Tuesday 18th March

Things are going along well in our household. Last week was a big week for me as I did the Worlds Greatest Shave. Paul took Beth to school for me and I didn’t say why to Beth as she had been concerned that me shaving must mean that I had cancer. I was a bit apprehensive picking her up from school so I wore a hat. She asked me why straight away so I told her. I only got the number one clippers instead of going completely bald. I took my hat of to show Beth and she patted me and said that she loved it! She’s been rubbing my head ever since. I’m so glad that I did it, it’s been good for the kids to see that there are things that we do for other people even if it may not seem good for ourselves at the time. Bridie ended up loving it too after telling me that it would make me look ugly.  I actually like it and it’s soooo easy!

After telling the coordinator last week about the boy who had been hassling Beth I set out to explain to Beth why he was doing it. He had been asking Beth over and over again what her name was and she had been bothered by him doing this last year on her transition days too. It was explained to me that the boy is quite autistic and that’s what he does, asking questions over and over. He doesn’t mean it maliciously and just doesn’t know how to speak to people properly. As often happens Beth and I had our conversation in the car. I explained that the boy is, like Beth, autistic. I put a positive spin on it, explaining that while Beth has excellent social skills this boy doesn’t know how to speak with others properly. While Beth finds it easy to make friends this boy doesn’t and that’s why he does what he does. I explained that she has other strengths and other things that she does that show in her autism, these were the particular things that this boys autism brings out. Beth seemed to be happy with the explanation and she hasn’t spoken of it since.

I was a tad embarassed last week when I dropped Beth off. On Thursday we got to school, I signed Beth in and we set off around to the side where the kids all meet in the courtyard and get into their class groups. I have been taking Beth around and often sitting with her until the bell went. I’ve had the best intentions of not staying as long or even eventually getting Beth to sign herself in but I just hadn’t found the right time yet. As we went to walk past the principal he told me to just let her go in, that she’d be fine. I kissed her goodbye and he commented that I was the only parent who took their child all the way in and stayed until the bell went. It was time to give Beth some independance. I said that I knew this but that it was hard. He said that he knew and that it was hard for him to tell me but it was meant in the nicest possible way. I wentto my friend Bec’s for the day with Bree and Liz and told them about it, saying that I had even had a little cry on the way there. Bec said she understood completely, that she would have been embarassed to think that the principal had probably been wondering how long it was going to go on for then finally having to say something. Helicopter parents is the term in favour at the moment, parents who hover over their children all the time. They probably gets one every year. Where I was thinking I was helping to settle Beth in the reality is that she needs to do it for herself. It was very bittersweet, I totally ‘got it’ but it was still so hard!

About Sarah

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