Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

We Made It! Autism and Preschool Graduation

It’s been almost three years. Three years since I tried to pull the shades down on the too-bright light of my fear. Three years since those whispering-drowning-it’s-all-your-fault dreams.

It’s been almost three years since I knew that something wasn’t quite right. Since I stood in my little boy’s pediatrician’s office.

I remember standing there, waiting, waiting, and thinking thinking and knowing and not wanting to know, and finally – with shaking hands and a too-dry mouth, said “I don’t think Tucker’s talking enough.” “I think something is wrong.”

I said it and exhaled.

My hands may have calmed. My mouth may have relaxed. Or, I may have held my breath, just a little bit or a lot a bit. I remember knowing that it was my fault, somehow.

I remember that my little boy was just a little boy.

Tucker Smile Grass Baby

I remember when his doctor asked me what the longest sentence Tucker had uttered had been, and I replied that just that week, he’d uttered an intelligible “truck fell down.”

Tucker’s doctor assured me that three-word sentences were good for a barely two-year-old. I didn’t push. I didn’t say that too many of his other words sounded like “ah.”

Surely, any day would be TheDay.

Surely, any day would be the one to bring my son his words.

He didn’t say another three-word sentence, with the exception of “Mommy, go do bubbles?” for almost two more years.

The calendar pages flipped, and I procrastinated seeing what I already knew.

Then, too quickly and too slowly, it was time for Tucker’s 2 ½ year check-up.

And once again, with shaking hands and a too-dry mouth, I said “I don’t think Tucker’s talking enough.” And, they listened, because I listened. I listened to the fear.

Early Intervention.

Evaluations.

Autism. Fear. Worry. Hope.

Teachers. Letting go of Montessori dreams and letting new dreams in. Letting go of the nightmares. Freeing flying dreams can’t come until the falling faulty ones have gone.

I trusted and I hoped. I said yes to 27 1/2 hour school weeks. Two years ago, I walked my barely three-year-old boy to the entrance of an elementary school that housed his Preschool Autism Classroom (PAC).

I armed his teachers with a list of Tuck Talk.

Tuck Talk - speech translations for asd teachers

I prayed that he would feel safe. Loved. That his teachers would be able to interpret his “words” and know that “ah” meant water. That “ah” would not be confused with “hah,” which was not a request for water, but for a toy helicopter. That he’d find a way to get water when he was thirsty.  What if he thought that he was abandoned? What if he didn’t understand why he wasn’t with me all day, and thought it was because I didn’t want to be with him all day?

backpack school copy

I cried. I whispered “please, please, please” to nobody and to everybody who lives in hope and in space and in mind and in spirit.

Please.”

My little barely-three-year-old boy is now almost five. And he speaks. Not always intelligibly to those who do not know that “caruff” is careful, “mu-isk” is music, “go-woah” is girl, and that “moffs” is small. But he speaks. He has his words.

Tucker’s teachers and therapists gave him words.

This week, he graduated from preschool.

We celebrated.

With airplanes and helicopters and sunshine.

mom and son smiling in army helmets  Little boy in astronaut suit  Driving a bus

We celebrated with a huge party, and a bounce house.

Slide in bouncehouse

bounce house

With out-of-town visitors. My mom, from Bozeman, MT. My husband’s parents, from Tennessee. We celebrated with the harbor.

Grandmo and Tucker at harbor

And with the beach.

beach boy

With playgrounds and silly faces.

silly face

With a graduation ceremony, and little “Class of 2014” visors.

class of 2014 preschool
We jumped, and swam, and cried a little bit.

preschool graduation
water smileBut mostly, we celebrate.
We are thankful.

We are blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to thank all of Tucker’s teachers, therapists, family, and friends. You helped my little boy grow and learn and be. I will forever be grateful to Tucker’s amazing team. You know who you are. We love you.

Ten Things of Thankful

Your hosts: A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, Mother of Imperfection, Rewritten, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine

Join the Ten Things of Thankful Facebook Group

 To continue Tucker’s preschool celebration, we’re heading up to Lancaster, PA for a water park and a Thomas the Train day with his best friend Michael. I’ll be back in the blogosphere on Monday. Happy weekend, friends! We are thankful for you.


