Today is your first day at nursery school but you don’t know.
You don’t know that you are heading off to school, that Mummy has dressed you in your school uniform. You looked at me with confusion when I was dressing you in these strange clothes, upset & distressed that our morning routine had changed.
There’s no smiling photos stood in front of the door, proud as punch in your new uniform & shiny black shoes, instead you’re hiding from the camera.
You don’t know what was happening or why. You don’t have the words to ask me what is going on, there’s no what if’s or why’s. I’ve tried to explain to you what today means but you don’t understand.
Today means you are growing up, you are nearly four, but you don’t know it’s your birthday next month. You don’t know what birthdays are. You don’t get excited the night before in anticipation of opening your presents. You don’t sit looking at the Argos catalogue pointing at all the toys you want.
Today is start of the much needed therapy and support. The start of the formal assessment process for your Autism. The start of your education, this might ‘only’ be nursery but you are starting Special Needs school so you are going to be doing full days not the half days you were used to at pre school.
What I do know is that your Mummy & Daddy fought so hard for you to get this place at this school. That this school is going to give you the best start. They have so much to offer you, they understand you, they know how to support you. Starting school is hard but starting school with Special Needs can be so, so hard.
You’ll have the best time, there will be new friends who understand you, who play like you, who like to sort & organise, line things up. There’ll be teachers who get you, who know how to get the best from you. There’ll be parents that don’t judge because they what it’s like to live with Special Needs.
This is a special day, at a special school for a super special boy. You don’t know it, but we do.