Dear General Ed Teacher,
It is almost time for me to get started as a student in your class and I thought it would be a good idea to share some important details with you in order for us BOTH to succeed.
There was no form that my parents filled out to let you know about this “stuff”.
I know you must be a great teacher but I think you may get a little frazzled at times with me and maybe others that do it differently. It doesn’t seem that there is much that gets given to you on how to adjust or adapt for us.
So here goes, I hope it helps.
I have special needs.
For me it is Autism, but some of my other friends may have other differences. We can be a part of the “typical” day, we just need some help along the way.
There are things I do not understand.
There will be things that I may not understand. I will try my hardest, as I aim to please. Be patient. I have an aide and they will also try to keep me on task. Some days may be harder than others.
I may not look at you when you are talking.
But, I hear you, I am listening and you do not need my eyes to be on you to “get it”.
When I look at you, I may stare at your nostrils and that will mess up my ability to attend to the task. I know, it is strange, but it is the truth.
I am fidgety and unable to sit for the entire class sometimes.
It’s true, I get restless and in order to be able to refocus, I may need to stretch or take a break for a few minutes. I hear my mom tell my sister’s that this would probably work for all students, not just me. Maybe you can incorporate a 60 second stretch for everyone!? Wouldn’t that be fun?
I want to fit in and be a part of the class.
I don’t always know how and I won’t initiate( because, I don’t know how) so if you can take an extra minute to introduce a friend to me and partner with me, I will work my hardest. I hear others say I am funny and kind so I think they will like me. I really do aim to please.
I am so aware of all that is going on around me.
This is kind of like my inability to look at you, my senses are so strong. Sounds, smells, lights, they all may make me feel a little anxious at times. Try not to get upset with me, after a sensory break I tend to be ok. Don’t say “What is wrong with you?” Even though I will not answer, I will hear you saying that in my head for weeks to come.
I am really literal.
When you say things to me, I don’t know how to read between the lines or interpret.
If you ask me if there is a frog in my throat, I will look for a frog. If you tell a classmate they are as orange as a carrot, I will wonder how they are a vegetable. I like things to be really simple.
Celebrate my achievements.
They will be different and not as “big” as many of your other students but don’t forget to high five me. I love the praise. Oh, have I mentioned a few times, that I am to please? This will make me so happy. My passing a test is AS BIG as another getting an A+.
I want to have a great year and I don’t want to make your job harder.
You chose this profession because you love kids and teaching. I know some of this is not what you planned for but if together, we can all find ways to help one another. I think it will be a great year for everyone.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
That’s it for now,
Your Special Ed Student.
(Exceptional Ed, Special Needs.. whichever title you choose)
PS My mom and dad are big fans of mine and will happily answer any questions or give you any input you would like,so keep the lines of communication open, there is no wrong question!