Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
Back to the grind?
And today, on my sons first day of term 2, it seemed like a great opportunity to do exactly that.
Not too long ago, my son had almost no words of his own. Sure, from time to time, out he would come in longer and longer scripts, repeated either straight back from what I had just said, or from some TV show or movie. Very occasionally, he might say hello or goodbye, using the name of whoever he was talking to.
Yet just yesterday, with words which were very clear and under difficult (for him) circumstances, he clearly and directly asked his brother to leave him alone. Compared to where we want to be, this is terrible.
Compared to where we have come from, it is incredible and well worth celebrating!
Only three months ago in the same situation, one boy or the other – or both! – would have been in tears, with one probably having tooth-marks and a bewildered expression to show for the experience (and none the wiser how to stop it happening again).
Even better was to come today.
After a rough start involving “shoes” (because I picked the wrong ones) we went to school. In the rain. And again, using surprising, previously unknown clarity, he said goodbye to his brother. Sure, he repeated it 20 times or so… but most kindergarten kids would do that at some time.
Amazingly, the best was still to come.
Into a classroom which he hadn’t seen in two or three weeks, and fair enough the routine came back and he hung up his bag and took a seat at a computer (not the whiteboard one – a computer which wasn’t there at the start of the year). Popped his headphones on, turned the computer on.. logged on (as you do when you’re in kindergarten!!).
Then looked up as a stream of people wandered in, until the assistant principal walked in. He said hello to her (by name).
“Don’t just sit there, go say hello” I said to him. He looked at me with a devilish look, trying to work out “what’s the trick here?” no doubt.
But he did what I asked, wandered over and said hello to the assistant principal. And calmly went back to the computer while Mum and I finished chatting to the teacher, and wandered off on our way.
This is a child who, in his last week of pre-school, still could not walk calmly into the grounds without wanting to run off and climb a tree. Who might talk to a teacher… if there was almost no other option.
If this is one term of school, I’m doing my best not to hope for too much.