I have returned from the drop off at school again today in tears. My boy, a beautiful, curious and sweet boy of nine years of age, has again bravely entered a world that is confusing, lonely and quite incomprehensible at times.
He has autism. This is school and, indeed life, for him.
All the way to school he asked to come home with me. I had forgotten his afternoon tea bag but said I would come back with it. That was a bad start. Anything out of the ordinary can make him feel unsettled and unhappy. Lucky for me today, he was feeling pretty upbeat and the begging to return home stopped when we pulled up at the gate.
Our neighbours pulled up behind us. She is my friend and the boys are in the same class. We tried to wait for them but they seemed to be going very slow and I realised the boy didn’t want to walk in to school with my boy.
So, like always, I put my head down and kept going.
We put my boy’s bag where he has been told to put it so that he has a regular comforting spot. That place was taken and even after I moved some bags along, my neighbours boy pushed our bag into a hard to get to place, squashed up, inaccessible.
If I wasn’t there I’m pretty sure my boy’s bag would be on the ground. Pushed off. Left there.
And yesterday, one of the boys made my child wait an eternity while he got what he wanted out of his bag before he let my boy put his bag in his designated spot. I was watching.
We rushed to assembly after the bell and I told my son where to line up in age lines. He was heading there when the neighbours boy ran in and took the first place in the line. My little boy gets confused in all that morning rumpus so I told him to stay behind “Jack”.
Next thing you know, Jack has seen people he would rather be with and taken off to a group of boys at the end of the line leaving my kid confused and not sure if he is doing the right thing.
Nobody said hello to my beautiful boy. Nobody ran at him to greet him. He had just been at home drawing amazing pictures of garbage trucks filled with “trash” and a moose with a beard and telling us poems he had heard. But when he enters this place he is not valuable. He is not a person with wit and caring and a sparkle in his eye. He is the special boy. He is alone.