A note to my teachers and parents:
I know you are all working hard to develop my individual education plan. I know that you want me to have a great year at school.
If you don’t mind, I have 5 thoughts I would like to share with you.
Please use the document you create.
Okay, so this may seem kind of obvious but let’s face it, sometimes you put all kinds of time and energy into making my plan and then no one looks at it until reporting time rolls around. I really depend on that document to keep all of us focused on helping me to make progress. My plan should help me to become the best me I can be, even if I have autism.
Make the stuff I work on and the goals meaningful.
I get it – you have curriculum that somebody wants you to cover. But, I NEED to learn things that matter so that I can learn the skills I need in order to contribute to the best of my ability. Start with where I am academically and how I function in the real world. Build goals so I can make progress in these areas. I want to be as independent as possible. My autism won’t keep me from becoming the best me I can be.
Let me succeed.
How would you feel if you always failed to meet your goals? If you always felt that you were disappointing yourself and all those you care about? I need to enjoy the taste of success so that I am motivated to keep trying. My autism won’t keep me from becoming the best me I can be.
Keep your mind open to what is possible for me.
I may have abilities and qualities that you don’t even know yet. I beg you to keep your expectations of me high, and then build the supports I need to help me achieve my goals. I can do more than you might think. My autism won’t keep me from becoming the best me I can be.
Act like a team.
Each of you knows a part of me. You are all valuable members of my team. You don’t have to like each other, but, I need you to share what you know and listen hard to what each other has to say. I am not the same at home and at school. Please share the goals you create on my behalf with everyone who serves me. Together you can all help me to succeed. My autism won’t keep me from becoming the best me I can be.
I have so much that I would like to tell you. But, most of all, please remember that I am a unique person who has gifts and abilities that I need to share with you and the world. I need to use my abilities, learn new skills and grow my potential. I don’t want you to ‘fix’ me. I am not broken.
Don’t let my autism keep YOU from helping ME to become the best me I can be.
With love and respect,