  • Mike - FRIST!! 🙂June 21, 2014 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

  • Mike - Oh my gawd, Kristi….this got me sooooo choked up!! I have absolutely loved following the journey of Tucker and his mom for so long now. Going back and reading virtually all of your old posts to fully encapsulate the entire life story. One that is still just beginning in all the beautiful and wonder that Tucker is becoming and will continue to be! We are so very proud of you young man and sending so much love your way. We still have a mac n cheese buddy date to get to, our little friend! Your friends forever, Mike and Phoenix 🙂June 21, 2014 – 11:52 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Awww! Thank you so much Mike and Phoenix!! We appreciate the love and support and feel the same about you two! Tucker was SO happy to see PDawg’s cancer free photos and of you both being so happy. Sending lots of love and best wishes for an amazing weekend, friends. xoJune 21, 2014 – 11:57 amReplyCancel

  • Misty - how awesome!!!! now that i’ve had two kids complete three (lol) years of kindergarten, i volunteer to be your go to with all the crazy questions about what the heck’s going on in kindergarten. and after three years, i have my answer ready and waiting: i don’t know why in the hell schools are doing this! congrats to you and tucker! and what part of tn are your in-laws from?June 21, 2014 – 11:54 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Misty, I may need to take you up on your offer of being the go to for all kindergarten related questions. Tucker’s going to be mainstreamed with 18 1/2 support hours (plus an 1.5 of speech and OT). I’m really nervous. And hopeful. And terrified.
      Inlaws are from Elizabethton. It’s pretty close to Bristol, if you know where that is?June 21, 2014 – 12:00 pmReplyCancel

      • Misty - keep us posted about the mainstreaming. find out if kindergarteners are introduced and expected to remember “sight words” either fry or dolch. i’m seriously considering pulling patty from special ed when school resumes in august for second grade. i was told that for her to qualify for special ed under developmental delay she must be graded as “below level”. i want her report card to accurately measure her performance, not just completely write her off, i mean why even bother grading her work if she’s just going to be “below level” in everything?!June 21, 2014 – 9:20 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Misty, ok so I’ve never even heard of “sight words” so one more thing I need to learn about I suppose… and I totally get not having any value in “below level” because what does that help or mean? Nothing. Ugh. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I heard from a friend at work that it gets harder as the kids are older. We’d have considered the self-contained autism program but there are only 4 IEPs going into kindergarten and the self contained class is of much older kids. I know some of Tucker’s friends who are going to other schools next year where the program is different because the peers are. So much for it being about the program – it’s not, I know. It’s about where the other kids in the class are and having role models. Which I get, but it still makes me want to build my own school.June 21, 2014 – 11:59 pmReplyCancel

          • Misty - i think about homeschooling at least once a week! btw, i’m posting about “sight words” tomorrow!June 22, 2014 – 6:36 am

      • Jenn - How did you get approved for support services before starting school? I have been told by my son’s future school that they would only start rti services (ie pull out) after 6weeks and only if he is behind. Would not get classroom modifications until 2nd grade but only with a dx of a learning disability. So, reactive not proactive. There is little chance, even if hell did freeze over, that we would get a one on one aid.

        FYI. My kiddo has speech apraxia and motor apraxia along with feeding problems.

        Also, I’m from northeast tn -yea hillbillies!June 21, 2014 – 10:28 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Jenn,
          Here, in Northern VA, it’s called Early Intervention (I’ve heard it referred to as Child Find as well) and they do an eval. If the child falls behind by x% (can’t remember what % it is and it likely varies from state to state), they automatically qualify for services. I know that my step-mother-in-law, in Elizabethton, has a friend who has a son who qualified, although I don’t know the details. Tucker likely has apraxia of speech as well. I think feeding problems are a big trigger though – is there somebody you can ask about the services? I mean besides whoever told you that it’s not possible? I was under the impression that each state has to offer something (even just speech or OT inhome) as part of no child left behind, but I’m not sure. Feel free to email me and I’ll get you in touch with smarter-than-I-am people about it. And I’m so sorry that they’ve given you the runaround on it. So not fair. We don’t have a medical diagnosis, but I also know docs sometimes give them when they’re not sure to ensure there are supports in place….June 22, 2014 – 12:04 amReplyCancel

        • Misty - your comment caught my eye, and it sounds like what your school is telling you is not what IDEA says. i’ve read nothing in IDEA that says you have to wait 6 weeks and modifications are only granted under very specific circumstances. unfortunately, states do have a lot of say in how IDEA is carried out. i learned at a parent training that all states have a Protection and Advocacy center to help families with IDEA, here’s the TN website: http://www.dlactn.org/ If you don’t already have an advocate, that would be the next phone call to make. If you have an inkling that things aren’t being done in your child’s best interest, an advocate will be able to tell you how the law applies in TN. good luck!June 22, 2014 – 6:45 amReplyCancel

          • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Misty, for replying to this one – I wasn’t sure (because I’m reliant upon smarter people like YOU for these things). I really appreciate your response to her. xoJuly 22, 2014 – 8:05 pm

  • Kathy Radigan - Kristi you really got me with this one!!! I can relate to every emotion you expressed so beautifully. I love the pictures of Tucker and wish him and you much luck as you enter this new adventure!!! Love you!June 21, 2014 – 11:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, Kathy, thank you. I hope kindergarten is okay for him. I’m really nervous about it. Hopefully his team will be as amazing as his preschool team. xo and big love right back to you, my lovely friend.June 21, 2014 – 12:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly L McKenzie - All I can think of right now – besides being extraordinarily happy for you and Mr. T – is that there are countless parents out there who need to read this. Who need to know that a diagnosis is just the place to start.That there is hope for boundless growth. I’ll do my best to spread it around.

    I hope, hope, hope that the kindergarten team is just as supportive and amazing Kristi.June 21, 2014 – 12:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, thanks, Kelly. I hope kindergarten teachers and therapists are amazing too. I’m scared though! And big thanks for being so happy for little Tucker and our family! It’s a big deal. 🙂June 22, 2014 – 12:10 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle Liew - Ah! Congrats, Tucker!! And Kristi, this almost made me cry, honestly. Beautiful.June 21, 2014 – 12:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw Michelle! Really? Thank you so much. You know that’s a huge compliment, I hope. Have a fabulous rest of the week and congratulations on your freelance project!June 22, 2014 – 12:21 amReplyCancel

  • Michele @ A Storybook Life - Congrats on Tucker’s graduation! What a story of pride and success and growth – not to be stopped here. Hooray for celebrations!June 21, 2014 – 1:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much, Michele!! Here’s to celebrations. You’ve got so many of your own coming up – and I can’t WAIT to catch up!June 22, 2014 – 12:26 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - Happy graduation to Tucker! And to you, Kristi. I’m celebrating with you and your family xoxoJune 21, 2014 – 2:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Kristi, OMG – How did I not know you were going to be practically in my backyard??? Lancaster is like an hour from me – maybe 90 minutes. Holy cow what a near miss!!!

    Meanwhile, this is the the best TToT list EVER and I think I cried the whole way through – what a wonderful wonderful journey. So happy for all of you! Please tell Tucker congratulations and big hugs from all of us!June 21, 2014 – 2:19 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - NO WAY! I should have said something earlier. We booked this trip with Tucker’s BFF back in maybe February as part of their grad present. I can’t believe you’re so close! If you feel like driving down to see Thomas (does Zilla like Thomas???) tomorrow, email me and I’ll send you my phone number! And I’ll definitely tell Tucker congratulations. He’s so excited and thank you thank you!!!June 22, 2014 – 12:37 amReplyCancel

      • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - We do love Thomas – but we have theater tickets with my family so we’re booked for the day. Next time!June 22, 2014 – 1:43 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Have fun at the theater and let me know if you’re close to DC this summer!June 22, 2014 – 9:41 amReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Pick Any Two - Tearing up while reading this post. Congrats to both Tucker and you. So much goodness to celebrate!June 21, 2014 – 3:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - Yea for preschool graduations!! He is so stinkin’ adorable!June 21, 2014 – 4:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I’m crying here! This is a very awesome list of awesome thankfulness. There’s almost not enough words to say it. Thinking of you and your graduate and your bounce house and your awesome family!June 21, 2014 – 4:29 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks Tamara! A big thankfulness for sure this week. Hard to believe it’s been two years since I took baby Tucker to preschool for the first time and cried in the parking lot for like 20 minutes! I guess we’ve both come a long way….June 22, 2014 – 9:56 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Oddly enough, I remember “Big Dude’s” preschool graduation pretty vividly and it was 11 years ago! I remember feeling grateful for the amazing teachers and therapists he had – recognizing how far he had come, but also how far he had to go. And BTW, I’m still in touch with several of his therapists from the “early days” and they LOVE seeing the BIG GUY/MAN he has become.:) I was also very emotional that day of preschool graduation (probably bc I was preggo with Little Dude at the time, but still, I’m sure I would have been crying anyway). Congrats to Tucker and all of you — those smiling photos say it all! Enjoy – xoJune 21, 2014 – 4:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, Emily – I LOVE that you’re still in touch with several of BD’s therapists from the early days. I really hope to stay in touch with Tucker’s team, too. They’re such amazing people who do jobs I’d NEVER have been able to handle. And I can just picture you pg with LD and crying. Was it the slide show? For me, it was totally the slide show.June 22, 2014 – 9:58 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi - What a beautiful post, and congratulations to Tucker. What a great advocate you are for him! I love the “TuckTalk” paper.June 21, 2014 – 4:58 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much Kristi! I love the Tuck Talk paper, too. I am so glad I have it to remember how far we’ve come. I hope you’re having a great weekend!June 22, 2014 – 8:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Val Newman - He’s adorable and you are a wonderful mother.

