A Glimpse into our Autism: The School Trip

7 July 2017

Dear friend,

Yesterday he went on his school trip, alone...

I waved him off and felt the tears prick my eyes as I recalled the small, extremely nervous boy on his very first school trip, clinging tightly onto my hand and pacing around with nervous energy.

Those first few school years I always signed up to help. He needed the reassurance that I was there and the teachers needed the support, just incase. School policy was not to have your child in your group but I always went with him. If truth be told I think I needed to go as much as he needed me to be there. I was too scared to hand full control over to someone else, what if he ran, what if he got hurt, what if he had a meltdown... who could understand him like me?

Two hands holding jigsaw pieces together

Every parent worries about their children at times. We need to trust that we have given them strong roots to enable them to grow independently. But sometimes I feel the panic flood in, filling my heart and head with white noise.  It is hard not to let the worries take over... to put our faith in the hands of others, particularly if your child's behaviour can be unpredictable or difficult to manage...
Butterfly with coloured jigsaw pieces pattern with text

Five years later and in Junior class, which 10 year old wants their mum coming on a school trip, especially a school trip to a theme park? I wanted to go, just in case, what if he reacted badly on a ride, what if he got upset or lost...  but if my son is to be accepted and integrated fully into his class then I have to learn to let go, to trust the school and staff, to allow him to be included. To trust him...

That doesn't mean that I won't stay at home all day with a nagging feeling of doubt and worry accompanying me in my housework or interrupting my Television viewing or causing me to forget the shopping I need. Or that I won't get to school early and wait eagerly for him to arrive. But I will let go...

Yesterday he went on his school trip alone...

Our big lad had an amazing day and told us step by step what he had done even down to the exact speed of the rides. 

A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore how autism effects us on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.

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