A year eight student, with special needs, has penned a heartbreaking essay about the things he wishes his teacher knew.
His mother, Amy Preslar Saunders, shared her son's words to Love What Matters, revealing that it broke their hearts to read of his feelings, challenges and daily struggles.
Austin, who has autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Fine Motor Skill Delay and Anxiety Disorder, was asked to share three things he wanted his teacher to know, in order to understand him better.
The young student wrote:
I wish that they knew that I am autistic. I wish that my teacher knew that I need help on a lot of things like my handwriting. I wish that my teacher knew that I have a depressed life sometimes. I wish my teacher knew that I am not being defiant I am overwhelmed shutting down. I wish that my teacher knew that I am very good at bottling up anger and having outbursts.
Austin's teacher responded that he was "doing great so far" and told him she was glad he was in her class.
Although Austin's words were confronting for his mum, Amy wrote that she loved what his teacher had written, noting, "she has been great for Austin."
"We hope this encourages other parents, teachers, and kids to keep fighting!" she added.
Austin's words have struck a chord with many other parents, teachers and students. The post has been shared almost 1,500 times as of Friday and has attracted over two hundred comments.
"This is why I'm a teacher because I know that my one comment to a kid and being that source of support to give them confidence can make a difference to them," one commenter wrote. "I'm glad that this child has one."
"Austin is wonderfully articulate and already is advocating for himself," reads another, "I believe these challenges he faces now will help him to be a strong, compassionate man who cares for others--he's already on the way. His teacher sounds just lovely, too."
"I love this teacher!" added another. "Don't make a big deal about it- just say the only thing that this student needs to hear "Glad you're in my class." She gets it."
Read the full post below: