You have entered the Spectrum Zone

Dear Teacher

Dear Teacher,
I have FASD. I have a hard time hearing everything you say. I try, but sometimes I just don’t understand. It’s hard for me to understand the directions you say. Lot’s of times I forget as soon as you say what I’m supposed to do. I look at others, not cuz I want to cheat, but cuz I want to know what I’m supposed to do next. I know it seems like I’m not paying attention, but I just don’t understand.

I’m not lazy. It seems like I dont want to do my work, but I do. I’m just not sure how to do it. If you tell me exactly what I’m supposed to do a couple of times, I might understand better. You might have to explain it to me with no one else around.

My senses are really sensitive. Sometimes I need breaks from the classroom. Sometimes, I need my own time out from the chaos in the room. It’s hard for me to process all that goes on.

FASD is fetal alcohol syndrome. It just means that my mom drank when I was in her belly. It doesnt mean I’m less than the other kids in the class. I am still very creative and very fun. I love to learn and I love to work. I will always give you my best. I promise and I keep my promises.

FASD means that my brain is not like the other kids. It is wired a little differently and I have to find my way of learning. I have to learn how to learn. Work with me cuz I’m trying to figure out what works for me. If you do it with me and stay patient with me I won’t get as frustrated. Let me know how proud you are of me that I’m working so hard even if I don’t understand and constantly focus on what I’m doing right. Oh, you can tell me what I’m doing wrong or what I’m not understanding, but remind me that I’m still a great kid even if I did something wrong.

See, I’m extra sensitive. My brain just has a hard time understanding so I get so confused with what you are saying or what you are expecting that the harder I try, sometimes my brain just shuts off. And if you get frustrated with me, I think I’m doing something wrong when I’m really trying to give you my best. Do you know what it feels like when people are upset with you and you don’t understand why? You are doing everything you think they want you to do but you are still doing it wrong?

I cry a lot inside. I want to be my best for you and for my parents. I want everyone to be proud of me.

It’s okay to make me an IEP. Call FAS what it is. It only hurts me if you don’t. If I get the right diagnosis, then I get the right helps.

It’s okay that I have this thing called FASD. I can’t change it. It is what it is. Just please don’t make me feel different. Don’t make me feel like what my mom did was so wrong that I feel bad about who I am. Don’t make her actions be who I am.

Thank you,

Your student

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Comments on: "Dear Teacher" (6)

  1. Wow – Can I copy this to go with the articles I give my son's teachers ever year?

  2. Is there a way to print these articles without having to copy and paste onto a word document?

  3. I'm not sure about that Bonnie. I will have to see. I would think you could just hit print. I'm sorry if it is giving you a hard time printing. And yes to Tina and anybody who would like to use these. All I ask is just cite the blog and direct people to it. Thanks!

  4. Will do – I'll put the link on the page and ask that they consider following it for continued insight throoughout the year. you are so Awesome!!

  5. lol…thank you.

  6. heathervandeweert said:

    Annie-I stumbled upon your blog and am soooo happy that I did. Reading your thoughts makes me feel like I am getting to know parts of my daughter, Allison, that she can't express to me yet. Allison is 10 years old and we adopted her from the foster care system when she was 5 months. All the research I have done on FASD has helped but, you're right, there is so much negativity about my daughter's future. I am going to print this letter and share with her new teacher. She is in a self-contained class but gets a new main stream teacher each year. Please keep writing. I need to hear that there is a future out there for Allison where she can be productive. Hearing your words is my hope. BTW- just looked through your pictures you've taken. I want to purchase the one with the cross at the end of a path. I'll be in touch soon about that. Thank you for your honesty and candidness. I look forward to reading more.

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