I'm an ex-teacher so I have worked with a variety of children including those on the autistic spectrum. I was a maths teacher in a mainstream school and previously a learning support teacher working with a small group of children who couldn't deal with the classroom environment. There were issues, sure, but as a whole my experience I guess had always been a watered down version of what Autism was.
Then I met RJ Scott and not too long after I met her son Matthew. Now, if you're expecting me to say how terrible it was and how I never went back, then you'd be wrong. RJ can't get rid of me these days. At the time, I think RJ was more worried than me, though to be fair as she worried about what I'd think and how Matt would be with me, I then started to panic as I really didn't want to be a reason for upsetting him and what he was used to.
As it turned out, because I'm apparently 'relaxation' personified, meeting Matt actually turned out to be quite fun. And one reason it was fun is...
Who knew there were so many rules? Here I was thinking you just pulled out sticks. Now in this version there is a single magical yellow ball amongst all the others. Can you see it in the picture? Yep that ball there. It's a wonderful thing really and well, I just couldn't grasp such complicated rules. Apparently, or so Matthew told me, you win if you get the yellow ball. Also, you win if the other person gets the yellow ball. I couldn't believe how good Matt was at it. Seriously. He won EVERY single game. He got the yellow ball and won. I got the yellow ball and he won. I was so rubbish at it.
Over the years, I have visited RJ several times. I have seen Matt at his best - he loves to tease me about the way I talk. I'm from the Midlands in the UK and therefore we sit on the grass not grarse, eat fudge not fadge and ride the bus not the bass. I've seen him enjoy tickle-death with his mum and smile and laugh and hug his cuddly toy cats. Seen him set up his rail set only to dismantle the thing almost instantly and I've gone out pylon and fan spotting. I have seen his quirks - the pylon building out of dvd cases, the lego left in the bath, the select foods he'll only eat. Get that boy some olives! I have also seen him at his worst or close - shouting, screaming, storming up the stairs and being like any other stroppy teen, just to the power of ten. And then I have seen way too much of Matt - OMG AWOL pyjamas! LOL
Meeting Matt has made me appreciate what I have and who I have in my life. I admire RJ and other mums and dads who give their time and love to children with any special need or disability. I'm not sure I'd be so strong.
Competition: As part of the blog hop I'm offering a prize of a $10 Amazon gift card to one commenter. Please leave a comment including a contact email. Competition closes on the 15th April at the end of the day. Winner will be contacted soon after.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. For more competitions and blog entries see the master list here at RJ's blog - http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/april-autism-blog-hop.html