It has been a very long time since I have written anything and this blog post has been in my head for a year since last April Fool’s day, so I have to get it out there.
Last year, my then 8 year old son with aspergers didn’t want to go to school on April Fool’s day. When asked why he told me someone was planning an April Fool’s joke on him. It was his classroom aide of all people. Perhaps she should have know how the unexpected can affect those she deals with who have autism, but it is hard to remember that what is so small and insignificant and funny to many people, is much more anxiety producing and hence not really very funny to others with invisible disabilities. I can hear many people out there saying, “these people just need to have a sense of humor.” Well, it isn’t that easy. Last year, I reassured my son and sent him to school. His aide told him a small joke and he thought it was funny and we moved on.
Little did I know that this April Fool’s thing would continue on until the last two weeks since my son has been stressing out about going to school on April Fool’s Day. One unpredictable day equals 2 weeks of stressful anxiety for him. Is all this stress worth him learning to “have a sense of humor?” I am leaning towards not… Since we did not do anything fun for spring break this week because I had to work, I am contemplating keeping the kids home on April Fool’s Day and having a Family Fun Day instead! Since it is also the day before 2 days of standardized testing for him, I am even more convinced it is the right thing to do for our family, but standardized testing and autism/aspergers is a whole different topic that maybe I will broach her sometime.
Be sensitive to your audience this April Fool’s Day!
I talked to my son again this morning about how he was feeling about tomorrow (4/1/15) and he is still anxious. We talked about what happened last year an he recounted a very simple, common school practical joke and said he ran out of the room. He said he was frustrated, mad and confused. Those are big emotions for an then 8, now 9 year old.
Anyone else have any April Fool’s Day and Autism stories to share?