There’s a certain time that Buzz comes home every day from school. I could write it on the calendar, it’s been so accurate. It doesn’t take long, about 7 minutes, to get from there to here. We’ve both come to rely on this. I stand at the door and wait for him, like clockwork. But clocks break, as ours did yesterday when his bus driver took a different path, dropping another child off first.
This casual change completely threw us off schedule.
One of us more than the other.
I was worried when he didn’t arrive home at his normal time. More minutes passed as I paced back and forth, with a keen interest out the door. I’m his mother, I’m supposed to worry. But just as I had picked up the phone to call, his bus pulled around the corner and my concern erased.
But autistic children live off a schedule that they’ve come to rely on in their head. You take them out of that routine, and it’s chaos in there.
Buzz was very upset when he came off the bus, his torment and confusion worn clearly across the red cheeks on his face. The driver stopped me as I guided him off, apparently unaware of my son’s needs. “Excuse me”, he spoke, shielding his mouth from the rest of the passengers. “Is he a bit… autistic?”
“Yes”, I answered, holding my little boy’s hand.
The bus driver didn’t realize. He apologized and said he knew better for next time. Still, while I was just glad to see him and thankful nothing was wrong, it took extra reassuring for Buzz to calm. A gazing alteration in scenery flipped his day.
It’s classic signs like this that I noticed before he was diagnosed but never added together, lumping it in as just another of his quirks. It’s all so very clear now that I know.