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 ?
(Fun fact: our school uniform is already blue!)
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…
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.
First of all: I am not against medication to help dealing with severe and debilitating mental issues, like depression or bipolar disorder, but also anxiety, PTSD and other stress related illnesses. And these can all be comorbidities of autism. So can ADHD, which I believe is increasingly diagnosed in autistic children. Medication can show good results, temporarily or long-term with all of these conditions. But when this was basically the first and ONLY therapy my paediatrician proposed, on “diagnosis day”, I was just disappointed. There is no ‘autism pill’, right? I think his duty would have been to tell me how to start HELPING my son, what to change at home, at school, to adjust expectations and methods, to help my son thrive! Instead, I went home with the my son’s TRIPLE diagnosis of ASD & ADHD & ODD, a lot of questions…and a recommendation to buy fish oil.
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 ?
I have absolutely no reason to doubt my son’s version. I know! It was just a silly (and kinda bad) joke, but it’s been those same kids again! And it bugs me particularly, that they had nothing better to do than go at him, right after the holidays. I mean, really?!
The week got better… and I would never lay hand on any child (in real life) but as these little snots are obviously getting Nemo in trouble AND get away with it.. Well, one can dream.
(I can be VERY scary! … I would probably also get sued. So, yeah, but no.)
We’re back to school after 2 weeks of holidays, and Nemo had already his first ‘incident’ (that’s how he calls it) with some of the ‘cool kids’ (also his words). In fact it reminds me of what we experienced almost 3 years ago, so shortly after starting prep in ‘big school’ (as opposed to kindy where he only went 2 days a week). We were REALLY looking forward to it. I was so excited! I LOVED school as a kid. I was soo happy to be sharing the adventure of Australian primary school with my son (I went to school in Europe). I was convinced it would be a breeze, he was so bright! I had not really registered that the few clashes he had had in kindy were only an introduction to a multitude of upcoming problems: coping with sensory overflow, socialising, focus, organisation, handwriting…
For most of it, we have found methods and tools. The other kids though, that’s a different problem..