It is ALMOST back to school time. Around here that not only means getting Brooklyn ready to return to school but it also means helping her peers get to know and understand her too! Brooklyn will be in the fourth grade this year so most of her classmates have probably been in class with her at one time BUT there is always that chance of new students that have not met her! Each year I type up a letter and staple one of her Purple Cards to the letter. I take them in the night of the open house so that her classmates can take the letter home and read it with their families – it gives them the opportunity to email or call me with any questions they might have!
Here is this years letter:
My name is Kelly, my daughter Brooklyn will be in Mrs. Davis’ fourth grade class this fall. Chances are, by now, your child has been in class with Brooklyn, if not I wanted to introduce her to your family!
Brooklyn has Rett Syndrome. She has a damaged gene which typically regulates a special protein in our bodies. This protein helps us to walk, talk, and move around…..it really helps us do lots of things!
Since this gene is damaged, Brooklyn cannot walk, or talk, or even use her hands very well….but she is full of love, life, and energy, plus she is smart! She understands everything going on around her….she just cannot respond in words. She uses her eyes to communicate. Your child will see her using an eye-gaze board to communicate as well as answer questions in the classroom.
Brooklyn will also have a personal aide with her in the classroom at all times to assist her with activities and tests. She is SO excited to get back to school to see her old friends and make new ones! I would love for you to encourage your child to talk with her just like every other peer in the class. Her aide will be there to help out the conversation if needed!
My hope is that this will be a great experience for everyone. Brooklyn will learn from a wonderful teacher, fun students, and friends! And it is my hope that your child will learn a bit about determination, patience, and different ways of communicating from Brooklyn! If your child is interested in hanging out with Brooklyn outside of the classroom, we would LOVE that too! She is just like your child, she loves to hang out with her friends, watch tv, play games, go to movies, everything a fourth grader loves!
If you (or your child) have ANY questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me at home. My cell number is xxx-xxx-xxxx or my email is email@example.com If you or your child would like to learn more about Brooklyn or Rett Syndrome we would love for you to check out our blog at www.specialmommyx2.com
Thank you in advance for getting things off on the right foot and helping your child understand that Brooklyn is a fun loving kiddo (just like your child) that just needs a little special help!
Kelly Butler (Brooklyn’s Mom)
Rett Syndrome Families – If you want to get your own personalized cards visit www.gp2c.org/thepurplecard