My name is Erik, and I am in the Pink group at ******** PreSchool. You may have noticed that I am a bit different to my peers. That’s because I have Autism Disorder.
Autism is a condition that affects communication, social skills and behaviour/play.
Right now, I still can’t speak - I have no words yet. So it is very hard for me to let my friends and teachers know what I want or need. I can get frustrated, upset and confused. Instead, I might try to scream, make a loud noise, push or pull someone to try and show them what I mean. My mum keeps reminding me that I will find my words one day, so I keep trying. In the meantime, it helps when people are patient with me, and understanding of my behaviour.
I really struggle to understand things that are new and different. I am still learning the rules at kinder, and still learning rules about life too. I don’t always understand instructions, or how to wait for a turn, or how to sit properly for mat time or to eat. I find it hard to share my space sometimes, and I can feel very anxious if another child cries or shouts. My teachers and parents are helping me learn how to handle all of this, but it might take me a bit longer than most other kids.
I do sometimes like to be around other children, but I don’t know how to make friends or play a game together. It helps when someone can play alongside me, or when an adult can show me how to play, help me share or take turns.
The world is a big and confusing place for me, and for this reason, I don’t always realise that I am in danger. I might try to put dangerous things in my mouth. Or I sometimes try to run out through open doors and across roads and carparks. I can’t swim and don’t understand danger around water. It helps when doors are kept shut and locked, but if you see me try to run away without my mum, dad or teacher, please help me stay safely indoors!
I love tickles, songs and music, and my favourite colour is red. I love to climb, jump, play on swings and go down a slide. I like to play ring-a-rosie, and run around with other kids. I love puzzles, bead frames, peg boards and blocks. I am learning how to throw and catch a ball, and I am just starting to understand how wonderful the alphabet and numbers are. I also like cuddles with mum or other people I know, even though I don’t know how to give a hug. If I like someone, I show them by leaning against them.
I hope that if you work in my room you can be understanding and open to my unique needs and abilities. It might also help if you can talk to your child and let them know that I am different in some ways, and that it’s ok to be different. Please also remember that I am just like any other child trying to find my way in the world and be happy.
Thank you for reading my letter, and I hope to meet you at kinder!