Autism and Transition Time……….
Tee hee….maybe we should spare a thought for the teachers too?
And that’s perfectly normal, change is both exciting and scary, all at the same time for everyone, so it’s no wonder that children feel this on a much higher level as they have less experience to draw upon than adults. We can rationalise to a degree that we’ve done similar things before and they weren’t as bad as we expected, so we can apply that experience to new things. Imagine not having anything to compare things to in order to ease your anxiety? I feel their pain every year!
Now imagine being on the spectrum where change is a total anathema, accompanied by sheer terror every single time? Imagine having such heightened senses that being around even a few people can cause excruciating physical pain, and then top that all off with a brain that can’t interpret emotions, so they can’t even understand what they’re feeling? Getting the picture?
My lot are pretty good at ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’, partly because I’ve forced them to do things since they were little that were way outside their comfort zone, they didn’t like me at the time for it, and I often paid the price with meltdowns, but they all thank me for it now. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ and ‘Action conquers fear’ have been two of my war cries right throughout their lives, and they have, and they still do, I’m so proud of them every single day. It’s a case of everyone going through that ‘pain barrier’, but it’s worth it as they grow older and they can tackle things that would otherwise seem impossible.
So it was that I dropped Osborn off this morning for his induction day at Sixth Form. This is an enormous change for him, not only is he going from secondary school to sixth form, he’s also going from Special School to mainstream, something he hasn’t had to cope with for the last five years! He was definitely nervous and quite rightly so. Even so, he hopped out of the car and marched into the building with his usual grit determination and burning desire to make it work, it’s what he’s spent the last two years working towards with his GCSE’s. I know he’ll settle and do well, but as his mother I can’t help but sit here wondering what he’s doing now and how he’s feeling about it all?
Pippa also has a huge transition from year nine to year ten to start her GCSE’s, a big step up in terms of the level of work she’ll be doing and the volume of work. Again, I know she’ll do well and step up to the mark, but again I feel for her. Nikita is moving onto the second year of her Performing Arts course, again a big step up in what’s going to be expected of her and the stress of having to decide what to do when she leaves next year.
And I think, as adults, we don’t realise how stressful our children’s lives are, after all, they don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage and bills and holding a job down, but in their own way, their stress is just as great as ours, especially as more and more pressure is put on them to perform well at school.
So, let’s have a moments silence for every single child at this time of year, they all have their fears and apprehensions so they deserve a little sympathy!