A Letter to Parents from a BCBA

Dear Parents,

I want to let you in on a little secret, or maybe two…

1. I see you.

I see the fear when you are dropping off (and leaving) him on the first day. I see your forced smile after you both have had a difficult morning. I see the anxiety in your eyes when you see me walking out to your car without her holding my hand.

Do you know what else I see? I see the joy in your eyes when you hear that he didn’t bite anyone today. I see the tears in your eyes when he signs, “I love you” for the first time. I see the genuine smile and excitement on your face when she runs to you yelling your name and you embrace her in a bear hug.

Please know this: It is okay. This is HARD and you are doing amazing! Some days are filled with tantrums and tears, while others are picture perfect. The therapists and I are here to help. There isn’t much we haven’t seen or heard. Lean on me. Talk to me. Cry to me. I see you.

2. I love this job.

I want to know and celebrate every success no matter how big or small it may seem.

Today’s tantrums only lasted an hour? Thumbs up, mom! This is working!

Transitioning to Kindergarten? Third grade? High school? Out of the special education room? Let’s throw a party!

Just learned to write her name? ALL the high fives and taking a picture to send to mom or dad.

Hasn’t said a cuss word in three days? Who is buying the ice cream!?

Independently asked a peer to play AND played appropriately? I’m covering my face crying tears of joy and running out to the car to tell you all about it at pick up.

Successfully used the bathroom on his own? I’m calling you, RIGHT NOW!

This is why I do it. I don’t think I picked this career. I think it picked me. I spend my days (and some nights) thinking about your child and planning out our next moves to improve his or her quality of life. I live for the days where I get to talk to you about how far he or she has come.

One last thing… thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your amazing child. I promise I will do everything I can to make his or her world a better place.

-Katie Barnett, Board Certified Behavior Analyst