It's hard getting the balance right with this blog sometimes. I'm mindful that more people are aware who The Boy is now, and it makes that fine balance of giving an honest portrayal of our lives and protecting him even more precarious. Which is one of the reasons why I have avoided the school topic. I don't want to write anything that might one day embarrass or offend him. But it's also an integral part of our story that I can't just gloss over. So here goes...
It's fair to say that the transition to secondary, although still the same school, has been a struggle. The school have been amazing, and have put in place so many steps to help make that transition as smooth as possible for him and the others in his class. Mr Teacher, that force for positivity in The Boy's life, has accompanied him from primary to become his form teacher. The two brilliant teaching assistants who seem to be on the receiving end of so many of The Boy's outbursts have also made the move with the class.
The number of outbursts probably haven't increased in number, but for some reason they just appear bigger in magnitude now. And that might be just because he seems bigger in magnitude too. The change of school jumper and the fact that he's grown over the holidays means he appears older than ever. And that makes some of the more challenging behaviours harder to deal with.
I don't want to dwell on the negative aspects of his behaviour too much in this blog though. Partly for the reasons I mentioned above, and partly because there are enough people already who only see that aspect to him. That doesn't mean the behaviours are being ignored and not being dealt with. Working with the school, I'm confident that we can help him to get back on track again. It's just that if I focus on them too much here, I can make these behaviours define him, given they form such a large part of his day. But he's so much more than that.
So I'm not trying to whitewash over the bad bits is what I'm saying. And I don't want to pretend that there are roses blossoming around the cottage door every day here. For The Boy, the daily struggle as he tries to find his place in the world goes on. But within that struggle, there are laughs and smiles and golden moments. They're the bits I want to share, because long after the behaviours are gone, they're the bits that will forever define him.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.