I had to drop off lunch money at the middle school today for my boy’s lunch account. Instead of formalized and sterile “social skills” classes, I have opted for trying to find real life situations. Our middle school happens to have a functional kitchen and they not only make much of their food but they also have several choices. Autism, being the harsh food critic it can be, does not often lend itself to a lot of food variety but my boy LOVES the cafeteria and WILL surprisingly try new things occasionally. As well, eating hot lunch also forces him to converse with the lunch ladies EVERY SINGLE DAY…and I like that. He even came home a few weeks ago telling me HE ATE FAJITAS and that made it all worth it.
Today, as I am heading in to the office to fill up his lunch account, I run into one of his teachers. She smiles and tells me she wants to share what happened with my boy. I feel a little at ease because she is smiling. I figure if he threw a chair or slammed a door they’d have called me already and she certainly would NOT be smiling.
The story, as told by his teacher, went like this:
Teacher talking to my boy: Would you mind eating lunch with our new student today?
My boy: Why would you want me to do that?
Teacher: Because it’s lunch time and he’s new and he might like to have someone to talk to during lunch.
My boy: Well, I don’t think that’s a good idea.
Teacher: Why not?
My boy: Because he should keep his mouth shut. He shouldn’t be talking while he’s eating.
All I could do was laugh because autism can turn something so simple into something SO black and white. Autism makes me laugh OUT LOUD…you just can’t script this stuff.