An Open Letter to my sons Teacher

This will probably be a long one and I am already emotional as I type this first line!

From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for Xavier in the last 15 months since he joined this wonderful school. We had such an awful fight to get him there but it honestly is the best school EVER. Even as I walk through the front doors into the main corridor the feeling of calm and happiness washes over me like a huge wave. It is incredible!

I remember my sister was with me when we brought Xavier in for his first settling in session. At this point he was quite upset with me that I was moving him to another school again but was very intrigued. We pulled up outside and he was quite blown away just by the building! We came into the classroom and the other children were just on their way in from playtime. The first one into the classroom was James. His little eyes lit up and he had the biggest smile when he saw Xavier. Both my sister and I were fighting back tears at this point. The children obviously knew Xavier was coming in but he received the most wonderful welcome.

I can hand on heart say that with the love compassion and understanding that you show, it has changed Xaviers life. He has never had that before. He has been branded as lazy or naughty before. You have been so easy to approach with worries or concerns and you have gone out of your way to make sure all of Xaviers needs are met AND more! He is such a happy child now. He is full of confidence, he has friends, he is eager to try new things, there is next to no meltdowns at home now, you don’t even know he is there. Before he joined this wonderful school we had explosive meltdowns and violence due to frustration almost on a daily basis. You’ve not just changed his life but ours too. I honestly cannot thank you enough.

He comes home from school excited!! That in itself was an alien thing before now! He tells me he has been to a cafe and shared a pot of tea with his friend Marlon. He tells me you’ve all had olympic week at school and he has come home with the “Spirit Of The Games” Award! He was over the moon with his trophy. He tells me how far he is getting with swimming lessons!

At Parents evenings we actually have LOTS of work to look at! We used to have literally a few sheets of paper before! His work is incredible! His imagination is just WOW! His school report blew me away! He is for the first time in his school life doing amazingly well! He is learning, progressing and growing! I am so so very proud of him.

He has been on a 3 day residential trip and LOVED it! I never thought I would see the day that he would stay away from home! He had the most amazing time and as you told me when I came to collect him…. He didn’t want to come home!

He honestly is a different child, he is eating more foods and trying new foods, where we struggled to get Xavier in the bath, we now can’t get him out of it! Xavier narrating the school Christmas performance was very emotional and a huge mile stone. He refused to be involved at his previous schools! He is now interested in starting acting classes in September which he has never had the confidence for before!

So Tom, Thank you! For everything. For believing in my son, for understanding him and how he works, for taking him under your wing, for helping him flourish and grow and showing him that school IS fun. For showing me that I was right to fight for him. We will miss you next year as Xavier will have a new Teacher. Its nice to know that Xavier will still see you around the school though. In Xaviers eyes the next teacher has HUGE boots to fill!

Have an amazing Summer!!

THANK YOU!

 

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Yesterday, with no warning at all, saw me called into school to meet with the Educational Psychologist. This is another good step in the right direction in getting Xavier a Statement. The meeting lasted 90 minutes. I was asked what my concerns were. Well my biggest concern was the fact that I have been told by school that my son isn’t really learning anything. Now school are trying to deny they ever said that and said Xavier is unable to work independently, he needs adult assistance at all time otherwise he becomes incredibly anxious, frustrated and unable to cope. When supervised though he is actually producing little bits of work. These bits of work are not on a par with his peers and apparently the school has completely adapted the national curriculum so much to fit his work in, so much so that it is barely on the curriculum. So all this time I have been given the impression that next to nothing is being produced, then yesterday the SENco had FOUR work books full of work on her desk! Most of it is scribed by his 1-1 worker. His handwriting is very behind and the EP was basically (if you’ll pardon the pun) writing off his handwriting and saying computers are the way forward for him and she is completely dumbfounded by the level of computer skills Xavier has.

She asked about his behaviour at home! So I filled her in with the good and bad stuff. Generally at weekends and holidays he is the calmest person you’ll meet. After school and on Sunday nights he is the most uptight, anxious, angry, aggressive and violent person you’ll meet! Which says to me that school bothers him! He is being picked on at least once a week by nasty kids.

The Educational Psychologist was also trying her best to persuade me to NOT send him to a Special Needs School and to keep him in Mainstream. Her reasons being he is too clever and it will bring him down and he will pick up behaviours from other Autistic children and it could become a problem! REALLY? Well firstly I know my son is clever… shame the staff who work with him are not fully trained to bring out the best in him and help him reach his full potential. Secondly I have had a number a talks with the Head of the Special Needs school I would like him to go to and I’m sure he would be telling me that Xavier is “too clever” for his school rather than telling me that he looks forward to taking Xavier under his wing and helping him progress! Thirdly, I wouldn’t want him picking up some of the behaviour of the kids in his Mainstream school if I am brutally honest!

Then there was a little knock on the office door… I looked round and there was Xavier with his big wide chocolate brown eyes grinning and waving at me. I do love this boy so very very much. I called him in and we had such a huge cuddle! I asked him how his day was going. He said “Yeah, it’s ok Mum! Can I stay with you in here?” when I explained that we needed to finish talking then the EP lady will be talking to him afterwards and that they were going to play a game, he got all upset and was stuck to me like a limpet! I dried his tears and told him he only had 1 hour left and I would be coming to collect him. He reluctantly accepted it and we finished off the meeting.

I asked the EP what she thought Xaviers chances were for getting this Statement and she said that in her opinion it is very likely seeing as the process has come this far. Normally they turn people away right at the beginning if they don’t feel there is a strong enough case. I actually had to hold it together at that point and wanted to cry (with joy!) but I really don’t want to get excited until I have that piece of paper in my hand.

We are again another step closer… I am so very exhausted but I know that this HUGE almost 3 year long in total, battle is going to be worth it.