This is a letter Emma wrote yesterday to her teachers.
I would like to teach you how to use a stencil board so that I can show you how much I know and so we can discuss what you are teaching me in class.
I want to learn both syntax and style of diverse writers. Poetry and prose both interest me. I love to write stories and welcome the opportunity to do so.
You try to teach me, but not in a way that I can learn. Try to learn what my mother has learned from Soma and change how you think about autism.
Addition and subtraction are fun, but I have been doing that for many years and numbers are easy for me to understand. It is boring to do the same thing over and over all the time.
I do not like school and I wish I could go to a regular school where I was treated like other kids.
After Emma wrote this letter I sat with my husband Richard, clutching the three pages it took to contain these words that Emma wrote, pointing to one letter at a time on her laminated letter board. I asked Emma if I had her permission to read her words aloud to her dad, she nodded yes and then said out loud, “on the blog.”
Education for our kids, whatever their neurology, is something every parent worries about. Our schools are buckling under the weight of mismanagement, bureaucracy, out dated and irrelevant standardized test requirements, politics, and the diverse needs of our children, make any one-size-fits-all method of teaching impossible.
I don’t have any answers, but I intend to get some.
To anyone who has successfully gotten their non-speaking child (or a child like Emma who is able to speak, but says things they do not intend) into a “regular” school, please contact me and let me know how you did it. Does your child have a one-on-one aide? Did you train the aide yourself? Do you do RPM? Did the school work with you? If they didn’t, what did you do instead? Any and all experiences are welcome. You can also contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Session With Soma