A Mother’s Wish List for a Teacher
By Diane O’ Rourke-Bankus
1. Please don’t assume that you know what it is like to parent my child. The only person who can possibly relate to my hopes and my dreams, my burdens and my fears, and the difficulties I face, is Heavenly Father!
2. Please respect me for knowing my child better than anyone else. Please accept the ideas I share as tools to help improve a situation for my child, not words of criticism towards you.
3. My child does not speak well. We aren’t able to enjoy the reciprocal conversation about her day at school that you are able to enjoy with your own children. Please communicate with me and allow me to communicate with you, so that I may know about her day. I would like to be able to help her with her difficulties and praise her for her efforts.
4. Please don’t tell me I can’t FIX my child. I was complimented me Heavenly Father that he selected me for this journey - parenting a special needs child. Heavenly Father grants me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… the most difficult of all being that my child has special needs. I can’t FIX that and make it go away and I don’t need to be reminded of that fact. But Heavenly Father also grants me the serenity to change the things that I can. My child is full of motivation, a love for learning, a willingness to improve herself, and pride in her accomplishments. Please respect me for encouraging her to be all that she can be. Please respect her for her very hard work and accomplishments. No, I can’t FIX her disability. But I can provide her with all that she needs to make it easier to live with. And by the way, Heavenly Father grants me the wisdom to know the difference.
5. Allow me to believe in miracles. After all, I do live with one. Don’t slam the doors on my hopes and my dreams.
6. Please respect me for the time, the effort, and the challenge of educating myself in the different areas of the special needs of my child. I have a need to learn all that I can about my child and how she sees the world. I am willing to share this information with you, hoping it will make you job a little bit easier. My knowledge also enables me to help others, which gives me great joy!
7. Pease know that I am tired. There are days when I need some positive reinforcement or a kind word. Because I understand that NEED, I try to provide the same to you and all who are involved in helping my daughter be all that she can be. When my “gas Tank” is empty, it needs to be refilled!
8. Please know that I respect and appreciate all that you do. I know that your job is almost as demanding as mine. When Heavenly Father selected me for this journey, he sent angels along to help me.
You are one of them! Thank You!
Diane is mom to wonderful, 12 year-old Maura, who was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and ADHD. She advocates for special needs children, provides support to parents across the country and is a personal consultant in the areas of ASD, ADHA, and the law. Contact Diane at Bbankus@aol.com
*The word Heavenly Father was inserted to replace the use of God.