I was speaking with my mother-in-law today and we were talking about what a huge difference we’ve seen in Panayioti this year that he’s been attending Enavsma, his Early Intervention Pre-school. Feel free to check out their site at http://www.enavsma.gr. My son is autistic and we’re doing our best to raise him and just accept the fact that our life is different than that of parents raising their typically-developing children, way different. We have no choice yet there are professional who choose this life. They chose to be in this field, to deal day in, day out with the peculiarities that each child on the spectrum has, their good days, their bad days, their meltdowns, their accomplishments, everything. And the amazing thing is that they get overjoyed with accomplishments and deal with difficulties in ways that just wows me. My son almost always will put play-doh in his mouth so his teacher has come up with something: chewing gum. If he’s chewing gum he will most likely not put play-doh in his mouth. This never crossed my mind and it probably never wouldn’t have either. Last year Panayioti was in a public early-intervention school and he hated it there. How do I know? He regressed bad!! He yelled, he hit, he tantrumed constantly, every single moment of the day was a battle. He didn’t sleep well at night either. We actually thought about medicating him but then our developmental specialist said let’s see how he does with ABA therapy at Enavsma and then we’ll see. Now I’m thinking how could I possible have thought about medicating him when he is such a calm and cooperative kid?! I’m not saying his teachers at Ε.Θ.Μ.Α. were bad, they just didn’t have the resources that this school does and probably lacked the energy as well. One teacher to 6 students is not what a child on the spectrum needs yet 1:1 is the best, the right way to work. I mean, can you imagine dealing with 6 different students on the spectrum and everything going along smoothly and getting work done? It’s just not humanly possible. You have to be some sort of miracle worker. My son is thriving this year because he has the attention that he craves, he has someone there at all times to back him up, to deal with his needs. I’m getting properly trained as well, and I can always call no matter what with whatever has me worried and I need advice. These teachers, this group of young women, truly truly care and it shows. You just can’t fake that. And you can’t put a price tag on it, either.