Lifestyle

Mom Writes Open Letter to Autistic Son's Teacher and It's Leaving Parents in Tears

Combined Shape

The autism spectrum is wide. There are many factors involved and it can often be difficult for parents of autistic children to find understanding and compassion.

According to Autism Speaks, a 2018 study by the CDC showed that an estimated 1 of every 59 children is on the autism spectrum.

Because autism can’t be boiled down to a single definition in the dictionary, it presents a challenge to anyone interacting with these unique people.

Challenges for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder can range from a tendency to wander, self-harming behaviors and even lack of speech.

Trending:
New York AG: CNN, MSNBC Parent Companies Funded Millions of Phony Comments to Sway Trump Administration

For educators, finding ways to teach outside the box, and work with their autistic students in a way that helps rather than hinders, can be frustrating.

Parents of autistic children especially might be discouraged by a lack of understanding and empathy when it comes to placing their child in a mainstream classroom.

One mom who experienced these challenges shared her story with the Huffington Post. Her story is written in the form of a letter — from one grateful mom to the teacher who understood.

Has a teacher made a special impact on your child?

The article is entitled “An Open Letter To My Autistic Son’s Teacher.” Hannah Grieco’s words are heartbreaking and heart-healing to anyone who can relate.

“When we met, I was the angry, hovering mom you dreaded interacting with,” Grieco wrote. “Emails, phone calls, in-person meetings — your lips tightened before forcing a smile.”

The mom and acceptance advocate goes on to explain how hard it was to watch this teacher mistake her “son’s disability for purposeful behavior” and how she could even empathize with the teacher’s frustrations and obstacles having been one herself.

Related:
11-Year-Old Girl Hears Mom Screaming, Helps Deliver Baby Brother on Bathroom Floor

Then the letter takes a turn, shifting the spotlight from Grieco’s discouragement to the change in this teacher’s point of view.

“But you are not other teachers,” she says. “You stood your ground admirably, maddeningly — and then something happened as fall transitioned to winter.”

“I don’t know exactly when the transition began, but all of a sudden my son wanted to go to school,” Grieco wrote.

Just like this mom, the unnamed teacher started to see and relate to everything they were facing. She showed kindness. She showed understanding.

“You changed. You stepped away from your fixed understanding and saw my son. He became a person to you, rather than a diagnosis or a problem to solve.”

In the end, the teacher Grieco describes became a blessing. Someone who set an example for others so they might also alter their perspectives.

Her son went on to win a poetry slam at school and even took the bus. He has started opening up to new ideas and futures, all because one teacher took the time to see him.

“My son has the teacher I always dreamed he would have,” Grieco concluded. “You.”

This teacher’s example just goes to show that understanding and kindness truly do go a long way. We hope Grieco’s son continues to thrive and encounter more teachers who will do for him what this teacher did.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




Conversation