A few years ago my beautiful sister called me very upset. She’d just been asked by her son’s kindy teacher to come in for a serious meeting. She wasn’t sure what it was about, but she was worried. At the meeting, she was told that her son Jack wasn’t interacting with the other kids the way that he should be. Devastated, her and her husband took him for tests where they were told he was autistic. This was a huge shock to them and to the rest of the family. We had to catch up pretty quickly so that we could look at ways to best support and learn alongside our beautiful little nephew, Jack. My sister and brother-in-law took up the challenge like the champions that they are! They researched, listened and made damn sure that their son had every chance of understanding this complex world.
They decided to take him out of the kindy where he was at for a number of reasons and enrolled him in one nearby their home in Melbourne. The teachers there were made aware of Jack’s autism and embraced it! They went to training and looked for every chance to get better at helping him to succeed.
Jack, now six, left kindy to go to school this week. Jack’s shown us that with people who love and understand him, he can shine. He’s bright, articulate and one of the most loving kids I know. His amazing, sweet kindy teacher wrote him this and it’s moved us deeply ….
Never for one moment doubt the impact that you can have on others if you’re brave enough to open your mind and heart and accept people for who they are and what they bring with them. I don’t know this teacher and I may never meet her, but I will certainly hold her in my heart as I work with other teachers in the world and help them on their path with children. I’ll use this teacher as a shining example of what they can do if they’re willing to embrace uncertainty or difference.
She’s a huge role model to me and I know she’ll be that for many many other teachers too.