This school touched a mother’s heart when they went out of their way to make sure her autistic son stayed positive after poor standardized test results.
Gail Twist is the mother of Ben, who is autistic. As such, he tends to struggle on standardized tests while excelling in other areas of life. Following his end of key stage SATs at age 11, his school sent him a touching letter, along with the results.
Gail posted the letter she received on Twitter, along with this tweet, saying she was “in tears.”
The letter begins with congratulations, something the Twists probably weren’t expecting.
“I am writing to you to congratulate you on your attitude and success in completing your end of key stage SATs.”
Instead of pointing out errors, the letter, from Mrs. Clarkson, points out all the progress Ben made over the course of the year and the hard work he put in.
“Gil, Lynn, Angela, Steph and Anne have worked so well with you this year and you have made some fabulous progress.”
The letter then lets Ben (and his parents) know that the test results are enclosed, but assures him that the tests are not the only measure of his abilities.
“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. 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.”
Even if Mrs. Clarkson had left the letter like this, it would have been a thoughtful and touching way of showing Ben that he is appreciated.
She didn’t stop there, however. Instead, she went ahead and detailed a long list of other traits and talents Ben has that the test couldn’t measure.
“Your artistic talents, your ability to work in a team, your growing independence, your kindness, your ability to express your opinion, your abilities in sport, your ability to make and keep friends, your ability to discuss and evaluate your own progress, your design and building talents, your musical ability.”
Mrs. Clarkson even explained that:
“We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and these are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely bright young man.”
The letter concludes with the ultimate praise: “Well done Ben, we are very proud of you.”
Gail told a news outlet she didn’t mind people sharing the post, saying:
Considering her tweet currently has 5,795 retweets, 11,699 likes, and 577 comments, it is safe to say that the message has spread far and wide.
Gail’s original post about this letter was from July 2016. She is still active on social media, giving us a glimpse of how Ben and her other children are doing.
According to her Twitter about section, Gail is a:
“Mum of 3 – 1 with Autism & Epilepsy, Head of Digital Engagement for @CoopDigital (Gail Lyon @ work), Governor @CamDotCoop, views all mine.”
Most of Gail’s more recent posts on Twitter focus on the tech industry, particularly women in tech, but there are also occasional posts about family and more.
Based on the family photos posted on her Facebook account, it seems as if everyone is doing well and enjoying life.