At the beginning of each new school year, parents are required to walk a very fine line.
And that line is the line between advocating for our children’s needs whilst not undermining the teaching staff. Because these are the people who are trained to be teaching our precious children for approximately 40 weeks of the year so keeping a working and healthy relationship with them is absolutely vital.
But when you have a child (or children in my case) with extra needs, that line becomes even finer. Because, like ALL parents, we want our children to reach their full potential, but we also realise that it’s going to take a LOT more guidance and assistance for them to reach it than it will for a typically developing child. And we need to know that the teacher fully understands this.
In this instance – I am assured that Harley’s teacher for this year DOES in fact “get” it.
I was so impressed and grateful when we collected the mail earlier this week and received a letter addressed to Harley. It was a letter from this teacher outlining anything that’s changed in the classroom along with a few photos so he knows what to expect.
Top points for her!
As I read the letter, there was however one point in particular which leapt of the page at me and my heart started pounding: ‘In our class, we get to choose where we would like to sit each day. You may choose to sit in the same spot every day or move about some days’….
I think it’s a great idea but I will be chatting to her about the possibility of implementing an idea that a friend gave me…..to slip a pillowcase over the back of HIS chair so that no matter whereabouts in the room he sits….he will still have at least one thing that remains “safe” and “constant” and “predictable”.
I’ll keep you all posted on how that goes.
Because children with an ASD come in all shapes and sizes, even two children with the exact same diagnosis can be polar opposites (as is the case with my boys).
So, for a teacher to apply the same techniques that worked on one child with AS one year might not necessarily work for my child this year. (As I am finding out myself my parenting two little AS boys with very little other than their genes and diagnoses in common!)
Like I wrote earlier: I have no intention of marching into school claiming to have all the answers. Because, I don’t. And I also have absolutely no teaching training, no special needs training and no professional qualifications in working with children whatsoever.
But what I do have is inside knowledge on my child and how autism looks on him – as well as an insight into how he may respond in certain situations. So it would be remiss of me to not offer up all this information that I have accumulated over his short life if it may help both of them to succeed
Anything that will help him to settle and learn will be in the best interest of everyone.
And this is the reason that I have spent the past week updating Harley’s one page point form “About me” sheet and writing one especially for Lucas so that I can hand them to their teachers on day 1 of a the new school year. They are laminated and ready to go tomorrow
I also ALWAYS include a copy (for the teacher to read at their own leisure) : a copy of MOM-NOS’ BRILLIANT presentation that she gave to her son Bud’s class buddies to help explain why he says and does the things that he does.
The series is called: a hairdryer-brained kid in a toaster-brained world. Once you’ve read this first post…..click on the link at the bottom to read the whole series of posts. I promise that you won’t regret it.
And on that note…..I’m off to iron uniforms, make lunches and make the most of the last few hours that I have left at home with my 5-year-old who will be a big grown-up school kid JUST like his siblings as of tomorrow!
Wow…..where did all those years go?
How do you prepare yourself, your child and your child’s teachers for a new school year? I’d love to read all of your answers.