Do you like school?- “Errrrmmmm I think so, well sometimes I do.”
What’s your favourite lesson? – “Playtime, when I learn to play.”
What don’t you like about school? – “Reading and writing, especially the writing bit – do you know mum my arm just aches soooo much”
Cameron do you feel the same as other children in your class? – “Yes, well I’m not sure mum – I do feel a little bit different because I have a full fleece jacket and some other people don’t and just have their bare skin.”
What’s it like in the classroom? - “There are lots of chairs and desks and things for us to do – there’s some quite good technology in the presentation board that my teacher uses”
I mean Cameron how does it feel, as in what you hear and see? - “Well it can be quite loud sometimes and it could be useful for me to have my ear muffs but you don’t let me wear them inside. The lights can be quite bright and sometimes I hear the dripping from the tap”
Do you find anything difficult?
“Sometimes mum, when I don’t know the answer and I want to copy someone else but that’s not in the school rules. I tap my feet ‘cause I just can’t help myself – I have to sit on my hands sometimes to control them”
Are all the children nice to you? - “Yes of course mum, that’s the school golden rules don’t you know, be nice to each another. Well actually when I’m a bit silly with my noises like when you tell me to do inside noises then some of the kids will laugh at me but then they get told off”
Is anyone mean? - "No mum, they are not allowed. DId you not hear me, it will break the golden rules!"
“Mum, I’ve had enough now alright – I love you can I get some crisps!”
It’s hard, as a mum, to have these conversations with your child at the best of times; I can only imagine even more so as an ASD parent.
I always like to check in with Cameron’s feelings about school as I know that the long days of conforming, which he does exceptionally well, can be really challenging and draining on him.
Cameron does not know about his autism.
This is something that I am starting to think about now. How will we explain this to him and just exactly when will it be the right time?
I don’t want him to use it as an excuse to misbehave but I want him to understand that he is different and that this is not a bad thing.