It’s been four weeks since Neil moved in to the autism unit at his school. The decision to move him from the mainstream school in to the unit happened at the end of last term. Neil had the whole summer to prepare for the change. I’m not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing to be honest. The poor wee man spent nine weeks worrying about the change, which wasn’t nice for any of us. We tried to make the transition as easy as possible for him. He’d spent time in his new class, met the teacher and pupils. We’d even taken pictures so he could look at them over the summer. But still he was nervous, understandably too.
So when I was biting my nails anxiously waiting for a phone call to say he’d had a meltdown at school on the 1st of September, I never imagined where we’d be a month later. Four weeks on, and I couldn’t be more proud of my boy.
It turns out that all of the previous years of tears and meltdowns in the first term were purely because he was in the wrong classroom setting. I think I knew that all along, but there wasn’t really much we could do about it. Now, he’s happier than I’ve ever seen him. He comes home from school and he tells us about his day for the first time in three years. He’s trying very hard with his school work, he’s finding common ground with the other boys in his class, and it’s no longer a struggle to get him on the school bus each morning.
Yes, he’s been anxious, because it has been such a big change for him. Yes, we’ve had late nights. And yes, we’ve had some tears. But on the whole, he’s coped really well.
To top it all off, last week I met him from the school bus on Friday afternoon. He stepped down on to the pavement with a huge grin on his face and an award in his hand.
Mum Look, I got an award!
He wasn’t even really sure what he’d been given it for, but to him it didn’t matter. He was just happy to have an award. And it didn’t matter to me either, because in that moment I felt like I could burst with pride.
And so that’s my word of the week: Proud, because I’m proud of my son and the progress he’s made in his first month of his new class.
Linking up to Word of the Week