I can’t believe the day is here, Jayden’s first day of Prep!! I know many people say, “where has the time gone?” and it sounds like such a cliché – but WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE!?
Today, marks the start of our next chapter, next adventure, or next goal/hurdle. In 2017 when we received the diagnosis that our son had Autism, we were unsure he would ever go to a mainstream school. He was non-verbal at the time, avoided eye contact and struggled in social environments. But he has come such a long way and now, he is starting mainstream school with a buddy from kinder and a buddy from mothers’ group and we couldn’t be any prouder.
We still don’t know whether this school will be the right school for him or whether he will stay in mainstream, but for now, it is the right choice for him. The teachers and staff have been super supportive and made us feel comfortable that Jayden will be in good hands. So, today Jayden takes on this new adventure of learning, socialising and just seeing what life throws at him. He is a very happy little boy, and we are extremely proud parents.
I am sure there will be ups and downs, just like any other child and any other school. Some of Jayden’s challenges will be to understand the social settings of a school; to cope with the loud noises in the playground and bathroom dryers; to control his emotions and meltdowns appropriately. But we will be there to help him as best as we can. We have confidence that the school and his network of support will help him along this journey too.
As a parent of a child with Autism and like most parents who have children starting Prep, the worst part is the fear of the unknown, the fear of not being there to protect him or help him. But then maybe not having us around is a good thing because it will encourage him to be more independent. If something doesn’t work, we will readjust and find alternatives to make his learning experience easier.
So, to all our families, friends, therapists, etc who have travelled this journey with us… Thank you, because today is very important to us as a family. Whilst it’s terrifying, it is also very exciting. We most definitely would not be here today without all of you. To our clients who altered their appointments so we could attend drop off and pick up today, thank you!
Today we are not going to focus on any limitations, challenges or difficulties, but instead on the possibilities, on the journey and be thankful for whatever the future may bring.