Today I went to watch Lachie receive an award at school. Any one who has read this blog would understand how amazing this is. Unfortunately another parent put a little bit of a dampener on the occasion. I walked into the assembly hall just in time to see Lachie's aide scoot through a pile of seated children and land the ear muffs on his head as the first note of Advance Australia Fair sounded. In an instant the fight went from his body and he stopped rocking on his wiggle cushion. This made me happy, she knows my child well enough to act fast where needed. He wore the ear muffs until the song finished then sat relatively still, with the odd stim for the remainder of the assembly.
On the other side of the hall there was another scene playing out. There was another boy, he wasn't sitting and he had no ear muffs. He was running up and down the aisle created by the rows of children. He was smiling, flapping, and running as if it were a training drill. There were two aides strategically placed, one blocking his entry to the front of stage and one blocking his exit from the hall. The other kids were watching the assembly, no eye lids were bat, this was his usual routine. Occasionally when his vocal stimming got loud he followed the aide outside where I could see him doing laps of the adventure playground. This was a well oiled machine and it was not hurting any one.
A father sitting next to me tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Why don't they restrain him? where do crazy kids like that come from?" I held back a swear word and the temptation to lie and tell him he was my child just to see his reaction. I instead said, "He has special needs." He asked me to repeat myself and this time I said it more forcefully. He didn't really answer. I was so disappointed that my perspective was so different to his. I hope that one day people see that these teachers were managing the situation in a non-confrontational, non-aggressive, and highly skilled manner. I wish people would sit back and take another perspective before they speak.