Many times, children with autism are not fully accepted by the society because of the opinionated people who see them as different and not fit for some wider accepted ‘standards.’ Sadly, many fail to understand that these children are individuals with their own set of abilities and preferences. Unfortunately, they are rarely treated as such.
Ben Twist is an 11 year old boy who is challenged with the disorder. Recently, he had taken an SAT test at school and failed. That’s when one of his teachers sent his parents a letter. Ben’s mother, Gail, believed it said how her boy should reassess his work and take the test once again, but as it turned out, this letter was quite different and nothing like she expected it to be.
The school Ben attends, Lansbury Bridge High School & Sports College, is a place for students with special needs, and every child in this institution is encouraged to perform the best they can. The teachers are compassionate, loving, and caring. And they proved this to be true once again.
The letter was full of words with encouragement and listed all of the special skills Ben had, highlighting that the standardized tests don’t measure all of the extra talents he possesses. It was written and signed by Mrs Clarkson.
“Dear Ben, I am writing you to congratulate you on your attitude and success in completing your end of key stage SATs. Gil, Lynn, Angela, Steph and Anne have worked so well with you this year and you have made some fabulous progress. I have written to you and your parents to tell you the results of the tests. A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities. They are important and you have done so well, but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.”
This was definitely something Ben’s parents didn’t expect to read. The act touched them to the core.
She went on, writing:
“Other talents you have that these tests do not measure include: -Your artistic talents, your ability to work in a team, your growing independence, your kindness, your ability to express your opinion, your abilities in sports, your ability to make and keep friends, your ability to discuss and evaluate your own progress, your design and building talents, and your musical ability. We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and these are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely, bright young man. Well done Ben, we are very proud of you. Best Wishes, Mrs. Clarkson”
This amazing teacher wouldn’t let Ben feel down because of the test results. In fact, she always knows how to recognize what each of her students is good at.
Teachers like Mrs. Clarkson make the difference in the way not only autistic students but all students in general feel about their abilities and what they can achieve in life. Way to go Mrs. Clarkson, you really are one-of-a-kind.