Autism oh autism……..
So today we had a meeting at meltdown moo’s SEN playschool, a thing which to be honest I always dread. It’s not the dealing with staff, I know I’m an intelligent woman and I can hold my own in any conversation, especially where my son is concerned. No, the problem for me is that our son does what quite a lot of autistic children do. He manages to keep his behaviour under better control at nursery, obviously he still has problems but they aren’t as marked as at home. Because of this I am in a constant state of panic… “do they believe us”…. “was he wrongly diagnosed”…..”is it just us?…..”are we awful parents”??
The educational psychologist and many others have reassured me that this is common amongst autistic children. They spend so much time trying to be “normal” around others that it’s like a pressure cooker building up steam and then, in the case of the autistic child, they explode into what we deal with day in, day out, when it becomes too much.
We, like others have had trouble with family who did not see our son that regularly “he’s always good for us” they would say. We tried to explain that a couple of hours a few times a year is not reality, but still our own families did not appear to believe us about the extent of Moo’s problems. With my own parents that was until we joined them on holiday and by the first time we went to a restaurant my father was in disbelief. “Is this what it’s like everyday?” he asked. I explained that it was and he immediately apologised saying he had no idea and would make sure my mother was totally aware, as the week went on my parents saw more and more a glimpse of our reality.
The problem with nursery of course is that they are only with him for a very limited time and sometimes we cannot even get him in there as it’s so stressful for him.
Today, I was pleasantly surprised. They seemed to listen more than normal and even though moo is going to be home educated, they discussed getting him a statement should we change our minds in the future. Actually I think they were trying to make us change our minds but we are decided, for the time being home education is what suits us and moo best. He will be socialised as much as possible but he will get to learn in a freeer atmosphere where we can indulge his obsessions as a learning tool and step back when he cannot cope.
Despite their kind words today I am glad it is over and already dreading the statement and the next meeting. What about you? Is you child autistic? How do you feel about attending these kinds of meetings?