A Note To Yasin’s Teacher

I don’t know whether Yasin will enter a special primary school next year at 5 years old or whether he’ll home-school and have occupational, physical, and speech therapists as his teachers. Here’s what I have to say to them. 

Dear Yasin’s teacher,

If I could show you my mind, you would be arrested by the mess of worries and anxieties being internalized inside it. I am going to give you leave to see him, love him and know him. I worry about what most special needs sisters worry: that Yasin would be left out, overwhelmed, exhausted, teased.

I worry about whether you will see Yasin as you would see any other child. I want you to see him for who he is. As a whole. To look at his weaknesses, and help him overcome them whilst celebrating his strengths. Would you see Yasin as the gregarious child who just can’t get the words out to reach people? Would you see him as the child with the adorable shiny, curly hair? Would you see him as a child with a penchant for forcing people to see the best of themselves? Would you see how caring he is?  Would you be able to see the cheeky smile hiding behind those plump cheeks? Would you see him beyond his disability and see him as I do?

I worry about whether you will love Yasin despite how challenging he is. Would you be able to love getting through the potty training, the delayed vision, the unsteady gait, the self-harm as he hits and scratches himself, the messy and fussy eating? Would this be another major task for you, or would you love him as I do?

I worry about whether you will know Yasin despite his being limited to non-verbal communication. Would you know that Yasin can easily manipulate you whenever he feels too tired to do what you want him to? Would you know how to sustain your sense of humor so that Yasin will go along with what you say? Would you know that he is one clever boy if you just observe? Would you know that he is a great brother? Would you understand how difficult everyday things are for Yasin? Would you see his potential? Would you know how much we love him? How hard it was for us to let him go so that you may enjoy teaching him? Would you know that Yasin’s smile is more than enough compensation for the all the tough times he’s put you through? Would you just be satisfied to know the general details, or would you look hard and understand and know him as I do.

I hope you understand that you’ve found a gem to teach. I hope you understand that you’ve found a child who is capable of loving you if you teach him with compassion and sincerity. I hope you understand all this, and all the things left unsaid. I know you will. I believe in you. And I believe in Yasin’s ability too.


Yasin’s big sister

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