A mum of a teenage boy with autism has shared a piece of his schoolwork that highlights the important role that teachers have when it comes to special needs.
Amy Preslar Saunders took a photo of her son Austin’s essay prompt for his Year 9 school project, and shared it with the Love What Matters Facebook page in the hopes of spreading its heartwarming message.
‘Our son wrote this for his English writing prompt this year, 8th grade,’ she wrote, explaining that Austin has Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Fine Motor Skill Delay and Anxiety Disorder.
‘The prompt was to write 3 things that he wishes his teachers knew about him. It broke our hearts to read this, and to hear/read from him on how he struggles daily.’
She then copied out what Austin had written for his answer – a response that will make your heart go out to him.
Austin wrote: ‘I wish that they knew that I am autistic. I wish that my teacher knew that I need help on a lot of things like my handwriting.
‘I wish that my teacher know that I have a depressed life sometimes. I wish my teacher knew that I am not being defiant I am overwhelmed shutting down.
‘I wish that my teacher knew that I am very good at bottling up anger and having outbursts.’
Austin’s teacher wrote a note of encouragement underneath his message, saying: ‘You are doing great so far! Glad you’re in my class!’ with a big smiley face.
‘These are our sons feelings, struggles and everyday challenges. We love what his teacher wrote to him and she has been great for Austin,’ wrote his mother.
‘We hope this encourages other parents, teachers and kids to keep fighting!’
The post has since been shared over a thousand times, with over 8,000 likes and more than a hundred comments.
‘Our son would have written the same things. How proud you must be that he could articulate those feelings. A great teacher makes a world of difference and I’m so glad your son has one,’ wrote one user.
‘This is why I’m a teacher because I know that my one comment to a kid and being that source of support to give them confidence can make a difference to them. I’m glad that this child has one,’ added another.
‘It warms my heart to see teachers encouraging kids, especially kids who need that motivation more than others. My son has aspergers syndrome and he has an amazing teacher and tutor, they been so loving and patient with him. I’m grateful for teachers like them,’ said one mother.