Family Magazine

Writing an Introductory Letter for Your Aspie (or Other Special Needs) Children

By Gbollard @gbollard
Mothers all over Australia are celebrating today because the school holidays are over and the kids are finally back to school. Some kids go back willingly, some are a little apprehensive and some are terrified. For many children the terror stems from the idea of change. Some are changing schools but most are simply changing clasess and teachers.
First impressions count and if the new teacher is new to aspergers - or simply new to your child, then sometimes those first few days can have an impact which affects your child's relationship with their teacher for the remainder of the year.
The first couple of weeks are your opportunity to make a big positive impact on your child's first impressions of their new teacher (and on the teacher's first impressions on you and your child). You need to make sure that you take advantage of this period.
Why a Letter?Your child's new teacher will have an eventful first week with loads of parents talking about their children. It's going to be overwhelming and in many cases, the conversations will occur before the teacher has learned the children's names. Most of what is said in those initial conversations will be forgotten or worse - attributed to the wrong child.
There's an intense period of parental interaction before and after school and then suddenly it all stops. The teacher goes home and tries to remember and absorb all of the days input.
A letter is different. A letter can be read and re-read anytime and the teacher can save the information for a time when they are feeling particularly receptive. Even better, the teacher can make sure that they know which student the letter refers to.
A letter can become part of your child's student record. If the classroom has several teachers, then it may be passed from one to another. Instead of the other teachers simply inheriting the impressions of your child's current teacher, they will get the whole story direct from the source.
Finally, a letter invites reply. If the teacher has any questions about your child or anything covered in the letter, they will get back to you.
When should you give the Teacher the Letter?It doesn't really matter if you give the letter to the teacher before or after school - or if you send it (sealed) with your child. The teacher will read the letter when they're ready.
It is however, best to provide the letter sometime after the first day of school. Wait until the flow of paperwork has died down a little so that it won't get lost. Just don't wait too long or you'll miss out on those vital first impressions.
Any time in the first three weeks (except for the first days of school), is appropriate.
About the LetterHere's a few things you should include in your letter;
  1. Your child's name and a photo (preferably printed onto the letter rather than being attached). This will help the teacher to identify your child and learn their name.
  2. Your name and contact details for yourself and your spouse. It would also be good if you could include a line or two inviting the teacher to feel free to ask any questions they want about your child's condition/needs.
  3. The correct name and a description of your child's condition. It's not sufficient for example, to simply say that your child is an "aspie". You need to use correct terms so that the teacher can look it up on the internet and understand it.
  4. Symptoms to watch out for. These should be real-world examples. Your child may, for example, be quite obsessed by rules. When other children break particular rules (in my son's case by telling lies about him), this can provoke a meltdown.
  5. Information on how to calm your child down. Some children like to be touched while others do not. If your child has particular sensitivities, these should be noted. Perhaps your child responds best to a quiet voice, or better to a stern one.
  6. Tips which have worked in the past. For example; my youngest child had trouble sitting still and respecting personal boundaries in floor time. Giving him a carpet circle to sit on significantly reduced this problem.
  7. Information on your child's particular obsessions. If your child is into Star Wars for example, this can help your teacher to bond with them. They may suggest Star Wars themed topics for writing or drawing assignments.
  8. Information about your child's social interactions. If your child struggles socially, you might want to mention who his friends are. Perhaps the teacher can include some of his friends in group work. Don't assume that your child will automatically let the teacher know if he feels left out of a group.
Writing a introductory letter can strengthen the bond between your child and their new teacher. Get this right and you will provide the teacher with the understanding and techniques necessary to make your child's school year a great one.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Living with the Foreign Service: Summer R&R

    It's almost May, which means that it's one of my least/most favorite times of the year: time to plan summer leave. Summer is a tricky time in the foreign... Read more

    5 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Sherwoods
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • Country Thunder: Returning to Calgary for 2017!

    Country Thunder: Returning Calgary 2017!

    Awesome, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Country Thunder Festival, Dallas Smith, High Valley, Old Dominion, Terri Clark, The Road Hammers, The Washboard Union,... Read more

    6 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • ✓566 Gayfield Park

    ✓566 Gayfield Park

    Arbroath 3-2 Elgin CitySPFL - League 2Saturday 29th April 2017Arbroath is a former royal burgh and the largest town in Angus, on the North Sea coast of Scotland. Read more

    6 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Smidrophenia
    SOCCER, SPORTS
  • 8 Ways To Inspire Lifetime Loyalty From Key Employees

    Ways Inspire Lifetime Loyalty From Employees

    It’s a whole new world out there in the workplace. Millennials want work that matters, and don’t care for hierarchies. Boomers are coming back to work, but... Read more

    7 hours, 15 minutes ago by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Celebrity Review: Dean Brody Beautiful Freakshow Kingston

    Celebrity Review: Dean Brody Beautiful Freakshow Kingston

    ***Editor’s Note: On Friday night work got in the way of my being able to attend the Kingston stop for Dean Brody’s Beautiful The post Celebrity Review: Dean... Read more

    7 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Hendrik Pape
    ENTERTAINMENT, MEDIA, MUSIC
  • 10 Things You Need To Know About Bahubali Prabhas

    Things Need Know About Bahubali Prabhas

    Now Bahubali-2 is making good amount commercially throughout the world, the leading actor Bahubali Prabhas has become a shining sensation among cinema lovers.... Read more

    7 hours, 34 minutes ago by   Ritu Pandit
    LIFESTYLE, A-CLASSER
  • 30 on the 30th: Sign o' the Times and "Strange Relationship"

    30th: Sign Times "Strange Relationship"

    Following up on last month, April's entry into the class of 1987: Prince's stupendous Sign o' the Times.Did I buy this album as soon as it hit the stores? Read more

    7 hours, 45 minutes ago by   Russellarbenfox
    SOCIETY

Magazines