We have ten days to go, one more Monday. School work will just be about finished now.

This year I have seen my son progress in more ways than one. Not only his speech, his reading, his social skills, his playing but also his emotional well-being.

So thank you. Thank you for listening to me, for pushing him as much as he would allow you to. For returning him to me safely every afternoon.

From the start he’d always smell of perfume, this comforted me as his mam, I knew to smell of perfume he must be having cwtches, he was being made to feel safe, he was loved and cared for like only a teacher could. Of course the panic of why is he having so many cwtches is he really struggling in school crossed my mind until I walked into the harvest festiv al and I knew he smelt of perfume because he liked you, the look he was giving you I’ve only seen a handful of times before .He looked at you in I have to leave you for my mam but I’ll be back way and come on over to me, but when it was time to go he happily smiled whilst catching your hand as if to say I told you so!

At the Christmas concert when he came off the stage smiling, after joining in for the first year I knew he had settled with you. You see I was worried, a non verbal child and no lsa from last year who even knew him, how was he going to be. But he was ok, he made a friend it may have been his teacher but a friends a friend right?

There were those few issues right at the beginning where I didn’t think he was settling but you listened and it was all forgotten.

I remember when he had the dentist, you walked him out. He held your hand like he’d known you all his life, he made you open the gate and was trying to drag you to the car. If he could have taken you with him then he would have.

When I asked you how we could get him to read more than one word at a time, you said you’d have a think. I said we as I didn’t expect you to do it all alone.

After Christmas you tried him with reading, you believed me that he could. That I wasn’t this scary parent who says my kid can do everything. I was taken seriously in his review and things moved on. He attempted things that you’d not had to do with that age children before, he’s now reading so well and with so much confidence.

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You had a week off sick, that week Z was quiet, some may say it was because he had a cold as his parent I knew he was missing his teacher that week he didn’t smell at all of perfume. That week I knew he wasn’t having cwtches, and he possibly didn’t have a friend. That weekend we had a huge meltdown at home during which he said your name, call L, I’ve never heard him say your name before and I don’t call teachers by their first names. The whole worry of how many times you’ve had to settle him in school crossed my mind again.

But the day you came back Z was happy that was my proof he really did miss you.

The Easter parade, where he held your hand looked at you the entire time you walked around. He didn’t leave you, he smiled the many laps of the yard you done. He came sat on my lap but didn’t really take his eyes off you! Kept watch, the moment he thought you had left he got up to run, he ran about, he spotted you he smiled laughed and relaxed. These little things you most probably didn’t notice. For another member of staff to come over and say how much progress he’s made this last few weeks and how he doesn’t stop chatting in class was more proof that he really has progressed more than I could have hoped for. I hoped he’d make some progress don’t every parent, that’s what school is for.

The day he had chicken pox and I was called, you were covered in snot, he wasn’t well but kept his eyes on you when I told him ill be back he happily went with you, I knew you’d look after him and give him lots of cwtches whilst I got my stuff before taking him to the car.

At sports day he held your hand around the obstacle course waiting on instructions, when he had my hand he followed your lead.

Thank you for keeping my son safe this year, for having the patience to deal with his phases of stripping for your attention, for giving him cwtches and looking after him like he was your own, for going out of your way to find new foods that he will eat and providing them for helping him find his voice .

But most importantly for letting him be your friend.

Here’s to next year, when he gets to do it all again, when you can continue to teach him like you have done this year, to push him to reach his potential, in twelve months time he maybe your mini me but he may also have the skills to make the move on much easier.

I know you have done it with your team .

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