Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Letter to Teachers (teachers input please)

I got this idea from another autism mom.  Rather than try and meet with every teacher in the first few days to write a letter.  Not only is it easier than verbally saying everything as I know I would forget something but they can reference it later if needed.  This site gave me a starting point.  I used it as a template and added what I needed to and took out what I felt was irrelevant.  I do not want to sound condescending to his teachers that would not be a good way to start the year.

I know some of my followers are teachers so I will post my version of the letter and please anyone parent or teacher let me know if you think I am leaving anything out or can change something.  As I said I want to get across that I am supportive of the teacher and want to work as a team.

The letter:

September 7, 2011
ear Teacher,
We have set up this form letter to give to every teacher to help them better understand our son,  _____.  His IEP has all his testing and the education plan so I will stick to some things you may experience with him.   Andrew has been diagnosed with autistic disorder.  The co-existing conditions that ______ has are Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, Anxiety, Executive Functioning Disorder and a movement disorder.   I just wanted to let you know a little more about him in writing and it’s easier than verbally trying to explain it all.

While these issues are complex, you probably won’t be able to tell anything is different, at least for a while.

_____ is a very curious child that pays attention to very small details and can get “lost” in the shuffle of daily activities.  Working together as a team with open and frequent communication is the key to helping ____ manage himself and find his place.

We have been working with _____ to develop self-help and coping techniques so that he can manage the over-stimulating and confusing world around him. 

Some of the things we have found that help _____ are:

One of the challenges with his auditory processing disorder is sometimes he does not always hear what was said to him.  Visual Cues are key:  Charts, Outlines, Graphics (Visual will always work better than auditory).  He will have a folder for each class, inside of it I will place a checklist for him to look at as well as a basic one for his locker to help him remember what supplies to bring to class. 

With The executive function disorder ____ has almost no organization. In the past, he would often forget his belongings and then later would “melt-down” over forgetting something.  He is determined this year not to improve on this.  _____ almost never relays information to me about his day and would never remember verbal instructions to be told later, so I will be accessing blackboard on a daily basis to help him at home stay on track. Using a planner has been a struggle for _____.  He doesn’t know what to write down or how to write it down. We are also working with a private Occupational therapist on a weekly basis to address the organization skills.

With the sensory processing disorder little things in the environment will distract him.  He does not have problems with the loud noises it is the little noises that affect him.  An example is the sound of pencils on paper.

Some things you may notice are ____ has a few what we call tics.  He constantly has small movements, tapping legs, moving arms, and some facial and head tics at times.  He cannot control these movements and when they are pointed out they become worse as he tries to control them.  When he gets anxious or frustrated these movements also become more noticeable.  There have been a few occasions that this has looked like a seizure.  He has had extensive testing and does not have a seizure disorder it is just anxiety.  Usually removing him from the situation for a few minutes will calm him down and help him to regain his composure.
______ is a very mild mannered boy and won’t cause any trouble in class.  He is shy at first and then he becomes very entertaining the more he opens up to people.  School can be difficult for him.
We appreciate your willingness to educate our son.  We are looking forward to working with all of you and having a great school year this year.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or if any problems that arise.

My Name
Phone number and email address

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