Letting Classmates and Parents Know That Your Kid Is "Different"
Leelo's classmate M spends part of his week in a typical kindergarten, and will eventually transition there full-time. His mom, Signora Blog, asked our local eBoard how much the classmates and teachers need to know, and how to spread the information in the first place. One of the most striking answers came from L. Poland, who gave me permission to republish it here:
" ... I would have the teacher be the first line of defense. Kids will go home and talk about all of their new friends, and you probably don't want your son to appear too different if at all possible. He should just be one of the gang.Feel free to forward this to the educator of your choice.
"That said, I have been in classrooms around the peninsula from preschool up through high school (professionally, not as a parent) and have seen the impact the teacher has on the way the students treat each other. If, on the first day, she explains that everyone learns differently etc, and we are a classroom of friends and everyone is special so let's be nice no matter what ... those classrooms have the best social outcomes across the board. I can even walk in at the middle or the end of the year and all the kids are nice to each other. I must say I'm surprised at how few teachers actually do this, but the impact is astounding. The special needs kids are included in groups, but even the more typical kids are really nice to each other."