Thursday, 6 September 2012

Alex's First Day of School

We made it through the summer and now we're heading back to school.

Alex had his first day at his new school today.  We're very happy to have him so close, the school is less than a five minute drive away.  He no longer has to spend over two hours each day in transit, trucking across the city.

By all accounts, the day went well.  His teachers tell me he gave some initial protests and tried to avoid having to sit in circle but eventually complied.  There is one difficult factor.  His new school is multi-storied and has an elevator.  Alex loves elevators.  I was hoping they might use it as a reinforcer but they've decided to keep him off it.  This could set up a struggle, depending on how close his classroom is to the elevator and if he sees anyone else using it.

I'll admit to being somewhat nervous about this new school.  It's not surprising, I'm nervous about most new situations.  Last year I had a really hard time with the fact that I didn't know the school and wasn't spending time there.  With his first school, I was there quite a bit, volunteering, picking up Nathan, etc.  I will eventually get used to it.

I was struck by one of the ironies of having an autistic child versus a neurotypical one.  Alex gets picked up by a van to go to his school.  After packing him into the car, it occured to me I just put my son in a car with someone he didn't know.  Typical children are told to never get in a car with a stranger, but I've just done it for my child.

Sometimes I think that's part of my anxiety.  Everyone knows about the dangers out there for young children and there's a lot of suspicion that the danger is multiplied when your child has special needs.  My son can't tell me if he's upset or has been frightened, I have to look for more subtle behavioural clues.

However, he came home yesterday in a good mood and was happy and compliant until bedtime.  He even wanted to go outside and ride his bike for the first time in over a month.

So I think this is going to go well.

PS. This was originally supposed to be posted last night but we ran into some technical difficulties.

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