Another thing that has been helpful on this journey: Professionals who fall in love with T.
This has been one of the unexpected blessings on this journey: the people that have come into our life because of T who end up falling in love with him. The beautiful thing is that he loves them right back. He still talks about his speech therapist from his preschool days, and he is 12 years old!
I know - if you work with kids, you are supposed to maintain a professional distance. Yeah, yeah. T doesn't respond to professional distances. He responds to energy, he responds to engagement, he KNOWS when a person loves him.
I have long said that anyone that works with T has to love him. When I say that, I'm not joking. In our decade plus of having professionals come and go from our lives, the ones that have made an impact are the people that didn't just do their job. They fell in love with this kid and in doing so, became passionate about reaching him, engaging him, and helping him learn.