I am always proud of my Aspie girl no matter what, but which words can you use when she does something so mind-blowingly brave that ‘proud’ just doesn’t cut it? I wracked my brain, I looked in a thesaurus, I considered using ‘magnificent’, ‘dignified’, ‘impressive’, ‘glorious’ and even ‘heroic’ but nope, they didn’t come close.
You see, my magnificent Aspie girl decided to tell her class all about Asperger’s and how it affects her. We gave her the option of the teacher doing the presentation: ‘nope’ she said. We gave her the option of me doing the presentation: ‘nope’ she said, ‘It’s my Asperger’s, I’m doing it myself’.
So, on Friday, after she had spent all morning on the loo and unable to eat any breakfast, I dropped her off at school with the powerpoint presentation emailed to her teacher. I had to wait 30 minutes before going back to the class to support her and my goodness me, that was a very long 30 minutes. The fear and worry was building up inside of me, how would the class react? Could she really cope with the presentation? Would she cry? Would I cry? Would the teacher cry?
The time came, I crept in to the classroom and sat at the back, my darling girl stood up at the front of the class and her wonderful teacher (akin to Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey) introduced her presentation by saying ‘We are all individuals, we are all wonderful, E wants to talk to you about what makes her so special’…
I could tell she was nervous (the hair fiddling and finger clicking gave it away), her pale little face, her slightly trembling voice but SHE DID IT! The class was silent, their attention rapt, the teacher reiterated certain points, E held her nerve, spoke clearly and with great conviction. My heart was swelling with each passing second (and I was determined that my tears wouldn’t fall because if she could do it without crying, I could certainly listen without crying). When the time for questions came, she was on a roll, ‘Can you catch it’ – ‘No, silly, you can’t catch it’, ‘How did you get it?’ – ‘I’ve always had it, we just didn’t know until recently’, ‘Will it get worse as you get older’ – ‘Nah, hopefully I will learn things to help me’.
Standing there in front of a room of her peers was terrifying for her: laying her soul bare; telling them something so personal; revealing her fragility; showing that she was ‘different’; she didn’t bat an eye. She is heroic and impressive and all the thesaurus words. She is a pioneer, a teacher, a leader but perhaps the comment from her teacher written on the ‘Excellence Slip’ she received for her presentation sums it up: ‘You are getting this Excellence Slip for a wonderful presentation and for simply being an awesome human being’.
Proud x infinity.