For a few weeks now, I’ve been having really bad anxiety. Struggling to breath, irrational thoughts and being constantly highly strung. My son was about to start high school and I was petrified.
We found out just before school finished for summer that Cameron had passed his SATs, and not just scraped through he had strong results.
I literally cried – you see we were told not to worry about the SATs and his performance in them, that he would try his best and will have the opportunity to work on the results once he goes to high school.
I felt that they expected him to fail, but he was changing.
We went to town celebrating the success and really made a big deal. I told him that this was an amazing opportunity and strong start to his high school life.
I set that expectation and understanding that by trying his best and getting remarkable results – we would reward him accordingly.
Yeah ok – we basically just told our kid were going to bribe him through high school but he was changing.
So; a mainstream high school setting it is and after literally two years of researching schools, having visits, checking Ofsted reports and bus routes it was all building up to this moment.
I was worried about him doing his school tie and the getting use to the feel of shirts, I was worried about him losing his bus pass that was literally a NIGHTMARE to obtain, I was worried about him getting the school bus, I was worried about him making his way around school, then I was worried about him and his fussy eating habits at lunch.
He was changing though.
He learnt to tie his tie within a couple of hours and we made a game of random “tie checks” where he would drop everything and tie his tie. Mastered it. He said the shirts felt nice but just the top button was a bit tricky, “don’t worry mum, I'm sure it will be fine”.
I would ask him “what would you do if the bus was late” and “what would you do if you missed the bus home”, bombarding him with, in my mine nightmare scenarios. He just looked at me and said, “just ring you or dad or nana” and I forget that the autism literally just provides him with black and white answers.
No overthinking, no what ifs – just matter of fact problem solving answers.
When he started school he was texting me telling me he was on the bus and he will see me soon, then at home time he was texting again to tell me he was on his way back.
He started showering every day upon his return and getting his bag ready for the following day before tea.
When I asked about what homework he had to do (although yes, I already knew with all these fancy pants apps school provide nowadays) he told me that he had been to the library at lunch and started/completed it so that he had more spare time in the evening.
He even had two lots of fish and chips on “chippy Friday”. He had changed.
I suddenly realised that in these last three weeks without realising it my breathing has returned to normal.
The anxious thoughts are few and far between. I’m not constantly checking “find my iPhone” in the morning or at home time because he has adapted so so quickly and amazingly as he has done so many times before over the years.
I feel guilty for not giving him anywhere near as much credit as he deserves and know that in fact we are doing a sterling job, he is a 100% rule follower and a respectful kid.
I know this because when he’s asking me “mum when might I be able to start to say a swear word, everyone swears on the school bus” and I have a conversation with him about how swearing isn’t nice and its most likely those kid’s parents don’t know they are acting in that way – but that if he wants to say the swear word for poo then me and dad don’t mind and he chuckles.
I know he won’t abuse this and absolutely follow the “but not in front of any teachers or grandma” rule attached to it.
He’s changed and now I need to change for us to get through the next stage.