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Dr Maya Angelou: Teaching Still

A few weeks ago announced the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou. This remarkable woman left the world with an enormous body of work filled with her insight and wisdom. One of her famous quotes that is timeless and true is: "I've learned that people will forget what you've said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you've made them feel."

This quote is pertinent to share with your children, especially if they happen to be of special needs, such as Asperger's Syndrome. Since these children have an extremely difficult time reading basic social queues, they can seem awkward and abrupt. Though "Aspies" don't mean to be rude, others not used to their personalities can be cruel. In turn, "Aspies" can be the target of ridicule and torment.

If your child shares with you in a timely manner when they are bullied, you can take immediate steps to correct the issue. However, if he/she holds onto the hurt for a few years and then tells you about it, the dynamics have changed. It would be very difficult to track down the first grade teacher to report this injustice when your child is in high school.

Times like these, you feel helpless and worry about what damage this prior badgering did to your child's psyche. However, there is something that can be done to start the healing process.

Encourage your child to write a letter to the people that caused the hurt. Let your child vent and spell out exactly what they did and how it made he/she feel. During the letter writing process, do not censor him/her--the act of putting down on paper these traumas will take the power away from the bad memories.

Once the letter is done, give him/her the option of sharing it with you before he/she destroys it. Be sure to give them much praise of being brave in facing these dark memories head on and putting them to rest. In the end, your child will be all the more stronger and will remember how you made him/her feel.

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