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.