Today Matthew and Daniel went back to school after a mini-break when the weekend was followed by 2 in-service days giving them a 4-day weekend. They made full use of the break with Daniel going over to his friend’s on Sunday to play with him and their mutual play-mate. Monday saw them out for lunch with Jane & Gaga, then onto the play park. Yesterday was a bit more relaxed, but still busy. Daniel had a few late nights – including as late as 1115pm(!) but was to bed at a decent hour last night and was sleeping before 9pm.
Thing with Daniel is that when he sleeps, he sleeps really well, and Jane had to wake him at 730am today to make sure he had time for breakfast and to get ready for school. He looked really dopey and half asleep even by the time we were ready to head off to school. Usually when we get there, he’s ok, although he’ll often drag his heels en-route. But today was different. He complained that he was too tired (although he had 10 and half hours sleep) to go into school. He became adamant that he wasn’t going in. He picked up his bag from the line, and started to walk off. Jane went with him, and he went to hide round the back on the temporary unit in the playground. Thankfully Jane talked him round, and we managed to join the back of the line as his class was going in. He still looked really grumpy but his teachers managed to talk him round, and he went it at last.
Given that Daniel often sleeps late – sometimes 745am on a school day – it seems unlikely that his reluctance to go into school was down to tiredness alone. Has something happened at the end of last week? It could be the break was long enough to make going back to school a bit of a thought, but to be so militantly opposed to going in really is out of character for him. We’ve got our suspicions that an adult in the school has talked to him about his size, because he’s come home talking about “calorific intake” – hardly the talk of his peers. If a 6-year old sees a big kid, they’ll just call them fat, and leave it at that. He’s not talked about it for while though, and to be honest the little bit of bullying he finally told us about seems to have died a death – at least for the time being.
Its always difficult to tell with Daniel, as like other children on the autism spectrum, he can find it hard to vocalise his feelings and let us know what is bothering him. We’re lucky that he’s high-functioning and isn’t a non-verbal ASD but sometimes communicating with him can be a struggle. He has his ways of giving out information, but the trick remains deciphering what he’s telling us, and discarding what’s not really that important. It can be troublesome picking up the small signs that identify what’s really troubling him but flatly refusing to go into school is a Daniel equivalent of a flashing neon sign.
I suppose time will tell with him, as usually after a while, with a little prompting when we know something is up, he will give the game away which will give us the opportunity to try and help him. Today though, that will have to wait. His teacher (who is excellent with him) is aware he wasn’t 100 percent today, so will help him through the day. Parents & carers are getting to see the end results of their first term project this evening, and Daniel has been excited about showing us. He was concerned I’d be at work, so asked if I could work from home and come to the school. Thankfully its at 6pm, so we’ll all go up to see what he and his class have been getting up to.
For the time being, we’ll be extra-mindful about how our sensitive little aspie is feeling and let him work out his current bother in his own time.