'Autism doesn’t mean I’m bad': 7-year-old girl's moving letter

Queensland primary schooler, Cadence, wrote a note to her mum that brought her to tears.
Queensland primary schooler, Cadence, wrote a note to her mum that brought her to tears. Photo: Facebook/IamCadence

A seven-year-old moved her mum to tears when she wrote explaining how she understands "autism doesn't mean I'm bad".

The Queensland primary schooler Cadence, told her mother Angela, that she was confused about whether her autism somehow made her violent or "bad", while she hid underneath her teacher's desk at school. 

She hid there - as she does when she wants to feel safe - after hearing stories about how children with autism "hurt people" and "need to be tied up".

But she then declared that despite what she'd heard "I was born [with] autism but that doesn't mean I was born bad". 

Angela, reduced to tears by her daughter's words, explained "I have happy tears that you know what is true and I have sad tears because there are lots of people who don't know what is true".

A photograph of the letter has gained more than 1870 shares after being posted to the I am Cadence Facebook page.

 

What 'messages' are children hearing - from ourselves, from other parents, at school, from media and in the general...

Posted by I am Cadence on  Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Angela felt the letter was important to share on Facebook to remind people to think about how the words we say may affect the children who hear them.

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"What 'messages' are children hearing - from ourselves, from other parents, at school, from media and in the general community?" Angela asked in the post.

"And what are the 'take home' learnings, spoken or unspoken, they are internalising from these messages?"

"Cadence's sensory differences means she hears, sees and observes every detail around her - every conversation, every sight, every smell; as many autistic children do."

Angela's post struck a chord with many Facebook commenters, with parents asking if they could share the note with their children's teachers.

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