• School sends boy with autism touching letter after he failed his exams

    An autistic boy who failed his SATs has been given a letter from his school praising his talents which the exams didn’t measure.

    Ben Twist was given the heartwarming note by his assistant head teacher after sitting the tests earlier this year.

    Mum Gail says she was so touched by the letter – which was sent home with her son on the same day as the SATs results – that she could barely read it for her tears.

    The 11-year-old, who attends Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College in St Helens, was diagnosed with autism when he was five.

    Gail, also mum to son, Joseph, who is 13 and daughter, Ava, aged seven, says she couldn’t be more proud of Ben for sitting the exams.

    “I was so proud to be told that Ben was going to be able to take his SATs because not many children at the school do.

    “I wasn’t expecting him to pass and he didn’t but I was so proud of him and he was proud of himself for trying and that’s a massive achievement for him.

    “The letter came as a complete surprise, it was just so wonderful and the most beautiful letter I’ve ever read.

    “The fact that they’d addressed it to Ben was just so lovely too, he was so surprised and said how ‘awesome’ it was and couldn’t believe they really thought that about him.

    Ben Twist school letter

    “He’s such a sensitive and loving child and he’s got an amazing sense of humour – it’s amazing that the school are able to recognise that our children have other qualities than what they are tested on.”

    Until September of last year, Ben was in a mainstream school that he loved, but his parents noticed he had fallen behind so decided it would be best to enrol him in a specialist school.

    Since attending Lansbury Bridge School , Gail said Ben had made a massive improvement and was getting the one to one support he needed.

    Before, he used to get stressed when going to school but now is also excited to go and has made a best friend.

    On Friday, Ben came home with two letters, one with his results addressed to his parents and the other one addressed to him from the school’s assistant head teacher Ruth Clarkson.

    Gail was so moved by the letter to Ben decided to share the letter on social media which has since been shared more than 2,000 times.

    She said: “Ben’s made me so proud and I thought it was really important to share something this nice with other people.

    “I think more schools should recognise the arts and music alongside maths and English.

    “There’s definitely more to a child than just answering exam questions and these qualities should be recognised more.

    “Since sharing it I’ve had an amazing response. The internet can be such a cruel place so it’s great to know that this has made someone’s day.”

    Jane Grecic, head teacher at Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College, said: “As a special school, we usually only have a very small number of pupils who are able to take their SATs.

    “Ben was our only entry this year and on the run up to the tests he worked extremely hard supported throughout by everyone in his class team, Ruth Clarkson and his family.

    “The letter Ruth sent him is similar to one she sent last year to another pupil but obviously this one was personalised for Ben outlining his key strengths and interests.

    “Ruth sent it for no reason other than to reassure Ben that he is a wonderful talented young man regardless of the outcome of the tests.

    “All of our pupils are very special, unique individuals whose qualities aren’t always measurable through standard testing. We are still, however, in a position to be able to celebrate their individuality and achievements of which there are many.”

    Read the full article online: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/autistic-boy-who-failed-sats-8397091

    Roisin Norris

    Hi I'm Roisin Norris, Digital Marketing Executive at DisabledGo and I will be uploading blogs and news for you all to read.

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    • How great to see a school that cares and puts that caring in actions. Even if Ben did not expect to pass his SATs it would still come as a disappoint when the results were known. This letter shows the school understands their pupils. While SATs are used as a guide for academic results, not everyone is academically gifted.

      However, the talents mentioned in the letter will certainly benefit Ben on is progession through the rest of his school years and his transition to adulthood and for Ben may be more of use than academic results.

      Good luck Ben for your life still to come.

      • Paul Horsfield

        I agree it’s so nice to see a school that takes time to recognise that each pupil is an individual with individual skills instead of just a means to an appropriate OFSTED rating. This indeed a special school with special staff for them to do such a wonderful thing after what can be a scary experience for the kids.