Archie’s first day of nursery is one I’ll remember in crystal clear detail forever. It’s a day that we had high hopes for but also had a nervousness that I just cant describe.
We didn’t have the same kind of nervousness as some of our other parent friends. It was different. Archie’s nursery was different. We had no idea what to expect but at the same time we were pinning all our hopes on this nursery, hoping that this nursery was going to be the breakthrough we needed.
Archie has Autism and started at a Special Needs school this September. Whilst we were busy preparing and worrying, he was oblivious. He had no idea about the major milestone coming up, that this day was going to be etched in our memories.
As I looked at him through the rear view mirror, seeing him all smart in his uniform, looking so grown up yet still being so small. I wondered how he was going to cope on his first day. It was going to be a full day instead of the half days other four year olds were going to do.
It was going to be a full day of speech therapy, behavioural therapy, occupational therapy, but it was also going to be a full day of fun for him. A new experience we hoped he was going to enjoy. He was going to be around children with similar developmental issues, with similar speech issues. I hoped he was going to find his place. That this new nursery was going to provided the support he so desperately needed.
I remember looking at him through that rear view mirror, seeing him sat in his car seat totally oblivious to where we were going. Just gazing out of the window, thinking things only he knew. There were no questions about school, about his new teachers or new friends. There were no crying or nervousness, no wondering what snacks he had in his lunch box.
I remember looking at him through that rear view mirror, marvelling at how my baby boy had grown so much. Looking at the face, knowing I was going to miss him everyday, feeling like I was loosing a year with him as he starting full time hours at the Special Needs nursery.
But I also knew this was a milestone moment to remember as this was the start of something big. This was the start of his therapy. The early intervention that children with Autism so desperately need. September seems like such a long time ago now. He’s just gone back to school after the Christmas holidays and in those three short months he’s made some amazing progress.
The teachers & staff are amazing, they just totally get him. They understand his needs in a way I haven’t seen from anyone else before. They see his achievements, no matter how insignificant they might seem to other people, they know they are huge for him and for us. They give him the support and understanding he needs, teach him in a way that he needs to be taught, to enable him to learn new skills and new words.
That first day of nursery was the first day of the rest of his life.