Growing up my mum was a Teaching Assistant, I never really knew what one was but I knew that my mum would help out in the lower years and then progressed onto one to one help.

I can remember thinking that was strange that a child would need one to one help with an adult.

Fast forward 20 odd years, I am now sending my son into school and am a lot more aware and thankful for teaching assistants:

I am thankful that my son’s teaching assistant keeps a close eye on him, while at the same time letting him be independent.

I am thankful that she knows his ticks and stims and can effortlessly move him away from stresses.

I am thankful that she will come out of the classroom at the end of the day with 2 thumbs up if it has been a brilliant day, down to a slight shake of the head meaning we need to go and see the teacher and herself once everyone has left the playground.

I am thankful that when my son is having an autistic meltdown, she will make sure he doesn’t hurt himself, while simultaneously sitting and calmly reading a story so that when he has calmed down, he can come and sit calmly and read a book with her.

I am thankful that she sticks up for him in our special needs meetings, and pushes for help and support.

I am thankful that she puts so much care into my sons learning, even down to buying sensory equipment out of her own pocket to use in the classroom.

I am thankful that she goes on courses and will tell us if she has learnt anything that she thinks we will find helpful.

I am thankful that in the morning when we say we have had a bad day, she nods and doesn’t judge.

I am thankful that she knows my son and doesn’t treat him like just another child

Teachers are amazing and they deserve so much recognition but behind every teacher there are the learning support assistants.

They can either be another body, helping to tidy away, taking a group of children out to practice their spellings, or even taking the children to the toilet during story time.

They can be like my son's learning support assistant who is a child’s one to one, a person who is both enabling my son to learn, but also being there to nurture him and his special needs.

Whatever type of teaching assistant, they do an amazing job at helping our children and I will eternally be thankful.

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