I sat in a squeaky office chair as a small conference room of school faculty read aloud their reports. The room was otherwise silent and my expression absent as they detailed what they had observed from Buzz during their evaluations. Every few minutes I would glance up at the clock, willing for it to end. Stop bombarding me with what he’s doing wrong and tell me what we can do to help him.
Going into it, I had stated that I wanted answers. I had no idea it would feel like so much of an attack.
“He seems unaware of others’ space, and puts himself in unsafe situations.”
He’s always been my dare-devil child. I make jokes about it, even. You should read my website.
“He doesn’t participate well in class, and has a hard time focusing.”
Well, yeah, because of his trouble communicating. One of the reasons he was in therapy before.
“He has trouble making eye contact.”
I only noted this because his teacher mentioned it in the previous meeting and I knew I was filling out those stupid forms wrong. Personally, I’ve never noticed a lack of eye contact.
“He has a habit of playing with toys out of their intended purpose.”
He’s 5. He’s imaginative, I don’t understand why that’s bad. This is a ridiculous thing to single out.
“His speech mainly echoes that of what is said to him.”
I can’t argue with this.
I was sitting there, an abundance of negative aspects about my child being clinically read aloud, arguing the seriousness of each in my head. All while I was fighting the tears from my eyes. It was such a hard thing to hear, along with a diagnosis I had blindly swept out of possibility.
Put it all together, however, and it makes sense.
My son has Autism.
But he’s still my same little boy.