To my son’s future teacher:
I want to start off by saying thank you. Because you may feel like many days your job is thankless one (I know I can feel that way around my kids all day long).
I want to say thank you for the countless hours you spent making your classroom a second home for my child.
I want to thank you for all the time you put into the curriculum and all the care you put into the activities that my son will do.
I want to let you know how important your job is for my son, but you already know that.
That’s why you became a teacher.
You want to inspire these young minds and future leaders.
You want to give them every opportunity to be successful.
You want to be the support they need to grow, to develop and to build the confidence they need to find their place in the world.
So thank you.
Thank you for the job you do day in and day out. A job that not many people in this world can do.
It takes a special person to become a teacher…and that special person is you.
Now, I would like to ask for your patience with my son because he will not be like all the typical kids that you are used to having in your class. And yes, I understand that each child is unique and special so as a teacher, you would probably say that no two children are alike and that is exactly true. But it when it comes to a child with special needs, those kiddos will always be different.
Mine always be different.
You see, my child’s needs are invisible.
There is nothing physically wrong with him. He does not struggle to walk or talk.
The issues that he struggles with all stem from within in his own mind.
So while most of the boys in your classroom will be running around talking about superheroes or wanting to play with Legos and smash cars, my child will want to know if you have an Apple Watch and how many steps you took or if you have an iPhone and what your passcode is or if you have your Face ID enabled.
My son will want to talk about things that aren’t relevant to his age because that is just who he is. Sometimes he will get stuck on these things as he does with others. He will struggle.
But his struggles are internal and that’s what sometimes makes it the most difficult to manage or help. He doesn’t know where he fits in or how to. He struggles to have conversations and make friends. He doesn’t know what to say or do in situations that are unfamiliar to him.
And a lot of the time, he will just live in limbo, unsure of his place, what to say or what to do. Things that come natural for other kids don’t come natural for him. And as his mother, my heart just breaks. It breaks because I cannot help or fix him.
But here’s what I can tell you.
He’s amazing. He’s really, really amazing.
And even though he will test your patience, he will also melt your heart. He will smile and light up the room. He will laugh and others will follow. He will give you the biggest hug if you let him.
He will do amazing things.
He just needs the tools to succeed.
And we are trying. Oh boy, are we trying everything. So please don’t think I’m the parent that isn’t trying. I’m trying more than words could ever say.
So as this school year begins, please know that my son may not always be the best behaved and he may never be the best student but what he is the best at is being him.
Sweet, quirky, lovable him.
I just hope you can give him that chance.
the mom of a child on the spectrum