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My son is going through a difficult time. This morning my husband carried him to his taxi, kicking and screaming. He was stressed, and I was anxious and worried.
I haven’t called the school and asked if he is OK because I know what they will say: “He is not like that in school.”
Reports from school don’t marry with the child at home at all. In school he conforms, is settled and appears happy. At home he can be violent, unpredictable and highly distressed. The great divide between home and school is a challenge.
When my autistic child behaves differently in school, it makes me feel like I am to blame for his meltdowns at home.
When the common denominator for the challenging behavior and meltdowns is home, it is all too easy for professionals and schools to jump to the conclusion that “bad parenting” is at work. We are accused of lack of discipline, lack of stability, lack of structure, feeding our children the wrong food and even not loving them enough. But just because a child has the ability to “hold it together” in a controlled environment all day and releases the lid on their frustrations, stresses and anxieties at home does not mean home life is awful. In fact the opposite is true. If a child did not feel secure, loved and safe at home, he would likely continue to “hold it together” for fear of releasing his true feelings.