Aspergers syndrom, In English, Om Teo

Just leave my son out of it

Det här inlägget skrev jag på engelska i början på 2014 efter att för tredje gången ha varit med om den obehagliga upplevelsen att se min son hamna i kläm för att föräldrar i en av de skolor jag startat blivit arga på mig, på grund av ett beslut jag varit med och fattat. 

When I moved from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido in 2012, I was happily unaware of how my life was going to change.

In my world, I was coming down to share the most incredible alternative educational project ever, with a group of parents. I thought they would be as happy as me, or at least a little grateful. Instead, to my surprise, I turned into the bitch of the year.

Time has passed and I´ve come to understand that it might be possible that I will always have to carry the role of the evil witch. It´s been painful to accept, but I have finally come to terms with it.

Even though we´re a community of parents, and even though I´m only another mother on the team and EVEN THOUGH I keep insisting that I´m not the director (because we don´t have one and if you want to call me something, please use the word ”coordinator”) and even though I don´t make any decisions alone – the need to hold someone responsible is huge.

And apparently that person has to be me, because it doesn´t seem to matter how much I´m insisting on wearing different hats at different moments – people still see two hats simultaneously on the top of my head.

I realize it must be hard for other parents to separate the roles. I get that. And you know, it´s okay. There´s nothing I can do about it, and I´ve come to accept that at all times I am representing the school. It doesn´t matter if I´m buying groceries at the market or am out salsa dancing. There´s always the Papalotes´ logo hovering above me.

(And just for the record: I´m still working as a volunteer. Half time. And I´ve done so for six years now.)

What truly kills me in this situation, is that someone else is being seriously affected by my two hats: my son.

My son is nine years old. He is smart, fun, very sensitive, highly intense – and he´s got Asperger´s syndrome. Friends don´t come easily to him. It takes a long time for him to make them, because he doesn´t really know how – and the other children need to learn that even if he comes off as odd, he really is a wonderful little being with a big heart.

Now, within the last six months he has lost all his closest friends. And I´m sure it has nothing to do with him being an ”aspie”, because I clearly see that his friends like being with him and actively seek him out.

He has lost them because of me. Because at some moment I´ve had to represent the decisions that are being made at the school – and sometimes they can be awfully hard to accept.

Parents tend to get pissed off when we make decisions that they perceive as being negative towards their children. The crazy thing about that is that we always put the child and his/hers needs first. We only base our decisions on what we think is in the highest good for the child. Doing otherwise would be highly unprofessional. Obviously that doesn´t mean it´s an easy or fun decision making process. On the contrary.

But… my son has absolutely nothing to do with this. He´s an innocent child that is being unfairly caught in the middle of adults´ lack of capacity of separating things.

My son is sad. And really confused. He doesn´t understand why his friends are disappearing. Why there are no more playdates. And he doesn´t know how to handle the fact that everyone else but him is invited to his best friend´s birthday party.

His best friend. That he hasn´t seen for the last two months. I haven´t had the guts to tell him that they´ll probably never hang out together again. Ever.

Is that fair? Does it really have to be the logical consequence of my position? Maybe – as long as adults keep mixing things up. But it sucks. Big time.

If you need to use me as a scapegoat;
If you want to shoot me because I´m the messenger;
If you feel like deleting me from facebook;
If you have to tell the world what a bitch I am;

Just leave my son out of it.

Teo och hönan


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