‘I wish I knew’ Mum explains why she can’t tell you whether her autistic son is enjoying school

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  • A mum of a boy with autism has revealed why she can’t ever answer the well-meaning ‘how’s he enjoying it?’ questions after his first day at pre-school.

    Mum Adrian Wood explained that her youngest son Amos – who has autism – finds it hard to articulate feelings about his day.

    Sharing a post on her Facebook page titled: ‘The questions I can’t answer’, she wrote: ‘”How did he like school?”, “How was his first day of school?”, “How does he like school?”‘

    ‘”I don’t know”, I’ve begun to say. I’m supposed to say: “Great!” but I can’t. I hope so but I really have no idea. I wish I knew.’

    Adrian went on to explain how hard it is never knowing and always wondering when your son or daughter can’t open up about their experiences.

    The mum-of-four wrote: ‘I remember when my first three three-year-olds went to preschool. They were excited to go, some more nervous than the others, and when I picked them up, we walked home for lunch and they jabbered about their day.’

    She described how her other children talked about what they did, the people in their class, their teachers, playing in the gym and even the letters in their names. They shared every little detail with her.

    Adrian went on to say: ‘With my son who has extra special needs? Amos? Crickets. I never got a worrisome phone call and I wondered what he had for lunch or if he fell asleep. Did he questions why his siblings weren’t on the bus today?’

    ‘I saw his face light up when he saw me from outside the window at his bus stop. He lit up and wriggled in excitement and when I made my way up the bus stairs, he cackled in delight and leapt into my arms.’

    She described how a kind classmate handed her Amos’ backpack and then he got down all by himself and bid the bus bye.

    ‘I think this means he likes it,’ she concluded.

    A National Autistic Society spokesperson told HuffPost UK: ‘A child’s first day at school can be an anxious time for any parent.

    ‘Our charity understands how those concerns can be exacerbated for parents of children on the autism spectrum, particularly if their child can’t easily tell them about their needs or feelings.

    ‘It’s so important that schools work closely with parents – and the child – to find what communication tools work best for them.’

    ‘Whatever happens, every autistic child or adult is different, so there’s not one approach that will work for everyone.’