Monday morning, and another week at school rolls into town... For once though, the idea of the week ahead doesn't fill me with dread. Yes, there's hope in the air...
After such a rocky start to the new term, The Boy had his best week at school "ever" last week. There were three days where he did more independent work than he's ever managed since he's been there. Part of me wanted to write and tell you about it sooner, but another part thought I might jinx it all if I did.
The Boy's whole demeanour changed over the week. He was happy. Bursting with pride as I picked him up each afternoon. And which came first - was he happy because he was 'doing the right thing' or was he 'doing the right thing' because he was happy? I don't think I'll ever know. I just wish I could bottle the way he felt last week, and then whenever things don't go so well we can take out our secret potion and dab ourselves down with it and make all well with the world again...
Managing to work independently has always been the hardest thing for him. Doing anything independently. So many believe that those with autism crave solitary lives, but for The Boy nothing could be further from the truth. He craves interaction. He needs someone alongside to reassure him constantly. His greatest fear is being alone. Without another person to remind him that he exists it's as if he might well disappear forever.
So, when I collected him on Friday, in amongst the 'Gold Award' certificates for his record-breaking week, there was another certificate. 'Star of the Week'. And it was awarded for "being very polite to visitors". And this certificate really made me smile, because I know the visitor in question. I saw him myself at home time on Wednesday. In many ways it's The Boy's nemesis, the person so many schools have tried to prevent him from ever meeting. It was the OFSTED inspector.
I asked The Boy if the inspector asked him any questions. "No", he answered incredulously, "I asked HIM questions."
"What about?" I asked, wondering what burning issues with the education system had been discussed at such a high level.
The Boy shrugged his shoulders. "His favourite cake is lemon meringue pie", he said.
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.