Saturday, 2 March 2013

Facing the Truth

I wrote a post a while ago about Star's Invisible Disibility. She has been diagnosed with high functioning autism and at seven years old it's mostly invisible. Her teachers at school know but I don't really tell others, like the parents of the other children. I know children can be cruel particularly to other children who are a little bit different. I thought we were getting away with it but sadly it's already begun. Star is an amazing child, she's polite and well behaved (mostly) and never says a bad word to anyone. She generally doesn't bother about having many friends, she has her 'special' friend at school and sometimes joins in with the others, but mostly keeps herself to herself. When others try to interact will find that she's very single minded. Currently her 'thing' is Pokemon and everything revolves around them. She will not join in any games unless they are Pokemon related. She talks constantly about Pokemon, she pretends to be Pokemon. She watches Pokemon on tv, plays Pokemon games on her DS and lately her older brother has been teaching her how to play the Pokemon Trading Card game. To say she is obsessed is an understatement.
Then yesterday I was having a conversation with a dinner lady at the school who is particularly fond of Star. She pointed out that she is mostly on her own and she sometimes sits and talks to her. She also told me that the other children make fun of her but it doesn't seem to bother her, she takes no notice. Although there have been one or two times when her special friend hadn't been around and Star had got upset. I told her that Star had autism and waited for her to be shocked but instead she replied that she 'thought so' and I was the shocked one. I don't really know why I should be shocked, my child has autism, it's bound to show sometimes, especially to people who see her almost every day, but just to hear someone say they already knew even though they hadn't been told was a big blow.
I really believed I had another year or two of getting away with it, but it looks like I'll have to start preparing myself and Star right now. I will not tolerate her being bullied so will be keeping a check on the school. I know Star won't tell me anything but there are others who can. I hope I can keep her in mainstream, her elder brother (Also on the spectrum) lasted until he was twelve. Hopefully if I can be prepared we can face the future with optimism rather than fear.
I'll have to watch out for Boo too as I know from experience that siblings also suffer. I don't have a plan of action yet, but I will do and I will make sure I do everything in my power to make sure all my children have happy and safe lives.

In the meantime I will count my blessings that my little girl is bright and clever and has very minor physical disabilities and mostly good health. I know I'm very lucky to have her.

8 comments:

  1. Ah, good luck with it. I know that the decision to tell or not tell is a difficult one (I've blogged about that before now myself!), particularly when their difficulties are 'less noticeable'. I wonder if it's worth discussing with a few more adults though, as it probably is the case that she needs them to look out for her a bit more? Children are just the way they are, sadly not all nice (a bit like adults!) so you may not gain anything by teling them at this age. Our junior school did recently hold an assembly about 'differences' though, and maybe a more general discussion is a good idea (I wonder if it should be part of the curriculum, to be honest!). I'm part of a lovely group of mums of girls with autism, which in a way I initially felt guilty about, but actually it is true that girls with autism/aspergers tend to have different issues than the boys do.... shout if you need any help/support x

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    1. Thanks for your reply Steph, I don't think I'm ready for it to be totally public but I agree about getting a few more adults on side, the dinner lady is a good start. I know her former teacher used to have talks with the whole class about children who were different without singling my daughter out. I really should seek out a group of autism mums, I know some online but not in RL. Thanks for your offer too x

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  2. We found at school that Bob was well accepted by his peers, it was the adults that had the problem with his issues. I personally feel that hidden disabilities are more difficult for people to accept than obvious ones. You are not allowed to discriminate if a child has x. y or z as it is not acceptable but when children have something less obvious wrong it seems to be. My daughter pulled Bob out of main stream school after just one year to home educate him

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    1. That's so true about invisible disabilities being difficult to accept. I took my eldest out of school to home educate him when things go really bad, we were really lucky in finding a very understanding home tutor and eventually a really good school for him to finish his exams. I do hope that the future is good for Bob too x

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  3. Hello
    I don't have a child with autism so I can't offer an advice. All I wanted to say is that I hope everything goes well (for all of you) as I really felt your 'anguish' through your post. Michelle x

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Michelle and thanks for takin g the time to comment x

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  4. Anything which may draw some people's attention to your child in a negative way is such a difficult thing to communicate, even when they are not on the spectrum. Children (and their parents) can be so judgemental. I do hope whatever decision you make turns out well for you both.
    I hope it's ok, I'm going to feature your post in Newbie Tuesday on Britmums this week - I know you're not brand new, but hey...

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It is so nice of you to stop by my blog, I would love for you to leave a comment too. I will reply to as many as I can and if you are a blogger you can expect a return visit from me. Many thanks, Anne xx

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