Extended School Year (ESY) started, which is a necessary in this household. There is regression over the holiday breaks so as soon as the school year starts, ESY is requested.
We don't call it school in the summer. Instead we refer to ESY as camp...yay, camp!! So, imagine the excitement when it was time for 'camp'. He picked out his favorite Angry Bird shirt, gathered his backpack together and stood at the front door.
The bus was 35 minutes late to start. After waiting for 15 minutes I called the school to make sure he was still on the route and was told, "first day, scheduling problems." OK. Waiting isn't my child's favorite thing to do. When the bus came, he was so excited he ran to it, found a seat and waved to me with a big smile on his face. What a relief. It could've been different. Way different.
When he came home he was mad. Really mad. He stormed into the house, threw his back pack and stomped into the other room. Not good. I followed to see what information I could get out of him. I asked if he had fun. He took his little hands, made two fists, and crinkled his nose. I know that look. He wasn't sharing any information anytime soon. So I made him lunch. Hot dog with ketchup, mustard and relish per request.
Still no words when it was time to eat. His BSC came for a while and when she asked him about camp, he threw pieces to a game and stomped his feet right out of the room. She tried several times but there still was no answer. Not that we expected a full explanation. That's the difference with my child with autism compared to my NT child. She will talk about everything in detail. You have to piece together what he is saying or get information from his actions.
He took a break by playing Sonic on Wii. This seemed to calm him down but I still had to figure out how to help him. You would think a note would've came home with him if he got in trouble but there wasn't anything. I just wanted him to answer me.....what happened?
Around 3:30 I got what I was fishing for. Why was he so upset? I asked again. What happened at camp? Why are you mad? He told me, "I am not in kindergarten." There was my answer. His buddies probably aren't there. After all, he is going into the third grade and my guess is all of the kindergartners who are going into first grade are in ESY.
The real test was to be the next day. Would be voluntarily go on the bus or did he really dislike it so much that he would refuse?
Turns out he did get on this morning but let it be known....he is not in kindergarten. He wants to be shown respect. Nursery rhymes don't cut it with him anymore. Just because he looks at things differently doesn't mean it is OK to belittle him. He may not be able to read like we do but he has the ability to figure out very difficult computer games that blow people away. He is smart. Smarter than people think. When you are with a child with autism, please keep that in mind. Talk to them like you would any other child. They may not look at you but they are still listening to every word you say. Show them respect. My son may be in an autistic support classroom but I talk to him like he is a third grader. A typical third grader.