Waiting for Next Year…

I took the tree down the minute Christmas was over this year.

Usually, I have the tree up from November through to the end of January but this year; I’m so damn relieved it’s over.

This entire year I have spent worrying about next year.

About sending my non-verbal son to school. 

I have taken him to pre-kindy at an education support school for the last 3 terms, a 2 hour session once a week which I get to stay with him, to help prepare him for Kindy next year.

It’s an amazing program that the school runs for kids with special needs. 

Before I found this school, before I knew this education support system existed, I was in the mindset that I would not let my son go to school next year.

There was no way I was going to send him.

I would fight to protect him and keep him with me, because there was no way he could cope going to school like my daughter does.

He wouldn’t be ok there.

Day one of his pre-kindy, the other parents had a term ahead of me since we started in term 2.

As we walked in, I saw calm people, calm parents, I saw a few children, maybe 5, it was a little noisy but nothing too daunting. 

Rory put on a great show,. He screamed, bit me, threw himself about as I tried to sit him on the mat, and ripped my hair.

He was terrified.

I sat with him as he waved himself around.

One or two other kids reacted to Rory’s behaviour and all I wanted to do was get up and run away with my son.

Why was I here, putting him through this.

I’m not sending him to school I thought, no freaking way.

It literally kills me to see him get so upset like he was that day.

I hated that he couldn’t tell me he wanted us to leave.

I hated that I had to take him here, to this place where the kids all struggle just like him.

Why did this have to be us?

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

I tell you, those parents, those calm people, were just like me at one point.

I just didn’t know it yet.

They became my mentors. They all knew exactly what I was going through that day with Rory.

And nobody was judging my son.

I was just new to this, new to parenting a child with Autism and worried what others thought of him.

Each week, I went. I thought, if he has to go to school, he will at least go to this school, where they are educated so well about Autism and kids with disabilities.

For two terms, he cried all the way. He refused to walk, he would carry on.

He hated it,

I would carry him all the way and I would hold him tight on the mat and I would carry him back out when it was over.

But eventually, I began to accept Rory will be ok.

Eventually he settled down a little sooner than he had the week before. I don’t know exactly when but it was weeks into going before I even really looked up and around.

I looked at this school and its amazing resources.

I looked up and saw the teachers, so happily present in this madness.

I saw other kids, like my son, who would be ok too.

And I saw another mum, look at Rory.

She had tears rolling down her face quietly and she said to me.

“He has come so far” with a gorgeous smile.

She was right. He had come so far. He has come miles ahead from those early days.

Rory will go to school next yea.

It will be hard at first but it is going to be the best thing for him. I have so much confidence in that.

Whilst I still wish so, so, badly my boy could talk, he can’t right now.

He may never.

Waiting for next year has been a band aid on me for so long.

Knowing its coming, I look at Rory and my heart breaks for the journey he has ahead of him as he transitions into Kindy and to be away from me.

But my heart also breaks to think I almost deprived him.

I almost made the wrong choice.

I am so grateful that he has had this preparation. 

This will be amazing for him.

The tree is down, 2020 is coming and I am going to stay strong for my baby boy.

At least till I am back in the car after taking him to his first day, which I imagine, I will then be a total mess.

You can do this Rory. We can do this.

It will be ok.

Written by, Lucy Watts

You can follow Lucy on her Facebook page at Lucy Watts – Life & Autism.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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