Autism awareness month continues …
There are lots of little things that happen during the course of a regular school day that cause a great deal of extra stress for James.
Before school, the children assemble just outside the school hall and wait for their teachers to collect them come school time. This was always going to be a huge sensory challenge for James. James cannot tolerate that kind of noise and that volume of children. It stresses him out! We did try it, but he cried, covered his ears and attempted to run away. As an alternative, he was starting the day in the learning support room and then his teacher collected him on the way to class. This worked really well. As things have been really stressful for him in the last few weeks, he then moved to start the day in the classroom with his teacher. This has generally worked well although it’s not always easy to leave him. On the first day back this term, James was really stressed and sad. He knew he had to stay but he was overwhelmed. I got him his iPad, headphones, crunchy food and he went to the classroom tent. As I said goodbye to him he said, “Just go, Mum! I’m sure I can handle this!” sobbing all the while. It’s so hard to leave him and his teacher in that situation. He did spend the majority of the day in the tent but things have started to improve now that his new medication is kicking in.
So you can imagine my delight when today he requested that I take him to the hall!!! “I’m sure I can do this Mum. Let’s give it a try!” he said. So I took him into the hall just a few minutes before the bell rang to start school. He chose his spot with his other classmates and he was totally thrilled with himself. He was flapping, waving me goodbye and giving me the thumbs up all at the same time! Bless his little heart! On the way out of the hall I looked back at him just once more, and he was still coping and waving to me. I cried all the way to work! Sitting in a hall with 400 other children is something most other children just do without thinking about it. Today James overcame a really big hurdle. What a champion!