Yesterday was meant to be Beth’s swimming lesson. I did work in Bridie’s classroom from 2 til 3 then went up early to get Beth from her classroom as we have a book fair on this week and I told her she could choose a book before we set off for swimming. Of course me being me, we ended up with 5 or 6 books! I do like to encourage my kids to read and some of them will make excellent readers.

(Please note that from this point on for privacy reasons I will not be referring to the staff at our school by their names at all, simply by the their role in Beth’s educational life.)

Beth was doing fractions with her teacher and aide when I went to pick her up which was a shame as I didn’t really like to interrupt,  she seemed to be doing quite well. Anyway off we trotted to get our books and then out to our car. When she got in Beth asked me where her books were. I handed them in the door to her and before I got the chance to get my arm out Beth had slammed the door shut hard onto my hand. I think it was a delayed reaction as I stated to her that mummy’s hand was in the door and she’d shut it while it was still there, then I started to feel all faint. Luckily Paul was there as he picks the kids up for me on a Monday, so he came to see what was wrong. I ended up sitting with my head between my knees while one of the lovely mums got me an ice pack and a drink of water and poor old Paul stood in the rain checking on me!

Beth had done the right thing and apologized but by now she was getting pissed off that we weren’t hurrying up and getting to swimming. She tried convincing me that she could go with Dad and I could take the other kids home but as I was feeling so faint and not knowing if my hand was ok or not I didn’t think I could drive home. I felt awful as she doesn’t like many things and desperately wanted to go to her swimming lesson but there was no way it could happen. In the end I sat in the back with Bill and Bridie and Paul drove my car home. Prue kindly came to pick him up and took him back to get his own car and poor old Bethie Boo had to miss out on her swimming lesson.

I must say all the kids were very good. I went off to bed (I don’t handle pain very well) and they kept coming in to check on me. Bridie wanted to play games but kept devising ones that wouldn’t involve me hand. I don’t know whether Beth had any guilt about the fact that she had been the one who hurt me, but she was equally as concerned that my hand was hurt and kept checking on me and asking if I was alright which was good enough for me. She didn’t do it on purpose, I know that, but, as those of you with autistic kids would get, she had one focus in mind and it was to shut the door. My hand isn’t normally there so why would it be there then? Beth seemed genuinely surprised that my hand was hurt and I wonder if I hadn’t brought it to her attention if she would have differentuated between my hand and the seat belt buckle stopping the door from shutting, it was just an obstacle that got in her way. I don’t mean that in a cruel way, it’s just the way it is. Where other kids would cry out and apologize straight away, Beth needs it explained to her.

When she got up this morning the first thing she asked was if my hand was ok, as did Bill and Bridie so what more can I expect, she’s still showing me that she cares. I’m very lucky in that sense, I know there are some kids that don’t know how to show their feelings or to show any empathy towards another. It’s taken a while to get to this stage but it’s so worth it in the end. Oh and by the way, my hand is fine, just a little swollen.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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