Starting School for Jonathan

This is an event that happens to all children and although some might be anxious, with those on the spectrum you never know just how they are going to react.

I went with Johnathan to see the new school we wanted him to attend and he was delighted at it and was happy and excited and wanted to go there. He wanted to be reassured that he would be happy and comfortable there. On my part, I wanted to see round the whole place because with Kevin and I both needing wheelchairs, I needed to know if we would fit or not. If we hadn’t, I would have been disappointed, but we did. Everything seemed delightful and I was pleasantly surprised that he was very enthusiastic about the whole idea of going.

Fast forward to a few days ago – oh my goodness!

What a difference! He is now so anxious about the whole thing. Poor boy ended up with what he thought was tummy pain and it turned out to be anxiety.

I knew he was an anxious child, but I didn’t realize it would get him to the place where it would begin impacting his little, young life. We are looking at new and different ways to help him cope with the idea of moving from a mix of school and nursery to an actual school where he will start in Primary 1 – basically the first year or whatever you call it (for all of you, unfortunate people, not living in Scotland).

So many children struggle to cope with the thought of the new school and what might happen there, and that’s ok.

It’s normal to worry about a new situation, a change in your life, or new circumstances. But it’s how you deal with it that’s important. And I recognize the fact Johnathan feels 10 times what other children feel so this stomach pain is real and a problem for him. Right now, I don’t know what the answer will be, but I know that we need to find one for him that will reassure him everything will be ok.

And yes, it is scary to a child who hates being OUT of routine to even begin the attempt to get his/her head around the concept that everything will be different. He’s already upset that Mummy doesn’t cut toast right so…we’ll see what transpires.

At the end of the day, he needs to adjust to this.

However, it is a massive change for him and we just need to work out the best way to handle it for him. I know we will do it, but sometimes it takes time to find the answer. And that’s ok.

So, with love and blessings, let me say farewell and I will see you next week.

Judging others

Do you notice when you judge others, or when others are judgemental of you?  Have you ever realised that sometimes you think people are judging you but find out later that actually they aren’t?

Judgement can be so insidious.  It can puff up in a minute and in your mind things are wrong or the person you are looking at is doing something wrong.  But actually, that doesn’t mean it is.  Obviously, I’m not saying if you see someone steal or kill or break the law, they are not criminals, they are, and justice needs to takes its course.

But when you make a quick judgement, are you right in doing so?  That person with the child that is just shouting out and annoying your nice quiet dinner – why can’t they just shut that child up?  And instantly, you have moved to judging someone rather than giving them a chance or looking at it in a compassionate way.

Compassion is always a good thing to have.  I’m not saying that you have to be compassionate to the extent that it affects your own health and wellbeing, because that is a dumb thing to do.  You need to take care of yourself first, your family second and outsiders third.

Honestly?  Compassion is a much needed quality in a world that is so quick to judge.  My son is on the spectrum and it has been quite a journey.  The temptation to NOT respond with compassion and understanding when he has been screaming solidly for over an hour is  not easy to resist.  I will admit that when you are tired or sore the last thing you want to do is try and be understanding of his needs.  But you have to be.  

Unfortunately it can be easy to judge another, but does it bring you any kindness, any happiness?  No.  What it does its make you feel guilty or embarrassed the next time you see that individual.  So what are you going to do?  Maybe you should give them the benefit of the doubt.  

Last night my husband and son were playing hide and seek with some of his toys and my son said he forgot where he had hidden one of them.  He has done that before and known where they were.  But my husband said to him that the reason he couldn’t remember where it was hidden was because he hid one toy in our bedroom and the other toy in the living room. and that was why.  So in the future, the toys would be hidden in the same room.

You can always find a reason to help a person and not judge them.  My point is that it is definitely the correct thing to do.  However, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept wrong behaviour or allow it to impact your family.  They have the right to be protected from something/someone you know is unsafe – for whatever reason.

So when you start to judge, stop and think for a minute as to what compassion could do for them or say to them at that moment in time.  But with understanding, compassion and care, you still have the responsibility to protect others.