odd for dishing out compliments to you all of the time, you all say, "Aw! Thank you, Morgan!" and then tell me how polite and sweet he is.

I don't worry about sending Morgan to school every day like I used to. I don't worry about him getting bullied. He has you kids. You are part of his school team - the best part. While Morgan loves his grown up team, who are teaching him, you kids are the ones who are teaching him how to be a carefree kid and do typical kid things. I can't buy that kind of therapy.

Do you know how rare you kids really are? How many of us parents wish for kids like you for kids like mine? This reflects great parenting and a great school environment, but most importantly, a great heart and a wonderful mind. You don't have to go so far above and beyond common decency, and yet, you do it daily. How cool are you for that? Y'all are what I've always imagined social inclusion would look like.

One day, you're going to be grown ups. Don't ever lose the compassion you're showing for people like Morgan.

You will have other Morgans in your life, treat them just like you've treated him- with dignity, respect, and kindness. Be their friends always. The Morgans in this world needs the people like you if only for a friend... And you need them.

You kids are the best of the best. Thank you so much.

~Mrs. Jessi
Morgan's Mom


  1. I love this, I love that Morgan has this. You're all very, very lucky.

    1. Yes, we really are. I'm scared of him losing this safe place next year when he transfers to a different school for middle school (4th grade is middle in our parish). Hopefully, we will continue to have positive experiences. For now, we are cherishing what he has.

    2. Maybe some of these kids will transfer with him, and they can show the new kids how awesome Morgan is. My fingers are crossed for this.

  2. Thank you for writing and sharing this. It's beautiful.

  3. This made me cry..but in a good way.My eight year old is diagnosed as having an intellectual impairment and also has a severe speech delay.I went to his first quarter parent teacher conference and was justed awed by the way his nt peers look aftee him and include him according to his teacher.