Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Conversations with my son.
“I don’t want to go to school because I don’t like assembly”
Assembly has been the topic of conversation a few times with J so I dug a little deeper.
“Why don’t you like assembly J”?
”I don’t like assembly because I am bad and I got sent to the office”
“What did you do that was bad”?
“I can’t behave myself and I am naughty”
“What did you do that was naughty”?
“I can’t behave myself”
"Yes but what exactly did you do"
"I was bad"
We went round in circles like this for a few minutes with J seemingly unable to explain what he did that was bad or naughty or misbehaving. I am always wary of putting words into J’s mouth but can quite imagine the difficulties which might occur if you sit J in a largish hall with echoing sounds perfectly designed to overhype his senses. So I asked him if sitting still was a problem and back came the affirmative. “So” I said “you don’t like sitting there and you end up getting up and fidgeting”?
“Yes” said J “and I got sent to the office and so I cried-ed”
And then came the heartbreaker
“I am a fake boy”
“What’s a fake boy J”
“It means I am no good and I am stupid”
“No you are not stupid and you are good”
“No I am a fake boy and I need to be sent back to heaven”.
Cue lots of tears
Somehow I suspect his self esteem is rock bottom and that is not good. It stands to reason that if everyone around you is sailing along and you are not, if everyone else finds life a breeze and you don’t that you might start to wonder why.
I am now on the point of wondering how I explain autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD to J.
Maybe I start with “you are special because you think differently to other children”
Or maybe I watch a bit of the "Young, Autistic and Stagestruck" series with him.
Or maybe I find a book which explains his differences in a gentle way.
Whatever the choice I eventually make the fact is that at some point I will have to have that conversation with him rather than leave him floundering and wondering why everyone else can manage X, Y or Z and he cannot.