I and other parents talk quite a bit about how how things that are straightforward for other parents often aren't for us, and about how that makes us feel isolated and saps our energy.
This is what it looks like -- waiting 15 minutes as the entire school parades around a 1/4-mile circle to see your child in the Halloween Costume Parade:
... only to realize your child is not there. Other full-inclusion kids are, but yours isn't.
I tried not to feel hurt and reminded myself it was time for his speech session, which is very important for him. Still, it was a sinking feeling.
This is your son when you try to help out in class. He's way in the back of circle time, freaking out and crying, because Mommy only comes for drop-offs and pickups and now she's Right Here in the classroom. What The HECK Is Going On?
I expected this and remained calm. It's hard, sometimes. Especially as I've helped out in classrooms for my daughter and never got this reaction.
Lest this turn into a pity party for one, this is what it looks like, when your child on the spectrum adjusts to having a parent pop up unexpectedly and join the school day.
... because his teacher and aide also remain calm and welcome all parents to help out in the classroom. Here is James, doing the craft project that I was running during their Halloween party. He made a treat bag by writing his name one it and then stamping Halloween designs on the front and back.
And this is what full inclusion can look like:
Two guys sharing free time together. Having fun.
These are the times that keep me going.