It’s been a while since my last post. Honestly, I just haven’t felt the need to write. Our little Autism journey still exists, but like with anything, it isn’t so different to us anymore. It’s normal life. It’s what we do.
Our boy is 10 years old now. Heading into his last year of elementary school. He no longer has intensive therapy. He is in a mainstreamed class in school. He goes to religious school, takes drum lessons and has fallen in love with you-tube videos. Normal 10 year kid, right?
So why did yesterday hurt so bad? I went to his school for an observation. An opportunity to see him in his school environment, make sure that he is receiving the best services for his IEP (Individualized Education Program). He blended right in among his peers. But I saw it.
I saw it when he demanded that his teacher set the timer that he brought into school during math time. And since math was a little different that day because of an assessment, he wandered around the room, a little lost and not sure what to do about the timer. It took his teachers three times to redirect him to be able to get to work and not focus on the timer.
I saw it when the teacher said math was over, and he yelled out, “No it isn’t! The timer didn’t go off. “ The teacher gave him a kind smile and went with it, asking kids to start wrapping it up instead.
I saw it when he was sitting in his large classroom, mind wandering, not really paying attention and just copying the image the teacher drew as an example in science class.
I saw it when he was directed to work with peers, and they were talking and trying to work on a problem together. He was too busy looking at the time to be sure everything was on schedule.
I saw it when I watched other kids interacting with each other. Joking, teasing, dancing, being silly together. There were a few that would call out my kid’s name to say bye on the way out. But it wasn’t the same. Another kid has our same last name. I heard someone ask if he and my boy were related. This kid was embarrassed and yelled “no!” Typical kid stuff, yes? A little raw to me? Even more so.
My son still loves his preschool shows and characters. He loves his light poles from a busy street near our home, and carries around a deck of photos of screenshots he took of the street. The books he is reading are about two grade levels below what the other kids are reading. And I don’t mean to compare. I’m just usually not in that situation to see it so upfront. To feel it so sensitively.
I know he’s special. I know his talents shine in other ways. I know he’s not like all the other kids. It’s just that sometimes I forget that other kids are not like him.