Why this teacher’s letter to a boy with autism had his mum in tears

"These tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities" ?


These days it seems kids are having to do more and more exams, and from a younger age.


And here at MFM, while we do see that these can be useful in measuring how a child’s doing – and where they might need help – we also get that how well or not your child does in tests isn’t the be all and end all.

It looks as though assistant headteacher Ruth Clarkson obviously feels the same way, too, judging by the amazing letter she sent to 11-year-old Ben Twist, who was diagnosed with autism aged 5.

In it Mrs Clarkson, who teaches at Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College in St Helens, Merseyside – designed to meet the needs of kids with complex learning difficulties – expresses just beautifully how brilliantly Ben is doing, despite the fact his SATs exam results weren’t quite as good as he’d hoped.

“A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities,” she writes.

“They are important and you have done so well, but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.”

She goes on to list all of Ben’s amazing qualities, including his kindness, his ability to express his opinion, his ability  to make and keep friends and his growing independence.

Ben’s mum Gail shared the letter on Twitter where it’s been retweeted more than 4,000 times and ‘liked’ 7,000 times – and, as you can imagine, Mrs Clarkson has received tonnes of praise.

One person said: “My son is autistic and starts school in a few weeks. Really hope he’ll get the same care/understanding as your son has.”

Another wrote: “What a beautiful thing to do for a child, Ben sounds like a fantastic little Dude too :)”

Here here. Mrs Clarkson, Ben, we salute you ?

Photo: Gail Twist on Twitter

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