Monday 18 November 2019

'You are amazing. You will go on to achieve great things' - Mum's emotional letter to young son with Asperger's and ADHD

Writing a letter means something
Writing a letter means something
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A mother has written an emotional letter to her young son with Asperger's and ADHD, in which she tells him that they "fight for him" everyday.

The mother, who wrote the letter to the Sunday Independent series 'The Letter I Wish I'd Sent', said their lowest point was the child's time in primary school.

She writes; "Our system of schooling does not fit those that who cannot sit still or who question constantly because they refuse to just accept things."

She tells her son that they love to see him "flourish" socially and cannot wait to see what he achieves in his future.

"I've no doubt you will be successful as you've a great business brain as well as a way with people that you know and a kindness for the underdog," she writes.

The full letter reads:

Dear Son,

I've been trying to decide whether or not to write since I saw this section in the paper, but some things are important to be recorded for the future.

We've been through some very tough times over the past two years and school has been a real difficulty for you. With both Asperger's and ADHD, it was never going to be easy, but up until fifth class you managed well and exceeded academically.

What happened to you in sixth class was absolutely terrible. As a family, we had our hearts ripped apart as the strength of the machine that is our education system came down on you full force. Your teacher was a bully and drove you to lengths no child should ever have to go emotionally, not an 11-year-old child.

When I sat with you in hospital you told me you couldn't deal with her any more. Your school, which had to that point been fantastic, took the side of your teacher and what followed was extraordinary to witness. Had we not been living that hell ourselves, I could not have believed it. Backed by an outdated system which gives weight to a teacher's word over a child, and no appeals procedure, your education suffered and you suffered, as we all did.

We eventually got you through that and carrying the weight of that experience from primary school, last year you gave first year your best shot.

Our system of schooling does not fit those that who cannot sit still or who question constantly because they refuse to just accept things. For young people like you who are bright, teachers cannot see the disability because if you can do your maths in your head then surely you can just sit still and listen.

What I wanted to say to you is this. You are and always will be loved. It's a beautiful thing to see you flourish as you have done socially. For those who said you were a danger and need to be medicated, let them look at the awards you brought back from your recent summer trip where you were the life of the party, and no medication in sight.

You are amazing. You will go on to achieve great things. Once you get through secondary school, college will be great if you choose to go. If not, I've no doubt you will be successful as you've a great business brain as well as a way with people that you know and a kindness for the underdog.

Do not let what others think of you ever get in the way of your potential. The teacher who tried to break you did not succeed. We are stronger now because of it and are working to ensure it is never allowed happen to another child like you.

I am sorry we could not stop these things happening to you in primary school, but we fought for you every single day and it's important you know that. Sometimes the machine is bigger than an individual but it's important not to give up, ever. Lots of people supported us in the background and supported you too although you never knew.

We love you very much and are always here for you.

I am your person always.

Lots of love

Mam

The Sunday Independent is encouraging readers to write the letters you wish you'd sent as part of a series celebrating the art of letter writing. Send your letters, including your address and contact details to: The Letter I Wish I'd Sent, Sunday Independent, Independent House, 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, or email snews@independent.ie clearly labelled 'The Letter I Wish I'd Sent'

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