Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Getting Real

One of my favorite internet expressions used to be "that makes me stabby," as in, "when people tell me my son doesn't look like he has autism, it makes me stabby."  As in, "I want to stab a fork through their eye and into their fucking brain."  Boom.

Funny, visual, totally divorced from reality, it's the internet expression hat trick. I'd never stab anyone! Isn't that a funny thing to say?!?!  Me! Talking about how I want to stab someone!?!  Me! 

Then my kid actually stabbed someone. That was an exciting phone call from the principal, let me tell you.

"Hello, sir.  I'm afraid we're going to have to suspend your son, Flynn.  He stabbed someone at school today."





My blood pressure climbed about 40 points in a second.  Also, I may have shouted at the principle.  Quite a bit.  Things like, "you realize that he's a four year old!?"  And, once I learned the kid he stabbed was "playing zombies" and pretending to eat peoples' brains, things like, "you know he has autism, right?" and "You are punishing him for having a disability!" And, "He's extremely literal. He probably didn't know the boy was pretending."

To be clear about a few things, I felt very bad for the other kid and I am not blaming him at all for doing a normal thing that kids do. I was mad at the school, which was on notice that Flynn needed additional supervision at all times, failed to provide him with that supervision, and then suspended him when predictable social misunderstandings led to a predictable outburst.

The principal, shockingly, understood why I was so upset.  His son is autistic too.  But he suspended Flynn anyway.  To "protect the school."  Or something.  Later, when explaining why the suspension was overturned (because you'd best believe I fought like hell against that bullshit) he said that the electronic record keeping system required that he enter a suspension when recording the event.  That makes me . . . well . . . not stabby, but . . something.

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