Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Back to school note.

Dear Educators,

I am writing to you so that you will hear my voice and not jump to conclusions about me.  I am coming to your school in September and these are the things you need to know about me.

1.  I'm a great kid!

2.  I come with a past.

3.  I did not control my past.

4.  I have been shaped by my past.

5.  I am struggling with the after effects of my past.

6.  I struggle to sit still, to concentrate, to not look out the window, to listen to you, not to fiddle.

7.  Sometimes I 'flip out'.

8.  I don't like loud noises or surprises.

9.  I don't trust strangers.

10.  I'm often very tired.

11.  Making and keeping friends is hard for me.

12.  I don't get sarcasm.

I could go on, it's a long list of what you need to know before you decided where to 'pigeon-hole' me.  Disruptive, lacking motivation, poor concentration, confrontational, a problem..........

Why am I like this, I hope this is a question you ask yourself but not through gritted teeth but in a truly wondering, want to understand way.

1.  I have seen and heard things a child never should.

2.  I have not been held, sung to and soothed, only in my Mum's head.

3.  I have only known chaos.

4.  I have never had a day where I felt totally relaxed and could switch off.

5.  I have always had to be alert to run up stairs, to get out of the house, to duck behind the sofa, to ring the Police.

6.  I have never known if Mum would be smiling, bleeding or crying in the morning when I get up.

7.  Staying alert, listening for sounds, watching faces, sniffing for alcohol laden breath has kept me alive.

8.  I have to look for the hidden meaning in everything which is said to me as getting it wrong is dangerous.

9.  I have never consistently built a relationship with anyone, Mum wasn't allowed too and Dad was either my best or worst friend.

10.  I can't sleep now.  I'm scared to go to bed to leave Mum and need to stay awake in case he comes back in the night.

11.  I am very reactive, mostly I hit out, sometimes I run, but not 'cos I want too.

12.  I'm a great kid, so understand me, support me, care about me, then maybe one day I will be able to learn in your school and make some friends.


  1. Jane this is just so true and I see so much of this in my little girl still which breaks my heart. This is also why I am so passionate about helping Jane Leach with the Life2 project. Keep up your great work :0)

  2. Many thanks Jane, it is so hard for schools to see beyond the presenting behaviours which they just see as 'the problem'. Am VERY keen to raise awareness in education and in social care teams but they seem to be hardest to reach!

    Do not intend to rest until I have done everything I can to encourage the right kind of parenting support and understanding of the needs of the children.

    Will look your project up.