A letter to my younger primary school teachers

Stephen McHugh
This post was last updated on
August 17, 2022
Category :

Dear My Younger Primary School Teachers

I’m writing to you to explain the concerns you’re having with Young Stephen regarding his education. He is a completely new and unique case, affected by something not very well known to the general public yet. It is a condition which causes him to interact and communicate differently with other people and the world in general. 

You will find he processes information and language using different mechanisms to the rest of us. This will create difficulties for him to understand and apply new knowledge. Generally, he will need more support with this than the other children and when moving from one area of the curriculum to another. 

He takes a literal view of language, causing him to have problems with more complicated forms of language like idioms and inferences. A good example of this is him thinking that an expensive looking car literally costs an arm and a leg, which means costing a lot of money.

Expect his reading, writing and comprehension test marks to be lower than average. You will probably find him to be not the most communicative child. When he was very small, he would only say words when he could say them perfectly. 

There will be times when he’ll lose his concentration in class, find it difficult to follow class stories, and be in his own world, which leads to the next point. Asking for help will be difficult for him as he will be afraid of being told off for things like not paying attention. On other occasions he may get things wrong due to misinterpreting explanations about how to do the tasks in question. 

When he fails to understand and/or get some things wrong, or doesn’t achieve the required standard in class tests, it won’t be because of laziness, naughtiness, or anything like that. It’ll be likened to the similar level of failure when describing the colours of holly to somebody who is red/green colour blind. 

But, having said all of the above, it’s a good school you’re all teaching at. You’ll all be able to do good jobs for his particular case, and find ways to help him along his educational journey. He’ll do some credible pieces of work, get good with numbers including mental arithmetic, and master his times tables amongst other things. And  keep an eye out for any interests he develops, and let him do projects on those.

His language skills and understanding in general will get better over time. He will receive some degree of support from home too. And in time, he will make progress to your satisfaction, but you’ll need to just accept the fact it'll take him a bit longer than the other children. He is quite capable, seen to be intelligent, and will try hard with his school work. Overall, despite the hurdles he’ll face, you won’t see him as a hopeless case.

In addition, he’ll develop good music skills, in particular piano playing which will help him contribute positively to school life, including during school plays. 

Another issue worth mentioning is that he finds interpreting facial expressions and other forms of body language difficult.  In addition he may not quite understand how someone else may be feeling or what they’re thinking. This, you may find, could lead him to unintentionally offending or annoying somebody with a facial expression or something he says.

I also realise you all may be concerned about how he may behave in class, and whether he’ll be disruptive to the other children’s education. But you’ll find him to be a pleasant, friendly and well behaved boy who’ll generally mix well with the other children.

Knowledge and awareness about what is affecting him now will improve, and continue to do so in times to come. You’ll all learn plenty here, which may benefit not only your teaching careers, but the school and education in general in the event of any similar cases in years to come.

Yours sincerely

Older Stephen


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Expand your Horizons

April 28, 2022
Could immersive technology help with autistic children's education?

There is an area of technology that recently caught my eye. It is known as immersive virtual reality. When I read about the potential benefits to those on the autistic spectrum, especially their education and learning, it got me thinking about the effects such technology may have had on my learning, and how it could […]

Read More
August 9, 2023
Gardening for Growth: Cultivating Plants and Life Lessons

Summer can be an ideal time for getting outdoors, and enjoying any warm weather and longer days. It is also a time when people go on holidays. Having said that, there are worthwhile activities that can be done around the boundaries of our homes. Below are some ideas for getting children involved in gardening activities […]

Read More
October 26, 2022
Autism and understanding sarcasm

Sarcasm refers to remarks given by people who mean the opposite of what they said at a particular time. One way this can be done is by paying close attention to, and thinking about the tone of the person’s voice.  For those of us with autism, this can be very problematic, since we can struggle […]

Read More
envelope linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram