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Autism and the Class Trip November 14, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, humor, Parenting, special needs.
Tags: , , , , ,

There’s a special kind of fear that parents of autistic kids reserve just for field trips.

In ‘C’s class, the parents can’t come on the field trip supposedly because there are so many aides already. One of the moms finagled getting the teacher to let her (and one other mom) go, and I am so thankful for that even though I am not the one going. (The finagler’s son is in a phase of constant shoe removal, so the mom’s presence will be a blessing.)  There is no substitute for a pair of mother’s eyes and hands.

Just because there are a lot of aides, doesn’t mean there is a lot of supervision. Know what I mean? Sometimes, when there are so many adults around, they all assume that someone else is watching my son that kid over there. Yes, the one about to walk off the bluff…

So, they are going to a nature preserve…on a cold, wet, November day. There’s hiking in the woods where some trails lead to murky swamp-like muck. And wanna bet who’ll find  that trail?  Inside the center, there’s all those lovely reptilian creatures with green scales to pass around and hold. Which should send my son heading for the above-mentioned trail.  There are parrots, and turtles, owls and eagles. There’s even a rat and hissing cockroaches. Lovely.

Did I mention ‘C’ freaks out if there’s a fly in the house?

So, hubby and I are disagreeing this morning about the appropriate attire for the outing. He favors comfy jeans and any ol’ shirt…I, on the other hand, envision him being lost in the woods til the search party finds him about 7:00 pm tonight… So what’s wrong with warm, comfy sweatpants and that bright yellow sweatshirt and his light up sneakers? Ok, so I lose on the yellow fruity-looking sweatshirt. But to compensate, I did  put him in last year’s flaming neon orange jacket so he’d stand out in those woods like a mini-hunter/clown.  Can we ever protect them enough?  And why do we have to think and act like this? Parents of typical kids pick out a cute outfit. Done. Sometimes I just don’t know if I’m “brilliant, conscientious mom” OR  “freakin nut case mom”!

I could only send ‘C’ off in his clown outfit with my prayers, and his friends’ moms, and the seven other adults I trust his life to each day.

I think I did the right thing by sending him. Weighing the social opportunity and the rare slice of a typical life against my fears for his safety when he’s in a public place and my worries over how he will handle the strange and new experience. The new bus and driver. Having a brown bag lunch instead of his CARS lunchbox. Eating in a place he’s never been. Using the bathroom there.  And the lovely creatures. And the woods…

Tune in for the 7:00 news to see how it went…



1. acollage - November 14, 2008

Can’t wait to see how it went! It sounds like my son’s outing last week — my son is a shoe remover, and I too went along! 😉 But, his aide was out that day (last-minute field trip and she’d already had another commitment) so I was the third parent able to attend. PHEW. Because I, like you, worry about the multitude of things that can happen when I am not there. I had to laugh, I have a few orange/yellow shirts that I keep specifically because they make him stand out in a crowd. It’s getting harder and harder to find shirts those colors that are cool for a 7 yo. Maybe I need to get a GPS chip implanted in his shoes….

2. momofthree - November 15, 2008

what happened? did it go okay? my daughters field trip went ok even though i was worried! she came home ok even though i wish her teachers would tell me more details. i dressed her in bright yellow! lol

3. momofthree - November 15, 2008


4. hopeauthority - November 15, 2008

Phew. It went okay. No meltdowns reported, though he wouldn’t go near any of the animals available for the handling! I saw some pics of two of the kids with a snake draped over their shoulders. Yikes!
And he didn’t need a search party to rescue him from the murky woods…always a plus!

It is SO nice to hear that other moms go for the bright yellow colored clothes, too. I was thinking I was going off the deep end…

Maybe we need a line of bright clothes that fit older kids, but look cool. Too much blue, gray, green, black and brown. And cammo…that’s the LAST color I’d put on him for a trip in the woods!

The only “glitch” was a notice that came home from the school nurse about one of the kids having a tick removed…

Yes, I confess I had ‘C’ stipped down in minutes. And I am sure he will eventually forget the headlock and hair search that followed…

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