Sunday, February 14, 2010

It really is a Rollercoaster...

I wonder, at times like these, whether there will be a day when we rest, emotionally. When we are not making faces because we are flying down the face of something scary, or creeping up towards something really exciting.

Week three of school has begun, and for Billy it's a tough ask. All the same old stuff - noisy, fast, overwhelming. This morning it was like the colour drained out of his face, from the time we arrived, to the time I left him. It's like a graphic depiction of how the 'real world' exhausts him.

And yet we also see great joy.

On Friday, I spent the day at the school. I hung about, while Billy went about his kid stuff. It was a special day at the school. A film crew were there talking to the kids and the teachers about kids, adults, life, conflict resolution. I was proud as anything to see how well the school stood up to the scrutiny a TV camera can offer.

And while I was there, I saw plenty of times that Billy completely engaged with his surroundings - both human and environmental.

There are some kids who work so hard to engage him, on his level. Beautiful human spirits who see that he loves gifts and not long conversations. Or the ones who know that a string of repetitive questions are more likely to get answers. And then there are the kids who have realised that a gesture or a sign accompanying their words will help them get through.

And Billy does cautiously engage with those kids. He also LOVES to watch kids wrestling. And at Billy's school there's a lot of wrestling. There are rules, and checks and balances. There are rarely injuries. So Billy's in heaven. He will also join in the wrestling sometimes, though he sometimes struggles to know how to make it stop.

He has come up with a game called 'Count to Ten, zoom!' which basically means kids run away while he counts to ten or calls 'zoom'. Then he chases them. Huge amounts of fun for all concerned.

He also loves watching his peers master physical skills. After they leave the equipment, he has a go, and the pride on his face when he gets something is worth bottling.

But... the buts still remain. At hippy school... in an atmosphere of pure child directed learning... Kids are fast. Kids are noisy. Kids talk a lot of crap. Kids are genius. Kids are intense. Kids are creative. Kids are demanding. Kids are confusing. Kids are needy. Kids are unpredictable.

Can you imaging a crazier combination - a passive autistic kid and NT peers who are like the 'normal' community multiplied by a bazillion. In a really good way...

It still feels like I am leaving him in a pack of wolves.

I guess the good part is, that Billy loves wolves... as long as he can just watch them.


Katie said...

Sweet Billy... it's so hard when you wish the world could be as perfect as them.

Billy is lucky to have such a wonderful mum as well as a wonderful school. He is always valued and respected - which is the most important thing for any of us.


Mich9 said...

You are a very strong mum, Valerie. Billy was probably being very brave especially for you. :)