One candle’s revelation: The way to a child’s heart is through their…. email account!?

There’s one child I’ve taught who’s not great with people. He does not have an ASD diagnosis yet he experiences similar difficulties with social interactions. He would rather spend his day playing computer games than having to deal with his peers, and he has very few friends.

As you can imagine, it takes a bit to get this kid talking. When you ask him to answer a question, you’ll likely receive a shrug. His default position is in a corner under a desk- a safe place from the unhappiness and lack of belonging that the world has offered him. Communication with such a student has its complications.


Depressed Boy by Tjook on Flickr under CC BY-ND 2.0

So, imagine my surprise and delight when I got an email from this lad saying “Dear Miss, you’re the best teacher in the school!”

That you are the best teacher “ever” or the best teacher “in the world”  is not an uncommon refrain from primary school students. This more humble sentiment expressed in such a simple statement, though, manages to wield more power than any of those lofty ideals.

Perhaps it’s because I so rarely get communication from this child, that it’s all the more significant when I do. Or because the harder you have to work for something, the more satisfying it feels when you make progress. In any regard, I’ll chalk it up as a win.

So, thank you technology- you have provided an avenue for this candle to have a continued dialogue with a little boy who may not otherwise have had a way to listen, or to be heard. Thanks to this boy’s email account- and a candle willing to try something different- a way forward has been lit. 

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