I am not sure what got me crying first - Mr. Dilligard wearing a bow tie or the entire audience clapping for Ben and his friend, the only two 5th graders in the special education program graduating this year. No other students received this same ovation. It was heartwarming, and I did breakdown. My crying started that morning, even before the ceremony. I have decided that my emotional turmoil was caused by having to say goodbye to teachers and students that we have known for many years. Knowing that Ben did not truly understand that he was not coming back made me sad for him. The little girl walking with him has been his friend for seven years. He has had a serious crush on her for as long as I can remember. His other friends in the class hug him constantly and worry about him throughout the day. They were a close knit bunch - loving one another and caring about each other. Ben will find new friends, teachers and assistants that love him just as dearly
These stories describe our journey with Ben, our oldest son. Ben is a sweet and energetic redhead, born with a rare genetic mutation. My husband, Ryan, and I try to keep up with Ben and his two younger brothers. I intend to shed insight into raising a child with disabilities and pass on the wisdom we’ve earned over the past two decades.