I am excited for back to school … it means I will have three hours every day when the youngest is napping (in my dreams) and the older two will be in school.
My lil man, well he isn’t as excited. Actually he is terrified. He doesn’t want me to leave him, yet I can not stay. So today I took him with me to his orientation. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do this because I knew it would be chaotic and very busy in the school, but he did great! He said Hi to his teacher and it only took three verbal prompts to get him to say it! Progress. I had a chance to talk with his teacher, even gave her the brochure about lil man, she loved it! She assured me we would have open communication from day one with daily reports. She would keep me up to date through our communication notebook, score for teacher. I also found out that my son was not the first child on the spectrum in her class … score again for mommy!
Following meet and greet we went out to lunch, he did pretty good considering the noise level. He did however need to use the bathroom 5 times in a span of 40 minutes, I think he is obsessed with bathrooms in general. He does this whenever we go somewhere. Lunch was not our last stop, of course it’s back to school and there is so much to do before Monday morning comes.
We had to get hair cuts (him and sissy both), new clothes, of course a book to read, some spray in hair color to make his new mohawk look über cool Monday, and finally to wallyword to get school supplies. For any child this is a busy day, but a child on the spectrum this is insanity.
For the first time every lil man allowed someone other mommy and daddy to cut his hair. He did pretty good with it, only licked me and bite me a few times since he couldn’t get to his shirt to chew on. We left and on the way out my mom (his Nani) told him at the end of the day if he used his listening ears he could have a toy later. Lil man does not understand the concept of later. He heard toy and that is all that mattered to him. We head in to buy his clothes at the next store and of course they have toys. Lil man fixated on getting a toy. He could care less about new clothes … he didn’t understand why he couldn’t have a toy right then. No amount of later from Nani would fix that. Over stimulated and confused, he curled himself into a ball under a clothing rack and rocked himself. After about five minutes I was able to get him out and get him on track to get his school clothes. He even picked out his very own backpack with Jake and the “LeverLan” pirates. He ended up getting a stuffed dog on the way out.
We got his book, a 3D book on sharks. No surprise there he loves fish of any kind. He still wanted his toy, he didn’t understand later meant on the way home.
Finally after a few more quick stops at various stores we went to the dreaded walmart for school supplies. Lil man was exhausted he sat in the cart. Just the noise of the wheels on the road was setting him off. He sat there covering his ears with a look of pain on his face. God do I wish I could ease this for him. I wanted to take him home, but I had to finish the school supplies. We get through walmart, he is stimming like crazy. Finally in check out he starts to screech and vocal stim, I went to put my finger over his lips and say quiet voice and of course I was bit. Seriously, did I think that this would end differently?!? After almost 5 years of this I should know right? Well no big deal. It’s part of the job. Except the teenage cashier didn’t see it this way. She decided to take it upon herself to tell my kid he was bad for it. WHAT? WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY? okay so I didn’t lose it. It really did take everything in me not to bitch slap this kid who wanted to dole out her unsolicited parenting advice. I simply told her “He’s not bad, he’s doing the best he can” I could care less about educating at that moment, I was worried about my son and his sensory needs. She continued with it, finally mom my (Nani) looked up at her with a look that only 30 years of parenting can perfect, told her “He isn’t bad, he is autistic there is a difference and maybe you should learn it” GO Nani. I’m secretly doing the happy dance.
My kid did awesome today, no major meltdowns and he made it through when I never thought he would. He has come so far. But this is the start of new stresses in our life as he begins school for the first time Monday morning. He is a champ and I know he will do amazing, but as a parent all I want to do is help him and never have to see this look of anxiety and pain that the next few weeks will bring him.