A letter from Billy's parents, reprinted with their permission.
Where do we begin in saying thanks to the Heartspring Staff? Five and ½ years ago we were faced with the toughest decision of our lives. How do we send our only son halfway across the United States to be cared for by people he has never met. We had searched the country for a school that we felt would provide Billy with the best chance to learn and deal with his Autism. When we found Heartspring we knew it was our best chance to give Billy the Education he deserved.
When we said goodbye to him our hearts were broken. We knew we were doing the best thing for him, but we had lots of reservations about how he would cope. We had tried everything over the years to help him cope and live in our world. What we did not realize though, was that this was the beginning of the rest of his life.
All of you should be so proud of what you do every day, for Billy and the other students. I am sure there are many times when you question if you are making a difference in a students life. I can tell you that you are!! A parent can’t do what you do, day in and day out. Your job is so important. Everything you do that helped reach into Billys’ world and let him see how he can overcome his Autism, and be part of our world has been a blessing to us.
He has learned so much while at Heartspring. People thought he would never talk or never be toilet trained, but he has done that and more!!
While everyone has played a part in his success there are several people that were key in his success. Brad, Julie, Verlene and Pat were so connected with Billy, that your love and caring ways helped him become the person he is today.
As we approach his Graduation, we look at the first question we had. How can we leave him at Heartspring? Now the question has become, How can we take him from Heartspring? Our hope is that when we bring him home, we can find some caregivers that are as good as those at Heartspring.
You have touched our lives and made a huge difference in Billys life. We thank you for everything that you have done and will miss you all.
Parents Bill and Denise