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This School Letter To An Autistic Boy Moved His Mother To Tears

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This School Letter To An Autistic Boy Moved His Mother To Tears

When 11 year-old Ben Twist received a letter from his school in Merseyside, England, explaining that he had failed to pass the exams needed to get into high school, his mother was reduced to tears…but not in the way you’d expect.

Instead of a standard letter informing them of the grades, they received a heart-warming response from Ben’s assistant head teacher, Ruth Clarkson, acknowledging Ben’s attributes and achievements outside of the exam room.

Ben, who has autism, was praised for his social qualities and creative abilities – skills and talents that were not measured in the standard exams taken by Ben, his friends and thousands of other children every year.

School Letter Austism

    Ben’s mother, Gail Twist, was so touched by the letter that she posted it to Twitter to highlight the school’s understanding warmth and ability to acknowledge that children’s talents cannot be defined by a simple pass or fail:

    “The letter came as a complete surprise, it was just so wonderful and the most beautiful letter I’ve ever read. The fact that they’d addressed it to Ben was just so lovely too, he was so surprised and said how ‘awesome’ it was and couldn’t believe they really thought that about him.”

    The school has highlighted the importance of understanding autism and the different ways in which children of all abilities learn and flourish. Essential life skills such as team work, forging friendships, kindness, independence and a positive attitude should be celebrated just as much, if not more, than the pass mark on an exam paper. As Ruth Clarkson wrote in the letter – addressed to Ben personally – that “these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities”.

    Featured photo credit: Mercury Press via telegraph.co.uk

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    Jenny Marchal

    A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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    Last Updated on January 5, 2022

    How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

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    How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

    Children are most likely to say that they want to just lounge around or rest for a while after spending hours listening to lecture after lecture from their teachers. There is nothing wrong with this if they had a rough day.

    What’s disturbing, is if they deliberately stay away from schoolwork or procrastinate when it comes to reviewing for their tests or completing an important science project.

    When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

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    You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

    1. Help them set targets

    Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

    2. Preparation is key

    At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

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    3. Teach them to mark important dates

    You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

    4. Schedule regular study time

    Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

    5. Get help

    Some kids find it hard to digest or absorb mathematical or scientific concepts. Ask your child if they are having difficulties with their subjects and if they would like to seek the help of a tutor. There is nothing wrong in asking for the assistance of a tutor who can explain complex subjects.

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    6. Schedule some “downtime”

    Your child needs to relax from time to time. During his break, you can consider bringing your child to the nearest mall or grocery store and get them a treat. You may play board games with them during their downtime. The idea is to take his mind off studying for a limited period of time.

    7. Reward your child

    If your child achieves their goals for the school year, you may give them a reward such as buying them the gadget they have always wanted or allowing them to vacation wherever they want. By doing this, you are telling your child that hard work does pay off.

    Conclusion

    You need to take the time to monitor your child’s performance in school. Your guidance is essential to helping your child realize the need to prioritize their school activities. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to expose your child to habits that will lay down the groundwork for their future success.

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    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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