For some students, it #startswithsocks

Francesca Roberts

We've all been there, trying to coax feet into seemingly innocent bits of fabric. But what if I told you that for some children, the battle of the socks is just the start? They are about to face a multitude of things that can make the simple act of getting to school a heroic journey.

As well as fighting with their socks this morning, they’ve also had to deal with the fact that the toast wasn’t the texture they wanted it to be, 

That the shirt they are wearing is scratching their neck,

It’s raining. 

The neighbour's dog is barking too loud. 

The playground! With too many people making too much noise 

Someone is kicking a ball that feels like it’s going to hit them in the head. 

The corridors are crowded. 

Their backpack is heavy.  

And they have experienced a multitude of other thoughts and feelings, too many to name.

But they’ve made it to the classroom. They sit down, exhausted, because they’ve been in fight or flight mode for over an hour now.  And now they need to focus on learning something tricky, algebra, all while the student next to them is clicking their pen over and over again

And it’s only 9:15am. 

They’ve got a full day of learning ahead of them.

This isn’t going to be the case for all students, but it is for some students. And for those students, the thought of facing this day in and day out is too much. Who could blame them?

At Gaia Learning, we see the daily battles that some of our learners face, and we're here to tell you that we get it. And we’ve lived it with our own families. When these challenges arise for our learners, we support them with the same dedication and care that we would give to our own children. We know that a one-size-fits-all approach to learning simply doesn't work for these children. And we know what does work for them. We create an environment where understanding, listening, empathy, and flexibility reign supreme. 

For some children, the journey to the classroom is like navigating through a jungle of sensory experiences. It can be overwhelming, and as adults, it's crucial that we acknowledge and validate these feelings. When a learner is struggling to be in the classroom, it's worth reminding yourself that sometimes, it #startswithsocks.


Francesca is the Head of Marketing and Student experience at Gaia Learning. She has an autistic brother, who struggled in a mainstream school for many years.

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