Saying goodbye too soon….Letter to Pizzo Elementary

Ladies,

    I wanted to write you as soon as I got official word about Avah leaving Pizzo. I wanted to make sure I expressed my sincere gratitude for everything you all have done for Avah these past 4 years. It is with much sadness that Avah will no longer be at Pizzo. Understandably, with autism becoming so prevalent the district must do what is necessary to accommodate all the children needing ESE/ASD schooling. Though our family is sadden that Avah will no longer be a part of your outstanding program, I take solace in the fact that our spot will be given to another family who will need the support, love, and compassion that you have given us for four years. Us leaving Pizzo, allows another family to be touched by your excellence.

   Avah began her educational journey with you at the age of three. She was non-verbal, secluded in her own world and rarely even looked at anyone in the eyes. Our family was still trying to cope and process the autism diagnosis and we all were lost thinking, “What’s next? What do we do?”  Mary, you swooped in like a super hero and saved me and my family. You guided us through a rough time. You taught me so much about autism and how to connect with my little girl. In the two years she was with you, it is like you brought her back to life! I will forever be indebted for all that you gave our family and most importantly Avah. You were the starting point for the wonderful journey and relationships that I was able to build upon.

Ms. Janice and Ms. Evelyn, you ladies were there from day one with Mary. Helping Avah through her good times and bad. Putting her shoes on/off 400 times a day! Assisting her through her tantrums (there were many her first year!) I thank you both so much for your dedication to Avah and her classmates.  The world needs more people like you in it; Full of compassion, love, and understanding. I will miss seeing you both around the halls, checking in from time to time. Again, I thank you for helping Avah succeed in Pizzo.

Jamie, I am so thankful to get to know you these past 2 years. Avah has truly blossomed this past year. Her speech has started to develop and we finally got somewhere with potty training!! (Whoohoo) I thank you for your hard work and dedication to Avah and her peers. I am very appreciative of everything you have done for Avah preparing her for second grade. For keeping her in line and on the right path and most importantly kept her and me smiling and laughing.

To everyone who has had a hand in helping Avah succeed: Amy, Erin, Laura, Rachel, Amanda, April, Heidi. All of you have had a role some way or another, helping Avah reach her true potential. All of you welcomed us into the Pizzo family. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and am forever grateful. I wish we were able to stay. I am truly saddened to have to leave Pizzo, I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye until middle school but our time has been cut short.

So again, thank you! Thank you to all of you! I wish you all continued success. The families that are new and coming into Pizzo are truly lucky and I hope they take away as much as I have from Avah’s time with you.  You all are an amazing group of people. We will miss seeing you every day. It just won’t be the same.

 Forever Grateful,

Adrian Brooks & Family (Avah Bentley)

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