When I was a teacher I had an amazing young boy in my Nursery Class who was on the autistic spectrum, he truly taught me so much. When I had the opportunity to have a Reception Class the following year I asked for him, for no other reason than he knew me and would probably settle better in my class, I felt that I knew his individual needs and how to meet them. He had a lovely family and I had got to know them a little during the previous academic year, we communicated well. I had also completed lots of training on autism so I would be best placed to meet his needs.
I could help him to grow.Years later, when speaking to the boys mum one day she reminded me that I ‘asked for him’. It had meant so much to her. I never understood why this was a big deal at the time but the conversation that we had that day has stayed with me.
Now I am a mum and I have my own experiences with my children accessing the school system with medical needs, I think that I understand why she recalls this so vividly. As parents we appreciate that our children with their learning, health or medical needs may take a little extra work, thought and commitment than the neuro typical children in the class. They have records that have to be read and understood and adaptations to their school day that must be remembered. As parents we love our own children with all our heart but for someone else to want them, to be able to see their amazing qualities as we do, to recognise and celebrate their accomplishments (no matter how small) means the world to us.
Our journey is emotional enough at times. What I understand now is that by ‘asking for him’ I probably took a little pressure off of that family in that moment.
I get it now. I can see.