She was due to take an exam,
but that was not the reason.
Today was her final day at school as a pupil.
I wanted to be sure that she was was prepared in her mind
for giving the presents to those who have supported her so wonderfully
during the last 3 years.
Present giving is quite complicated,
but fortunately her gifts were packed in a way that they could not be forgotten.
Small presents can get overlooked,
lost in some small corner of a bag.
Cards get wedged in books
and their delivery requires social skills that many of us take for granted,
but are often beyond a person with autism,
who is struggling to process a lot of other information.
Presents wrapped in shiny paper,
that protrude out of carrier bags,
cannot be forgotten or ignored,
and allow others to take the initiative if required!
Alas, at 7:30 this morning I discovered that the only tape that we could locate was electrical tape!
It added an interesting and unique touch to the gift wrapping...
I can record that the presents were safely delivered,
and, from my daughters account,
As the day draws to a close I sit and reflect on all the people who have supported her,
and the students who have shared her lessons.
Many people showed her great kindness,
and have been rewarded by her quirky view of life.
I suspect there were those who never really understood her,
as she didn't conform to their expectations.
I am grateful for all the enjoyment my daughter gained from her schooling.
However, I regret the times when the educational system seemed to be focused
on the single goal of exam success,
and failed to embrace the wider experiences,
that live on in hearts and minds,
and do not define a person by success or failure.
Meanwhile my daughter is now starting to grasp the reality of life beyond school,
and now the lose ends of the next stage in her life need to be tied up,
hopefully not with electrical tape!!!