“Some Kids Don’t Go ‘Back To School’ Because They Never Left.”

Story by Stephanie Hanrahan

Some kids don’t go “back to school” because they never left.

Some kids, like mine, don’t get to spend their summers eating snow cones or going down water slides because they need to be educated year-round.

Some kids have disabilities—those you see and those you don’t—that require them to do therapy instead of family trips. Their need for structure can’t go on a “break” because they rely on schools and centers to learn how to eat, walk, and talk.

Special needs sometimes means our children miss out on “normal” milestones, like holding up a chalkboard sign telling the world what grade they’re in or what they want to be when they grow up.

But we don’t want to be pitied. We just want to participate. We just want the world to know our milestones matter too.

So for every child who spent their summer in a room with an OT, learning to hold a spoon or try a piece of fruit for the first time…

For every parent who scrolled through social media seeing families splashing and sunbathing as you bathed your adult child…

For every educator and therapist who spent the summer away from their own children in order to care for mine…

You are heroes. There may be no first day or last, but every day we see and celebrate you. 

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