To the parents of the other students in my son’s class:

I know you can’t believe that we are here already, we are sending our precious babies to kindergarten.

This may be your first time to send a kid into the big scary and exciting school world, or maybe you are a veteran to the whole process, but here we are.

As you are spending your days find all the school supplies, pack the lunches, pick out the new backpacks, I want to share a little bit about my son and what our preparation for school looks like.

While you are eagerly awaiting to find out who your child’s teacher is, I am spending time begging them to let me know before the first day so I can share some of the things that may cause my son to yell in class, or go to hide in the corner.

While you are picking out back to school clothes, I am considering which shoes and clothes my son will actually wear without dragging holes in from walking on his toes.

While you are talking about all the exciting things about kindergarten with your child, I am wondering how the other students will respond if he has a meltdown in class.

While you are looking forward to new friends, new playdate and class parties, I am wondering if my son will be invited to any.

You see, my son has autism and he will be in your child’s class. And you will likely hear about him from your own child.

Maybe you will hear about him because he has to have something related to Spiderman on his clothes most days, or maybe you will hear about him because he really loves to sing in front of an audience (and he is pretty good at capturing an audience), but you may also hear about him because he screamed out of frustration, or he ran away from the class because he doesn’t always understand safety concerns.

And really my biggest concern for him is not how his peers will respond, because 5 year olds tend to be pretty forgiving, but is how you as his parent will respond when you hear the story about my son.

When, and I know it will happen, you hear a story about my son that maybe makes you a little worried about him being in your child’s class.

I am asking you now, please, please respond in love.

Please respond so that your child knows that we are all different, but that it is okay.

Respond so that your child knows that it is ok to be a little scared when my son has a meltdown, but to also remember how much fun they had on the playground that day.

Respond so that your child knows that my son still has value, and deserves to be included.

Respond so that your child knows and remembers to choose love and inclusivity over and over and over again. 

Written by, Amanda Boardman

My name is Amanda, I work as a school nurse and I am a mom to 3 kids all under the age of 6. We are brand new to the world of Autism, but I work daily to make sure other people know about the joys and struggles of neurodiversity and accepting other. Our family lives in Austin, Texas where we love spending time outside, singing as much as possible and spending time with extended family. 

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