Letters from Parents
As a parent of a child with special needs. I need to start off this letter by saying: I could not do this without you. Can I also say that after my family and my child’s doctors, you are my saving grace? I owe you a world of gratitude and a lifetime of thank you’s. You have the most important job ever. You are educating my child. Helping my child. And not just any child… my hyperactive child. You have the expertise, the training, the heart. You wear the “big picture” glasses and can see my child’s potential, and you’re going to help her thrive. My child loves you for that.
No matter what I couldn’t be more thankful to have found such an amazing school (IGS). I know you are not just teaching children. You are guiding them, shaping their minds and building their character. Showing them that school is a place to love and a place to beloved. Under your direction they will learn how to be their best selves. Because of you they will become our next generation of great thinkers, solvers. Creators and doers. I would like to express my appreciation for the love, guidance, assistance and much more that you have done for my daughter. I just wanted to thank you for taking out time and giving attention to my hyperactive child. i understand she has been pretty troublesome for you sometimes. She is very mischievous and often loses interest in studies and throws her tantrums and it becomes really hard to give every student such attention but I’m very pleased that you have not ignored my child. Instead, you come up with a good observation and showed genuine concern in improving her. She now excels in her studies and her extra curriculum activities.
And since you are also in special education, your job description doesn’t stop there. You’re dealing with my kid’s meltdowns and helping her within your arms reach. Thank you for continuing to guide her when she struggles with sharing, cooperation and personal boundaries and teaching her about friendships and encouraging her to make new friends. Our once introvert child’s personality has bloomed open like a beautiful fragrant flower ever since being tended by a lovely gardeners in the form of teachers like you. Thank you for the wonderful scholastic environment you’ve provided our child. Words cannot express the appreciation that I have for your teachers and staff. But I know it’s not nearly enough. At the end of the day, i know that the best way to show you is to tell you. And some things need to be shouted for the whole world to hear. So this is me, officially telling you “thank you”. As loudly as I can. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Yours is an amazing school. Your teachers and staff are even more amazing for staying in this profession. I can never repay you for your service to this community or for your service to my child. I will forever be In your debt.
Inclusive education is a term that could be interpreted in several ways. To us as parents of a child in the autism spectrum), It means accepting and respecting the child for what she is. We do not expect the inclusive set up to push the child so that she reaches the level of a neurotypical child. Our expectation on the academic learning was minimal. Instead we wanted our daughter to learn social interaction. We wanted her to develop play skills. We wanted her to learn rule based behavior. We wanted all this to happen in way that she didn’t feel stressed going to school.
Some of the well-known so called Inclusive schools were actually separatist in nature. First of all, they wanted the child to be “ready for Inclusion”. We came to know from other parents that even the slightest of deviation in the behavior from the expectation would result in separation of the child from the group. Most schools also insisted on shadows it is often difficult to find the right shadow teacher that stayed long enough to positively impact a child. In fact, it often results in denting the self-confidence of the child and adversely impacts the independent living of the child.
When we knew that our daughter was ready for school, we weren’t sure if we should put her in a special school or in an inclusive school. A special school would have limited peer group interaction and we were worried if the set up would challenge her sufficiently. On the other hand, we had heard enough scary stories about Inclusive schools. It is at this confusing juncture that we came to know of Indo German School.
Even in our very first meeting, we were quite impressed with the approach of the school towards inclusion. We were quite relieved when Ms. Mithula, the school Administrator, said that she doesn’t believe in assisting the child with a shadow. It essentially meant that the teachers were ready to shoulder the responsibilities of handling a special child as they would do for a neurotypical child. Although It sounds obvious, such approach is quite rare to find among inclusive schools.
Our daughter started school earlier this year. We were anxious and were unsure of what to expect. We were only hoping that our daughter would have a good time at the school – which she surely has! We also find that the school is impacting her positively in several other ways. We were pleasantly surprised that she was progressing well beyond what we thought she would learn. With her difficulties in fine motor execution, we thought her progress in writing was quite remarkable. Over a period, we find that she has got herself accustomed to the school and is following the rules appropriately. The school provides her with an excellent opportunity to interact with a nuerotypical peer group. Before she started with the school, one of the challenging areas for her was imitation. We find that her imitation skills are improving primarily due to the various group activities that happen in the school.
We find the school to stern enough to make sure she follows the rules yet flexible enough so that she doesn’t get stressed. It is heartening to see that the school acknowledges that each child can possibly have a different way of learning and at a different pace.
Today, our daughter has made new friends who reciprocate to her warmly. We believe that the real inclusion doesn’t end in empowering a special child find his/her place in the society without feeling uncomfortable in his/her own skin. it also includes educating nuerotypical children about other children and make sure that they acknowledge the difference yet treat them with empathy and respect. To achieve this, inclusion has to start at a very young age. We believe the Indo German School does a commendable job in achieving this. We are privileged to have found this school for our daughter.