So this week myself and little man had our very own school trip.
Ever since all this horrible business of little man missing out on school trips started his confidence has been at an all time low.
“Ok it may not be a “real” school trip but it’s our school trip” and I had to do something to help repair his dramatically disappearing confidence, to make him feel better about himself & more confident in who he is! I’m not saying little man isn’t sometimes a bit of a handful when out & about, his no “angel” but then again what ten-year old boy is? He does have difficult times & always will when his out on school/family outings but a great deal of his difficulties are caused by anxiety, over excitement and more recently… Pure apprehension of what’s a head. It’s like he won’t allow himself to look forward to anything as his learnt how quick it can be taken away. On a recent trip to swimming (sadly only his second time attending since the new school year) he suggested we didn’t walk with the class as a way to avoid something going wrong resulting in him missing out! How crazy is that? Sadly things didn’t go well at swimming but that’s another post for another day,and one that’s to long and upsetting to report on just now.
So the point I’m trying to make is… All the above is directly connected with his Aspergers and let’s face it he was born that way he didn’t ask to have the condition so therefore he shouldn’t be treated as if he has himself to blamed every time something goes wrong. If little man is just being a ten-year old boy then I will be the first to put my hand up in agreement and have done when needed.
Well, to be honest I was quite excited about taking little man on a trip! it was only possible due to the fact his currently on half day schooling. So as this was the perfect opportunity we went for it.
So… wondering where it was we went? “No…. for once it wasn’t buses riding on the 450!” though that’s not far off! We actually visited London’s Covent Garden where you can find the all exciting Transport Museum. Not only was this ideal given that it was full to the rim with little mans interest, *buses* followed by tubes, trams & trains, but it was also very educational. The Museum does have learning facilities within the building and after a little conversation with a helpful member of staff on the Ins & outs of little mans situation he was shown into the learning lounge where he could use the IT software or read one of the many transport reference books. What made it even more great was the fact he did these things a long side children on a more “formal” school trip. He didn’t try to interact with these children but he didn’t abuse any off them either. I was grateful to that member of staff, he didn’t judge him and regardless of my shared information on the good and the sometimes challenging behaviour associated with his condition, he responded by stating “Everyone deserves a chance, and just because his not responded well before, who’s to say he won’t this time?” I stood thinking “Wow, people like you are like gold dust”
Well, Lucky for me my friend had come along on our “school trip” I was in need of some adult non bus based conversation and while little man did his stuff on the PC me and my friend grabbed a ten minute break (that turned out to be our only break of the day) Still I’m not complaining we did have a fantastic day, especially little man and that’s what we were there for, to give him something to enjoy! Of course there were times when little man was a little over excited, hyper or even frustrated (mainly because he wanted to be on the next item of transport before he had even left the one he was currently sat on) but through a collection of strategies we were able to successfully keep him on the right track. We did encounter a small episode towards the end off the day when leaving the Museum at closing time (yes we were there that long) but it could have been a whole lot worse. It was essential to spot any potential triggers and remove them or him before they had any undesirable effects. undoubtedly there is no need to explain why this is to any parent(s) of children on the spectrum, because they are likely to be the ones that “really” get it! But for those who don’t or just think they do….. Let’s just say.. if I hadn’t approached issues in this way the outcome would have been explosive!!!
I’m so…. pleased with the way our creation of a school trip planed out. After some essential planing that took place in the weeks leading up to the trip, these included little mans ideas and views on all aspects of the trip, a social story, countdown tick chat (visual aids), and journey planing (Little mans job, of course!) things went remarkable well.
And the fun didn’t end there! After the Transport Museum we went for dinner, followed by a short walk around the city, a fun-filled visit to Trocadero where we experienced the realisation of the 4D simulator and drove the bump a cars till I felt sick, finally hitting Starbucks for an espresso followed by a large skinny latte with cinnamon sprinkled on the froth yummy.
After waving my friend off at Charing Cross station. Myself and the little dude boarded our train. We found a spot that just had the two seats (little man hates having to sit with all these “strange commuters” his words not mind!) and as I suddenly realised I was beat and was potentially asleep I felt his arms interlock around me, very tightly. Then came the kiss that he gentle placed on my forehead. “Thanks mum, I love you” came a voice… Wow getting kisses is like getting a night on the town (rare) “I Love you”, well they normally pop along when his done something wrong or wants something. This wasn’t the case today! And it felt so great that it wasn’t. Me and my little man were happy… really…really happy, and that my friends is priceless!