Day 31: Where we are today (and…I DID IT!)

Want to read the beginning of Benji’s Story? Click here for all posts in this series.

Yesterday the boys brought home their first 9 week report cards.

I have been in close contact with Benji’s teachers since the first day of school so I knew how he was doing, but still….

…it was immensely satisfying to see E (Excellent) and M (Meets Expectations) listed on his report card (one I [improving] for handwriting. We’re getting there).

This is such a change from last year when U for Unsuccessful filled report card after report card. BiggerButton

The interventions are working.

Each day, Benji works with a team of professionals at school:
Daily with his amazing homeroom teacher and special education teacher, both of whom I love and respect.
Twice a week with a speech therapist.
Once a week (starting soon!) with an Occupational Therapist (I just had a meeting last week to add this resource to his IEP–it’s a constant work in progress).

Throughout the summer we met with his team to carefully put together a comprehensive plan for his education. Aaron and I were a huge part of the process; after all, we know our son the best.

I was so apprehensive to start this school year, terrified that we had made the wrong decision, that all our well-laid plans wouldn’t work.

And let’s face it, some of the plans haven’t worked. We’ve had to adjust, make new plans, try new things.
There have been many phone calls home.
There have been lots of face to face conversations  at school.

But we’re doing it.
He’s doing it.

The Child Study and everything it involved was intensely difficult.
But it was worth it.


So what’s next for us?

We need to tackle the ASD issues head on. We have a few more evaluations to do, and he will be starting therapy soon.

While Benji is doing great in school, he tends to fall apart once he gets home. I think it’s because he tries so hard during the day and then his brave resolve dissolves at the end of the school day, bless his heart.

However, this means that we usually have a really difficult time after school. In recent weeks, I have been in tears after homework time almost every single day.

It’s hard.

Right now, one of my biggest challenges (aside from, umm…everything else…) is figuring out how to just let him be a kid in the middle of all this testing, evaluations, therapies, homework, and appointments.

I mean, really–how do I do that?

It’s hard.

There are so many things that are hard.

But do you know what? I have this phrase I use with my boys (and sometimes my students): “You can do hard things.”

And I need to start using it more with myself.

I can do hard things.
I can do hard things.
I can do hard things.

Let’s do this.


What a month! What a journey!

By writing Benji’s Story, I was able to really process what we went though this past year; I also learned so much about writing, about blogging, and about myself.

Can I just take a moment and Celebrate??? I DID IT! I did Write31Days!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!

Celebrate BenjiAnd now I need a massive break.

Thank you all for reading and for offering so many comments, messages, and encouragement to me throughout this month!!

My hope and prayer is that, whatever you are going through, our story has encouraged you to love the people in your life more fully, to be the best person you can be in your unique family situation, and to know that you, too, can do hard things.

Thank you for reading Benji’s Story.


  1. […] Day 1: You’re here! Welcome. Day 2: When your “normal is not Normal Day 3: Writing the Letter: Pressing for Testing Day 4: How I’m doing Write31Days + My Crazy Life Day 5: Yeah, it didn’t happen Day 6: The Pieces of SPD or How I learned to Hug my Son Day 7: The Day People Stared and I didn’t Care Day 8: The [un]Predictability of SPD: How we’ve learned to Plan for the Crash Day 9: Celebrate Benji and Micah! Day 10: Letting him hide in tiny spaces: Meeting the needs of your SPD child Day 11: Mom, I don’t have any friends: Social Challenges of SPD Day 12: What Getting an IEP really looks like Day 13: [Not] Handling Stress: The emotional toll of the IEP process Day 14: Mental Health Break Day 15: “If you think you’re going through something hard, it’s because you are” Day 16: Celebrate Benji the Bard! Day 17: The Twin Factor: A Special Relationship Day 18: [Not] Benji’s Story…BUT MENG MENU! Day 19: The Twin Factor: Why We Chose Separate Classes Day 20: The Twin Factor: Smarter, Better, and other Ugly Words Day 21: My Insane Week Day 22: The Twin Factor: An Impossible Decision Day 23: Failure, Comparison, and Choosing Joy Day 24: Just give us a label already! Day 25: One Week Left Day 26: Rooting out Expectations Day 27: When you want to walk away…and how to come back Day 28: The way to his heart is through his stomach Day 29: Getting Answers Day 30: A New Journey: Our ASD Diagnosis Day 31: Where we are today (and I DID IT!) […]

  2. bellabooksandbaking

    I have loved reading every single post this month. Even though I’m not a mom, I related wholeheartedly to many of the emotions you shared, and I don’t know if you found encouragement through writing it all down (I know writing is therapeutic for me!), but I certainly found encouragement through reading. Congrats on meeting your 31 day goal!

    • Melissa, thank you so much for reading. Your comment really encouraged be because I was striving to reach a larger audience than just moms who have kids with special needs. So glad that it encouraged you. Yes, writing was very therapeutic for me. I’m really glad I did this challenge. Thanks again for reading!

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