I was looking forward to the second part of ‘The A Word’ , a bbc drama last night. It is about a family coming to terms with a 5 year old boy’s diagnosis of autism. Last week they got the diagnosis and this week, the boy’s mum took him out of mainstream school and attempted home- schooling by enlisting the help of extended family.
It is an emotional drama to watch as it explores several different perspectives on living with a child with special needs, some of which I can relate to. I recognise myself in the mother who is fiercely protective of her son and is making unilateral decisions for him, believing she has his best interests at heart but wearing herself out in the meantime.
I had planned to get Joshua into bed before 9 pm so that I could enjoy it in peace. But he had different ideas : he had his bath at 7.30 and went to bed soon afterwards. He appeared downstairs at 8.45 and I took him back upstairs after ten minutes. Three more times he was up and downstairs, as if he knew that I was trying to give something else my attention.
After it finished at 10 pm, I tried to snuggle him to sleep but he smacked me and pulled my hair shouting ‘go’! After 40 minutes of wrestling, I left him in bed with a movie on the iPad to soothe him to sleep while I went downstairs. It enabled him to stay in bed but he was not asleep when I returned at almost midnight. Now an hour later he is still awake and objecting.
When I get home I will watch ‘The A word’ another quiet morning, so that I can watch a family dealing with an autistic child in their family, as our disabled son prevented me from focussing on it.