Dear Teacher

Miriam Gwynne by Miriam Gwynne Additional Needs

Miriam Gwynne

Miriam Gwynne

Full time mum and carer for two truly wonderful autistic twins. I love reading, writing, walking, swimming and encouraging others. Don’t struggle a...

He has a clean nappy on and has been fed. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for these things. He is so precious to me and I hope he is precious to you too.

The problem is this: we lose six hours a day, thirty hours a week in fact, and we have no means of understanding what has happened during those hours.

Do you have a partner or children? If you do you will understand why I am interested in my son's day.

I want to hear about his friends, about what he has been learning and even what he had for dinner that day. Love means I care about everything about him; all the details and the so-called 'insignificant' events.

I care about the silly stuff like how he laughed at something in assembly or how he got to take a message to the school office.

There is one big problem with all this: he cannot tell me ANYTHING.

He cannot tell me if his taxi got caught in traffic and he was late, he cannot tell me if he tried to hand his coat up himself and missed, he cannot tell me that you had a lesson outside today because it was a sunny day.

So I need you. I need you more than I ever imagined. I rely on you for everything.

I want to know as much as you can tell me about the six missing hours each day. Did my child fall and hurt himself, did he get excited about anything, and did he keep his clothes on today?

Nothing is too much to know when your child is nonverbal.

I understand you are busy. Truly I do. I understand my son is not the only child in your care and your time is precious.

I know the limitation on you and the pressures you have.

But I need you. My child needs you. Those 'missing hours' are so vital to us.

You see I could be out somewhere and my son hears something and gets distressed.

While I search frantically through my mind trying to work out what, I know sadly that it could be related to those missing hours where he is not with me and I will never know if what he has heard is connected to something which happened while in school.

We could be in a shop and he gets so excited and animated over a picture of something and I just know it is somehow related to school but have no idea why.

The lack of information causes us both to be so frustrated.

He wants desperately to tell me about something and he can't. I long to connect with him and understand what he wants to share but I can't.

Sometimes we both cry about this.

So please teacher, don't write in my child's diary that he has had a 'good day today' or that 'can we have more wipes please?' You could tick a box for those things!

Please tell me what made my child smile, who he interacted with, where he played at play time, what he actually did in PE and what you sang in assembly today.

Believe me, you will not bore me. I want to know so much.

In return I promise to fill in the 'missing hours' for you. What would help you?

I can tell you whether he ate well, or slept well but would you like to know that he loves the swing in the park, that he gave me a cuddle unprompted, that he touched his sister in a kind way?

I can tell you what he likes watching on you tube and what we do at the weekend. I can send photos, write to you and email you. Whatever would help you.

We need to work together.

Please tell me more.

I am a parent of a nonverbal child and I need much more in his diary.

Thank you,

A grateful but frustrated parent of a nonverbal 8 year old.


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