Beans is 3.5 and she begins kindergarten next year. A thing I have done for all my autistic girls in the past is put together a letter about them for the teachers to give to the parents of the children who will be attending kindy alongside Beans. It helps have everyone on the same page with regards to my daughters who have special needs and in my experience, encourages inclusion, compassion and understanding. It also saves me from having to repeat myself too.
I thought I’d share the letter below that I did for Beans. This letter is completely opposite to the one I wrote for Wilding – isn’t autism amazing like that?!
My name is Beans. I will be attending kindy next year. I’ll be 4 in May and I have three big older sisters.
I wanted to write to you and tell you a bit about me, so that kindy can be a really great experience for us all.
I’m autistic. That means I think, feel and process my environment differently and in my own way compared to other kids.
Meeting new people can be a really overwhelming and difficult experience for me. This may mean sometimes I cry or have a shutdown where I don’t talk. Other days I may look like I’m not happy to see you or be at kindy, but that isn’t really true. I do want to be here, I’m just adjusting to my environment and that can take a while.
Kids can be really loud and busy and lots of kids can often be a lot for me to take in. I’m sensitive to noise and crowds and I struggle with transitions.
I have my very own quiet space at kindy, and my own teacher aide to help me. If I am having a hard morning, the best thing for you to do is say hello to me quietly and then give me some space. Please don’t crowd me or touch me without my permission, that just upsets me more. I promise I will come out and hang out with you if and when I am ready.
When I’m anxious, I find it hard to talk. So I might wave instead, or not at all.. When I am comfortable and happy, it’s hard to get me to stop talking! I also jump on the spot like a little bunny rabbit when I am happy.
I really love puppies, playing in the water, imaginary play and dancing. I also really love hugs and cuddles when I am ready for them.
I’m really looking forward to coming to kindy and I will see you soon.
Feel free to ask my Mama Jessica anything, autism is a big part of our lives (my Daddy is autistic and so are 2 of my 3 sisters) and we are totally open about our lives.
Please feel free to use a similar version of your own if you feel it applies to your child or may help.