Dear Grade 3 Teachers,
We wanted to let you know that Johnny is having a really hard time right now. He is experiencing a lot of anxiety and is very negative about going to school and just wants to stay home. We were expecting some of this the first week back but it’s continued last week and well into this weekend with him crying himself to sleep on Saturday night. We told him to let go of thinking about school and weekends are for fun. We had a much better day on Sunday but he went to bed starting to get anxious again thinking about getting up extra early so we could just play toys before school.
We have tried to talk to him about school and he says, “I am finding grade 3 hard. The work is hard Mommy and it’s just hard. I don’t want to go I just want to have a break. When is spring break mommy? ”
I know it’s pretty normal for kids to be struggling and finding the curriculum hard and resisting going to school. But we have to look at it through Johnny’s eyes and how he has to figure out every moment of every day of how he is supposed to talk to peers and teachers, to learn to express himself and to make sure he’s making the correct decisions for every moment of every day. As well he has to try to learn the same as the other kids especially when he knows that he’s different and and feeling like he’s not measuring up because he has his own high standards for himself never mind everyone else’s expectations. He keeps trying to do a monumental effort with a smile on his face but is letting loose at home.
At home we are finding that he is extremely negative about everything that we tell him to do ask him to do or that he tries to do. ” Mommy I don’t like….” Is his response to the simplest instructions. If I ask him to bring me 2 cups he will tell me he doesn’t like the number 2. If I ask him to put his pants on “I don’t like pants.” We’ve encountered this kind of negativity from him at this intensity when he was in preschool and he was 3 1/2 and that was when the Autism diagnosis occurred and we were doing a lot of intervention. The preschool told us he had really good days at the school but they warned us moving forward like that we would be getting behavioural challenges at home.
So we wanted you both to be aware of what is churning inside of him right now and the best thing that we can do is to be extremely positive around him. He thrives when he is encouraged. Also he can do anything he sets his mind to but if the task is made into smaller chunks for him so that he has small successes one after another it will build his confidence up. It is not enough to tell him to not worry and to not stress out about everything because he is just a very determined little boy who thinks the way he thinks and no one can change his mind. All we can do is try to guide him and turn his negativity into positivity.
We will let you know how he is this week.
Thanks again for all of your support regarding Johnny.
Mommy and Daddy