Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Something Interesting Happened On The Way Home From School Today

Today something very interesting happened as we were walking home from school.

Our children attend schools which are next door to each other and when My Little Angel goes to high school she will simply walk across the oval to her new school. All three schools are on the same site.

We walk to and from school. We cross the high school oval and then across the primary school oval to access the primary school and special school. Because we cross the high school oval we often see the high school students playing sport. Their school starts first so the first classes are often on the oval in the morning and in the afternoon there is often sport being played after school.

We walk across the oval being sure to hug the side and avoid being hit by footballs, baseballs, golf balls, frisbees, javelins and large groups of teenagers. Cameron is usually more interested in pushing his sister or squeezing the hand of whoever is holding his to pay any real attention to the teenagers around him.

Occasionally when Cameron's behaviour is not age appropriate I will point out the teenagers around him and point out that they are not grunting or growling. I don't think he absorbs what I mean. He doesn't seem to notice what's going on around him.

This afternoon as we walked home there were quite a lot of teenage boys hanging around the edge of the oval, a sausage sizzle was being set up so obviously something was happening. Cameron walked past hanging onto me as he does and then suddenly he pulled me towards the gym and all the boys. I didn't think anything of it and just pulled him back onto course.

We took a few more steps and then Cameron became adamant that he wanted to go and join the other teenage boys. It took a lot of effort to stop him and I thought I'd nearly lost him several times. As I dragged him away I sensed his confusion and frustration and then I felt sad.

Cameron spends most of his life around adults and he likes hanging out with adults. At dancing he pays no attention to the children, just the adults. We have several friends with teenage children and I have noticed over the last few months that Cameron has wanted to watch the boys playing computer games and he will wander into a room to see what they are doing.

Today it was obvious that Cameron recognized that all those boys were his peers and he wanted to go and see what they were doing, he wanted to be with them. As we walked away I had to compose myself because I was feeling sad that I couldn't let him go and introduce himself or join in.

I guess we are entering a new phase in our lives as Cameron matures and recognizes who his peers are and that he is different to them.


  1. That's such a shame. I so feel for Cameron. Sometimes, when I read stories like this, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything just as it should be.

    Paul has been lucky in that respect because when he got to the age where he was noticing other teenagers and wanting to be with them, my girls started bringing boyfriends home and he got to kind of hang out with them. Luckily they have all been good with Paul, some of them great, but then I guess the girls wouldn't have chosen somebody who wouldn't have accepted him anyway.

  2. Paul was lucky and your girls probably were only drawn to understanding souls.

    The friends with the teenage boys live in the country so we go weeks without seeing them which is a shame but at least he does have these boys in his life.

    It will be interesting to see if his interest and awareness increases and if it does we will have to look at some new social activities. Another new stage for us.

  3. Is there anything like the Big Brother program they had in the US for disadvantaged kids but aimed at disabled teens? Maybe you could start one :) (in your spare time!) There are lots of teens who do like helping out and just need the organisation. And schools do have community service groups usually. Maybe the HS and Cam's school could collaborate.

  4. The big brother/ big sister program is over here. That is one option.

    The high school kids come over and work in the school and do sports with them from time to time. Cam has just had a couple of weeks doing basketball. I'll mention it at the next council meeting about a more social link up program.

  5. Every day is a struggle and there is always something new to figure out. Just focus on the positive (him wanting to meet/be with new people). Every day that he gets out of bed ready to meet the day and it's challenges should be considered a victory! :)

  6. Absolutely Adrienne. We are very positive and celebrate Cameron's victories but occasionally we have a sad moment and it gives us reason to pause and reflect and then we move on.