Aspie boy loves wolves. There is always a wolf calendar in the kitchen that he can see from his seat. It's a tween version of the daily schedule that many parents use with children on the autistic spectrum. When he was younger, one of our favourite stories was the Boy who cried Wolf. He loved it because it was about wolves, and I loved it because it emphasised the consequences of telling lies. I have a problem with lies and liars. I can only recall telling lies myself on 2 or 3 occasions and I felt terrible afterwards. Perhaps PR suited me as a profession because I've got good at spin, in order to avoid telling actual lies.
Perhaps I did not read the story enough. I thought that aspies didn't tell lies. But it seems that he has been doing exactly that. Or, in his own words, 'half-lies'. And now he is seeing that his lies mean that no-one now knows whether to believe him or not. Even me. You see the problems are at school and I'm getting one story from the school and another from my son.
I knew that school would be more difficult for him this year and I tried to prepare him. All his friends bar one had moved on to secondary school, the teacher he loved has left and more work is expected of 5th year pupils. So I was anticipating problems. But not lies.
Almost every day he came home saying how much he hated school, tales about all the trouble he was causing and begging me to do something about it. Now perhaps I should have noticed that the school was not contacting me, but I guess I was a soft target as I'm so worried about my Dad at the moment. So I rang the school, emailed the school and even turned up one day, but the principal was too busy to see me.
Finally I received a curt note from the school. This is an extract from it:
**** continues to tell you lies. I don't know how many times so far this year **** has told you complete rubbish yet you continue to believe him.
After seeing this I took all his consoles and locked them in the garage and stuck the house rules back up on fridge again. He was to get the consoles back one at a time if he behaved. As I told him, dealing with anger and violence and social deficits is one thing, but I cannot help him if he lies to me. Cue another enormous meltdown.
It also looks like my relationship with the school is now in tatters. I've no idea how to get over this. Worse, I'm now getting reports that my son is starting to misbehave in school.
This last weekend my son was in a downward spiral. He barely ate. He begged to be let off school today. He says that all his classmates bar one are 'annoying' him. He says the amount of work he is being given is 'abusive'**. He says that no-one is listening to him or being nice to him. I don't know what to believe. I know he has control issues and I am so afraid that he is just playing a game. Push me and push me and scream and scream just to see if he can control my behaviour - in this case getting me to go back to the school and 'fix' everything for him. Which might mean him changing classes or schools or getting less homework or getting a home tutor. But I don't think he'll be happy then either. Somehow he needs to learn to enjoy the life that he has. If only the autism service providers would do more than just organise meetings and provide some real help and advice....