    ValJune 21, 2014 – 6:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, thanks, Val! I agree he’s adorable! Wonderful mother – it doesn’t always feel that way but as long as he thinks so, I guess I’m onto something right?June 22, 2014 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - You are indeed totally blessed. Huge congrats to Tucker on this amazing accomplishment. Now we may need to hold each other’s hands for the fall and kindergarten!! 😉June 21, 2014 – 7:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Janine,
      We most definitely will. I’m so glad to know we can and that Emma’s and Tucker’s birthdays are so close together so we can panic at the same time (and rejoice at the same time). Hope you had a great weekend!!June 22, 2014 – 11:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Natalie M - Such a beautiful well written piece. Thank you so much for posting this. You have given me hope at a time in my life when I need it the most. You and your gorgeous little boy are such an inspiration 🙂June 21, 2014 – 7:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you so much, Natalie. I hope that you’re okay!June 22, 2014 – 11:32 pmReplyCancel

      • Natalie M - Thanks Kristi, lets just say I was having a really bad day when I read your post and it really cheered me up and gave me hope. I feel, I am somewhere near the start of your journey and I was told by one of our therapists, it will be a long road ahead. We are waiting on dx. Just told our son had severe speech and communication delay 🙁 Can I just ask, we are from UK, where I think we are far behind you in terms of early intervention, what kind of intervention did they do in Tucker’s class? Just wondering if there was anything more I could push for, or look for independently.
        Thanks for being so awesome and making us Mums, smile 🙂June 26, 2014 – 3:44 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Natalie, so, I’m honestly not sure about the UK. We entered a thing here called Child Find and Early Intervention based on the doctor finally admitting that Tucker had a severe speech delay (it was Big, if that helps)…. we never really got the dx but I know it matters for some states and countries more than others. I guess the best thing I know how to do is to make your son’s doctor give you some options, because that’s where it started with here. Getting into the programs was a pain in the butt, but once we were in, it went much more smoothly. For Tucker’s class, they didn’t even care about the doctor evaluations, but they came to our home (his future teachers) and did their own evaluation. So he got services based more on their inputs than on his doctors. Is there some type of school thing there where they need to provide care?June 27, 2014 – 11:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - Ahhh beautiful Tucker. I am happy to see you two smiling and enjoying yourselves doing important Spending Time Happy Together. What a great post to be able to write this week.June 21, 2014 – 8:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Clark Scottroger - very coolJune 21, 2014 – 8:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Yay for Tucker! Yay for milestones and celebrations! Yay for teachers who care!June 21, 2014 – 10:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - YAYYAY for teachers who care and milestones and happy happy celebrations!!June 22, 2014 – 11:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Jean Baldridge Yates - this is a wonderful, beautiful amazing post which totally fills me with joy.
    love. jean xoxox Congratulations! Love! June 21, 2014 – 11:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Louise - Congratulations to Tucker on the milestone – and to you and family who have so obviously been there to support him.

    This was a beautiful post – all the fears and misplaced self-doubts of parenthood when it doesn’t go quite as initially imagined.

    I think I’ve mentioned once before we have close friends trying to diagnose/figure out the issues with their second child – now almost 2. When they are ready to … imagine life as it might be rather than how they’d thought it would be … I’m going to suggest they read your blog. Or maybe sooner if I get the chance. This post is beautifully descriptive in how you write about the dawning realization about the challenges Tucker would face – I don’t honestly know how I’d have handled it.

