The following is a letter I typed up and then had the teacher put in all the kids backpacks. I think it is important to spread awareness and not be shy about your child being "special". More moms need to speak up about their child so that others feel comfortable around them too. ENJOY!
Our daughter Oaklynn is in Ms. Melanie’s Preschool class with your child. We wanted to introduce her to you! You see, Oaklynn has Rett Syndrome. She has a damaged gene which 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!
So, Oaklynn 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 is trapped inside her body. We listen to the sounds she makes to know what she wants. She also uses her eyes to communicate. Oaklynn will be working with therapists during the school day to work on things like walking and ways to communicate. Your child will see her using an eye-gaze computer and a picture board to communicate as well as answer questions in the classroom.
Oaklynn is a very friendly and loving little girl. Because she can’t control her body, she pulls her hair a lot and may swing her arms around. She does not mean to hit others but sometimes she just gets so excited. She also wears arm braces a lot to help calm her down and keep her from hitting herself or pulling her hair. Oaklynn has a G-Tube (a hole in her abdomen that allows us to put fluid directly into her stomach). Your child may see her getting liquid through her tube. She can eat by mouth but will not swallow fluid and may need to get hydration through her tube.
She can’t wait to spend most of her day with some active, wonderful children! Our hope is that this will be a great experience for everyone. Oaklynn will learn from a wonderful teacher, fun students and friends! And, we hope, your child will learn about a different kind of “special” child. I’m sure they will have fun helping her learn and playing games! If your child is interested in hanging out with Oaklynn outside of the classroom, we would LOVE that too!
If you (or your child) have ANY questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call Whitney. Her cell number is xxx-xxx-xxxx or her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or your child would like to learn more about Oaklynn or Rett Syndrome we would love for you to check out our blog at mysilentangelsfight.blogspot.com.
Thank you in advance for getting things off on the right foot and helping your child understand that Oaklynn is a fun little girl (just like your child) that just needs a little special help!
Whitney and Austin Cooley (Oaklynn’s Parents)
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