Following on from my previous post here is Middle Girls letter
Hello my name is Middle Girl
My mummy has put together this little booklet to help you understand me.
In 2010 I came to live with my new mummy and daddy. I’ve had a very traumatic start in life and this has meant that I’ve developed differently to other children, I’m emotionally very behind, I have speech and language difficulties and struggle with word finding, processing and memory. I also have a working diagnosis of Autism so I need you to be extra considerate of all of this and not expect me to be the same as the other children my age. Mummy says I’m a very complicated little girl that is very scared most of the time but she also says I’m the best at pretending to be OK and can trick most people, sometimes even her!
The adults in my early life did lots of things to make me feel scared and frightened, I never talk about them though because they’re too scary. I haven’t been able to trust anyone since, not even my new mommy and daddy. I will always do my best to keep the adults around me happy by being extra helpful and chatting to them, I smile a lot so that people will take less notice of me because if I look happy then the adults around me feel happy, if the adults are happy then I feel safer. Unhappy adults can be dangerous. I hide behind my smile because I’m scared. I need you to help me feel safe; mummy says it’s the most important thing ever.
I don’t have much confidence and my self-esteem is rock bottom my mummy says, I find my work really hard and I’m very behind but I don’t let that stop me, I always work enthusiastically because I want to please you, I need you to see when I’m pushing myself to hard and help me to see that you still think I’m great even if I get things wrong or don’t understand. I put myself under a lot of pressure to be great.
I might get upset if we do any work or topics on families or about when we were babies. Some of my memories are difficult for me to think about as well as talk about, there may be things I don’t know about my early years making it even more difficult for me to take part.
If I have a problem I will find it very difficult to explain and will need you to be really patient with me and not rush me because when I’m scared I can’t hear what you are saying or find the right words to speak, if you rush me I will worry that you’re getting angry and panic. Sometimes if it’s taking a while It’s better to tell me to have a think of the words I need and come back when I’m ready to talk. If other children talk for me or tell you their version of events I will just agree with them because it’s easier and I will think that you might get frustrated if I disagree, but this just makes me secretly angry with you for not giving me the chance to talk, even if you tried, I can be very irrational with my thinking mommy says. I will also get very worried if I think your angry. I might worry your annoyed with me because you’ve told someone else off. If you shout at someone, I will be really scared, if you shout at me I will be terrified. If I think your annoyed I wont hear what you say because I will be too frightened to listen.
I often get things mixed up and sometimes when you tell the class things like ‘if you have some shoe boxes at home please bring them for next week’s topic’ I’ll get very worried and tell mummy that I MUST have a box for the next day. Mummy understands that I get mixed up and tells me that if I need to take something into class then I must get a letter or note so she knows what is actually expected rather than my mixed up messages, please could you help me by making sure mummy knows if I need to bring anything in to school or do something for you, telling me to write it in my diary isn’t always enough, sometimes I can’t read what I’ve written or have forgotten what you said before I’ve had chance to write it but I won’t ask for help, please help me by making sure I have all the information to give to my mummy.
I don’t want to talk about my past and my adoption in school, some of it is very upsetting and sad, Mommy says it’s probably because I’m not feeling secure enough yet and when I am I’ll be happy for the children to know more about me. Mommy says it’s very important that all the staff in school know that I’m adopted because otherwise they might accidentally say something that could upset me and that could be upsetting for them as well as for me.
I love to play with my friends on the playground but mummy worry’s that my language and social difficulties make it difficult for me to ‘chat’ to my peers, please can you keep an eye on me on the playground and help me if I’m struggling with my peer group, I won’t ask for help. Sometimes if I’m struggling I will play with the boys because all they do is run about and that’s a lot easier for me, but actually I don’t like playing rough and feel quite scared sometimes if I get hurt in their games. I don’t even like running about, Mommy says I use so much energy worrying that I don’t have much left for moving never mind running and I don’t even sleep that much so my body is always exhausted.
I don’t like telling my mummy when I’ve had a bad day, I’m very good at hiding things from people because I have such a big smile. If mummy doesn’t know I’ve had a bad day then she won’t know I need her help to talk about things and If mummy doesn’t help me I will get angry and scream and shout at bedtime. Mummy likes to help me when I’ve been finding things difficult at school by keeping me close and calm and letting me talk about things so I can feel safer again, If my mommy does this every time I feel sad I will soon learn that I can trust her and that she can help me, It would really help my mummy if you could tell her about any upsets, sulks or strops I have at school even if they seem really small and unimportant, they might be important to me. I expect my mommy to read my mind, I expect her to know everything about me even if I don’t tell her, It will be the same with you, I need you to really ‘see’ me. If you think I’m happy and have settled in really quickly and appear to be having a great time and building a strong relationship with you, then you haven’t really ‘seen’ me and I’ve fooled you as well. I need to know that you’re listening to my mommy and that you’re both trying to keep me safe together. Mommy will know when I’m feeling secure in school because I will stop feeling angry at home on school days.
My mummy has also put lots of useful information in this booklet, please copy anything you might want to refer to again or keep as a reminder but please give this book back to mummy when you’ve had a good read so she can update it and give it to my next teacher next year. If you want to talk to my mummy about anything in this book or anything you see me doing or hear me saying, she will be happy to chat, she can talk about me for hours and she knows me better than anyone else. Mommy says if there is anything she can do to help you, help me, she will.
I hope we have a lovely time learning together.