    I hope you have a great weekend trip and proper graduation celebration!June 22, 2014 – 12:08 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you so much, Louise! I do remember you mentioning your friends. I hope they get some answers (and at least early intervention if need be if not answers). Good luck on your test this week (not that you need it but luck is always helpful right?). We did ride a roller coaster about 17 times today so his celebration weekend is going well!!June 22, 2014 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

  • cyndy - I love this post! Congrats to Tucker, he is awesome! (love his name, btw)June 22, 2014 – 12:16 amReplyCancel

  • Dyanne @ I Want Backsies - Onward and upward, Tucker! You are an awesome kid with a terrific gang of superheroes leading you on. Go conquer kindergarten, buddy!June 22, 2014 – 5:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Dyanne! I hope he will totally conquer kindergarten! Time flies. Those people who said so were right, apparently.June 22, 2014 – 11:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - This is wonderful, Kristi! Definitely something to celebrate! I know how proud, thankful and blessed you feel and that is amazing!June 22, 2014 – 8:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Denise Farley - I LOVE Tucker’s t shirt! They make them for adults right? lol A joyful time Kristi. You and and Robert have a beautiful son. He looks a lot like Robert but for sure has your eyes and smile:) Congrats on this most wonderful milestone! June 22, 2014 – 9:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Alexa - I don’t even really know where to begin. I am so inspired by this post. By your love and dedication, your concern, your fears coming true… and then allowing others to come in and help you through the unknown. I’m proud of both of you on his preschool graduation. And can I please go ahead and RSVP for his High School graduation, because if that’s how you did preschool, I want to be there for the magnificent celebration that is awaiting us for HS!!! 🙂 I think it’s awesome you celebrated him like that. He deserves it.June 22, 2014 – 11:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hehe, Alexa,
      Yes, you’re on the list for high school graduation! I know – it’s a little over the top for preschool graduation but the poor little guy worked SO HARD. The PAC program is super-intense and hard for them. But it works, and it worked, so he bounced and played and I think he deserves it, too. Thank you.June 22, 2014 – 11:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay from Trashy Blog - Aw, Kristi, this post made me cry! Congratulations to Tucker!!June 22, 2014 – 11:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Oh, how I love this! Those pictures of Tucker are so beautiful. I know that leaving preschool is hard and sad and scary. But, I also know that Tucker has a great support system and a mom who is beyond wonderful. He will be fine and so will you! Hugs to you my friend!June 23, 2014 – 11:21 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much, Lisa! Leaving preschool IS sad and scary, but I hope kindergarten brings magic as well as better handwriting! Thanks for the hugs and right back at you!June 23, 2014 – 2:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Drun Kenman - Congrats, Tucker! He is absolutely adorable, Kristi.June 23, 2014 – 3:43 pmReplyCancel

  • zoe - Good Lord the one week I dont get to make the rounds and YOURE IN EARLY!? WTF?????

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GRADUATE!!!!!! How cool is the TUCK-MAN????
    Way to go!!!!! Looks like it was an awesome party!June 23, 2014 – 11:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Zoe, I know, right? I think it’s my first early TToT ever! But I was hoping to post it the week before, so maybe it’s actually really really late. And Tuck-Man is SOOO cool and yeah, the party was amazing. It was at my friend Joanna’s house and it was awesome. The kids (and adults) had a blast!June 24, 2014 – 9:59 amReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - Tucker is beautiful. You are beautiful. This is beautiful. Tucker is so lucky to have you as his mom, his team leader, his cheerleader. Happy summer to you all.June 23, 2014 – 11:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Kristi – this was so beautifully put. I know you (in my short knowing you time) to be hilarious and self-depracating but oh my goodness, above all else you are such a good mom. Even above your amazing writing that makes me laugh and teary (sometimes at the same time) – I know you are blessed by Tucker but he is also so lucky to have you. You put your whole heart out there and wow!June 23, 2014 – 11:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, Stephanie! You’re amazing and I’m so lucky to know you now! And thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me. Huge.June 24, 2014 – 10:53 amReplyCancel

  • Lana - Congratulations to all of you! I LOVE the pictures of your son’s smiling face, especially the one on the beach. This post made me cry, because it reminds me so much of my nephew. He is about to turn 15 and has come so far. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful son and your story with all of us!June 24, 2014 – 1:52 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Lana! I love the beach one the most, too. I wish it were more in focus but that always seems to be the way – the happiest face photo is the blurry smudgy one… Love that it reminds you of your nephew – so glad to hear he’s come so far!! And thank you very much for your sweet comment and for reading.June 24, 2014 – 10:55 amReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - You are such a good mom Kristi. Really. Look at that smile on his face that just oozes from that beautiful happy heart. You give him the strength that he needs and he gives it to you. You’re a kick ass team.
    Be proud of him and you too.
    You are good people who are changing the way that some people perceive those with autism.
    Nailed it.
    Go Tucker!!!June 24, 2014 – 7:52 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kimberly, YOU are an awesome mom! And thank you. I’m proud of both of us and I’m proud of you and honored to be your friend. xoxo and YEAH, Go Tucker!!June 24, 2014 – 10:56 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I read this post the other day. You know what a pain it is to try commenting from the iPhone. But then when you come back you forget everything you were going to say. Anway way, one thing I remember is that I absolutely LOVE “nack followed by a sniff”. I love all the pictures too. Happy pre-school graduation to Tucker <3June 24, 2014 – 11:05 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I know! I read too many of yours, and everybody’s on the phone and ugh. But thanks so much for coming back. That means a lot to me you know. He STILL does the “nack followed by a sniff” – it’s cute but um, yeah. I really am thankful you came back to comment, Kenya! Thanks to the grad congrats!!!June 24, 2014 – 11:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Nicki Gilbert - Congrats!! Preschool graduations are always awesome and special but this one… a gazillion shades of awesome and special :). Your little guy is amazing, Kristi, but also because his mom is amazing. Keep celebrating! Sending so much love to you all xoJune 24, 2014 – 2:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ LeftBrainBuddha - Congrats to Tucker and congrats to you, mama! 🙂June 25, 2014 – 1:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Sarah. Feels a bit silly to make such a huge deal of it, but then I remember how he was when we started, and he deserves a huge deal!!June 25, 2014 – 8:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Hi Kristi: great post, as usual. That was one rocking party Tucker had!

    I also read a bit in the comments about your kindergarten concerns, and they reminded me of what we went through with our oldest son (ASD diagnosis). We went with a full-inclusion program, which worked well for our son from a social perspective. Ultimately, by the time that we got to middle school we needed a small group autism classroom, but he really enjoyed himself with his NT peers in full-inclusion grades K-5. We wound up moving after 5th grade, and we had 20 of his buddies show up for his going away party.

    So, another perspective to think about over the summer….

    Hope you have fun this weekend!June 25, 2014 – 1:38 amReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Congratulations to Tucker!June 25, 2014 – 10:23 amReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - SQUEEEEE!!!!!! What a beautiful tribute to the journey you and that sweet precious boy have endured and triumphed in!!! What a celebration!!! Well earned, indeed. XOXOJune 25, 2014 – 11:18 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Chris!! <3 thanks for the big SQUEEEEEE and I agree, he earned a huge celebration!June 25, 2014 – 8:25 pmReplyCancel

  • WendysHat - Congratulations! I’ve been here before and he’s now 26yrs old. Life does move on and everything will be just fine.June 25, 2014 – 7:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Really? Wow. Thank you so much for the reminder and look into not-now, when now seems a little scary.June 25, 2014 – 8:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Liv BySurprise - Congratulations!June 26, 2014 – 1:01 amReplyCancel

  • Jolene Philo - Thank you so much for sharing this post at the DifferentDream.com link share. What a tribute to the teachers and therapists who have worked with your little boy. As a former educator, I know that the hearts of the people who work with your son melted as they read this post. What a blessing your family has been to them!June 26, 2014 – 2:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you so much for hosting the DifferentDream share! And thank you huge, because I’m sure there have been moments when his team has wanted to choke me. But we’re all on the same team now, I think. And that is huge big.June 27, 2014 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Such a handsome boy!! Congratulations to him and all of you!June 26, 2014 – 4:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - You are beautiful and so is your boy. Love this post!June 26, 2014 – 10:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Jessica - All of those milestones seem so much bigger when it takes so much work to get there don’t they? Love seeing his happy face after graduation. I’m sure you were smiling just as big!July 22, 2014 – 8:56 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I was smiling huge huge. And maybe um, you know. Crying a little bit too. Thanks Jessica and yeah, they do seem bigger when the work to get there is so hard, and intense. So worth it though.July 22, 2014 – 8:07 pmReplyCancel

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