Autism and first times: the first day of school (again)

This week, the first day of things to come arrived, and I relinquished my control over one of the most important aspects of my life. On Wednesday, it was Mini Man's first day of school. Again.

Aside from five days in April, I have spent every waking moment with Mini Man since I removed him from his England school in February. I'm used to hearing him babble away in the background, or giggle as he plotted and carried out some naughty act that he knew he shouldn't be doing, but did anyway.

I'm used to sweeping the hardwood floors six times a day because he is just that messy, and likes to spin while he is eating - despite telling him numerous times to sit down. I'm used to yelling at him to get down, when he walks along the back of the sofa, or climbs up the bannister.

What I'm not used to is putting him on a bus on his own, to travel to school. The school is only two blocks away, and takes me five minutes to walk to, so I am nearby. I worried his autism would affect him, and he would freak out when he realised I wasn't on the bus with him, but we followed in the car to drop his supplies off and got to see him walking with his teacher quite happily to his class. It turns out he loves the school bus - I wonder whether watching the magic school bus helped...?

Back home, I found I'm not used to the silence. Mini Madam didn't start until Thursday, so she was home, but it was still so quiet! I spent the first hour resisting the urge to call and check he settled in at school okay. I told myself they would call if there's a problem. Thankfully the social worker called and told me he has settled in great, and wanted to check he had no restrictions when it came to snack food.

The rest of the week passed with no hiccups, other than him not wanting to leave his blanket in his classroom, and sitting in a puddle. To me, that is a great start to his new education adventure. He's such a confident little guy, getting on and off the bus - it's like I'm seeing a whole new side to him.

I'm relieved, and feeling much more confident about sending Mini Man to school. I'm not a teacher, and home schooling was only ever going to be a temporary measure. His new school is a school specifically designed for children with autism, and other special needs, and I'm confident that this can only be a good thing for him.

Finally, he can get the support and therapy he needs from people who know what they are doing, and trained to do so. I still know so little about different methods to help him on his learning journey, and I know it's time to let go of some control, and trust in these professionals to provide my son with the skills he needs to build a good future.

As for Mini Madam? She has already befriended a little girl four days younger than her. I met her mom at pick up time yesterday and they played in the park together while her mom and I chatted. It was so nice to have another grown up to talk to. Even the walk to and from school is doing me some good by getting me out of the house, and the negativity I have been feeling for some time is feeling better today.

It's still a day at a time, but I finally feel like I'm starting to settle into my new life here in America.

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