Dear (Insert Teacher/Name Here),
My name is ____________, and I am ___ years old. I am the child of a wounded Combat Army Soldier who fought in Iraq. I am very proud of my daddy. Sadly though, my daddy suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, injured his head and has Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as his back and knees were hurt too. I know I am not the only military child you have in your school or county, but would like to take a moment to say a few things that you might not know about me. My family has many physical and emotional challenges at home and “normal” is not something we are familiar with. Sometimes, my daddy has very bad days and because I am not sure why he is upset or does weird things, I have bad days too. I can be very quiet, angry, and sometimes I can test your patience as my Pre-K teacher told me. Sometimes I can act out a little because I am bothered by some things my daddy does and not know how to express myself. My daddy also lost most of his hearing and must wear hearing aids. Sometimes, I can be louder than most children so my “home voice” can be heard by my daddy. Some days I just want to be louder because I can do it at school where I can't do it at home.
I like to run, and play with loud toys because we can’t have such things here because it scares my daddy. This is something I would like you to work with me on, and be able to talk to my mommy about. My mommy would very much like to set up a “code” system for you on days where I am upset so you will know or that we are having a rough week. Maybe you can call her at home and talk to her about this. This does not mean bad behavior is excused but expectations of me might be a little more challenging than other children who don’t live with daddies like I do. My daddy isn’t scary, crazy or weird. He just went through a lot and was very hurt while overseas.
My Mommy takes care of my daddy full-time with no breaks or help. We do not have any family in the area except for my Nana in Virginia. As much as she would love to be here for field trips, volunteer her time, or attend all the parent-teacher conferences, it is difficult because she must find a sitter for my little brother and my daddy too. Mommy says that “Uncle Sam” doesn’t pay us very much, so money is tight and we can’t afford a babysitter like some others. We also can’t afford much of the fund raising items or have anyone to sell them to. She is very good at doing home projects for you if you need help, saving ALL the box tops, labels and pop tabs and sending them in. Conferences about me are easier on her with phone calls because she can’t bring my brother and daddy with her to see you. Please don’t think she doesn’t want to help with everything because I know she does and badly too.
My daddy sometimes isn’t able to take care of himself but now has “Gunny Sarge” who is a service dog which you will hear much about. We are hoping this will help get my daddy out more and not be so afraid of the outside world. My mommy needs a lot of help especially with me because I am so little and do not understand much of what is wrong. If you could, will you please take the time to read some of the information my mommy has enclosed for you so you can be familiar with these challenges at home? My mommy says communication, education and working together is going to be very important with my school. She says it will be a team effort and maybe you could help her with some of the challenges I face. We don’t get to go out like other families, or be around other children, so sometimes I want to play more and need more guidance and patience as I start this new school year with you.
My mommy is always willing to work with me on nightly basis as well as help me with homework. I will promise to try and be my very best in your school and classroom. We want you to be aware so if you have other children like me, you can help those mommies and daddies too with their children. There are 100 children in our county who are military; twenty-three of those are High school like my older brother. We are hoping that by coming forward and talking to you about my daddy’s injuries will help you understand why our family feels isolated and sometimes normal things for other families, is not what our family can do. I hope that you can help me have a wonderful school year and for many years to come as well as be patient with my Mommy as she does her very best to be supermom with all of us. Thank you!
**I had my son write his own name here**
Totally made me cry. It's perfect, it's my home almost to the t. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Beautiful. I hope you find peace in your home. There is hope and help.ReplyDelete
This made my now 14 year old cry. Wish I had sent this to his 3rd grade teacher..... It is a long road.ReplyDelete
I have been using this letter adapted to my family's needs now and putting information like you said with it, for all my young children. The first child's teacher demanded that I have my child's hearing checked and be seen for add. I did all tht and he was fine. I made copies for the principal, vice principal and guidance. This has made a HUGE difference and you're right, our children are just a bit different and they have bad days based on daddies bad days. Since using this layout, all the teachers have worked with me on emailing or calling for parent teacher conferences, even sent home some projects that I could cut out to help her and send back and the communications have improved 100%. I wanted you to know this helped me a lot and I appreciate the facf our teachers were honest to admit they didn't know about ptsd/tbi. They were more understanding as well about johnny's mom being the only mom who didn't come to chaperone although she is home. I used the FOV packet with this. Bad behavio is unexcusable but don't tell me that my child must have ADD ADHD and need medicated when they simply are around children for the first time and new loud toys. Anyway, thank you for this.ReplyDelete