We saw a lot of kids and grown-ups dressed in orange today in our school, and I should not be a cynic who thinks wearing a t-shirt in a certain colour changes really not so much (there are some other actions of course..). So I won’t think that..(although a quasi-free dress day without the obligatory donation would help in an otherwise uniformed school, too..) I just think it’s a bit vague and does not go very deep. Who would be FOR bullies anyway?
There has been no ‘autism awareness day’ (acceptance/month, whatever) in the school so far, and I have been explicitly told talking about autism might lead to bullying (..?) which basically only made me start this blog in September last year.
So April is coming around and so far I don’t know what is planned, I don’t know what to think again, is it really just about donning a bit of blue and say “Autism!” for one day? What is your take on ‘awareness days’ vs actual action, information, education?
Are you doing something in April ?
Our year continues with more trouble in school. Nemo still has daily support (the new aide is kind and calm) and they have now been willing to trial a few preventive solutions I have put to them (quiet lunches, respite days), but his current reflex to swear and get angry (at least that’s what it looks like) in situations of stress, is taking a bit of a toll on the ‘support team’. On me too, to be quite honest, but since things are rather chill at home in terms of expectations and environment, I simply do not have the Rumpelstielzchen experience on a daily basis, and there is only so much I can do when he is in school. Needless to say, that we do NOT swear like sailors at home, we do not condone it at all and I understand the school has to draw a line…But I still believe that the use of swearwords in moments of distress does not prove he is making the conscious choice to be ‘naughty’ or whatever?! Will be really thankful for any input…
To say that Nemo has had a bit of a rocky start into the new school year, is probably putting it mildly. . Today, I had a meeting with his brand new ‘case manager’. I am hoping for a fresh start, he likes her… I also think that I made it quite clear she has to jump in on it and get him out of the spiral of stress situations and disciplinary measures in the school. I am not totally contesting them (there was swearing, running off and kicking things.. and people) But just telling him to count to ten and breath when things are getting too much…just not good enough!
Yeah, not so sure about this day.. The meeting was incredibly awkward, I felt that the suspension was as much meant as a “wake-up call” for me as for Nemo. Which might be necessary for some parents, but I am kinda ‘all over it’ already, at least as much as I personally can be (because, you know : life). In brief, I felt judged and the whole ‘formalisation’ (reports, letters, behaviour contract) made me feel like it has more effect on administrative, and possible legal, follow-up (in case of what ?) than actually being efficient steps towards handling the situation (ie managing anxiety and anger).
Having had some really sad news the night before (re: life..), I really couldn’t say much at all.
But I told Nemo that I loved him, no matter what.
Ah.. it’s really not only parenting (although we are at the moment dealing with another suspension from school…). I haven’t been overly well lately (in.my.head. mostly) and although I have some comix prepared, didn’t really feel like posting. Or like anything, really, once I was done getting through the day. I have to remind myself how much I enjoy making the comics though, and also the feedback I get from you guys.
I know that we are all supposed NOT to judge other people’s parenting.. BUT..there are those situations that just can’t leave you indifferent.No obvious harm done, but you know.. you just feel that they could be a little bit more supportive with their child? That LONGTERM, this could go badly.. You never know what goes on in other people’s lives, right, and I would not even go into it with total strangers.. But I think it may well be that the sometimes charmingly quirky, often dreamy but always a bit peculiar girl Nemo quite likes since prep has actually autism. No, not “LIKE Nemo”. Her OWN autism, obviously. So yes, I have her on my (very amateur and non autistic) “autism radar”. And haven’t many recent studies mentioned the fact that girls go easily non-detected? Her two siblings, as the mother doesn’t tire to point out, are very different.. Only her father ‘used to be an airhead like her’.. So what do you do? Talk to the mother about autism?
I had prepared this comic for a while, but hesitated to post it. I think I try not to be too confrontational with real life people… Not only about autism, about anything. I kinda had my share of conflicts in life and know some are just not worth the effort. Like this one? See, my answer to her was “It’s ok. I understand“, something like that. But in reality, I was incredibly hurt. It wasn’t the first car we were passengers in. When the driver actually sets some rules from the start, it usually works. But mum and her kids were completely mute and not exactly welcoming to Nemo. It was a short ride but it WAS uncomfortable. She knew about his autism for long, also worked in education. She “totally” understood ?